My current research is about community participation in ecological restoration. We have seen that restoration is more successful if it engages local people and is embedded in local history, society and culture, and there is substantial evidence that participation in activities like restoration can improve human wellbeing. However, in addition to these well supported areas of knowledge, there is a premise that participation in ecological restoration can create long term, durable relationships between people and ecosystems; which once established, can provide an underpinning to a change in the way humans relate to nature: from a way based on the consumption of nature to one based on reciprocity. Thus, restoration is thought to have the potential to contribute towards sustainability. Within the literature these ideas are influential; but evidence to suggest that those engaged in restoration have a different relationship with nature or ‘the land’, or that communities involved in or hosting restoration are more sustainable is sparse. My research aims to look at the impacts of participation in restoration to see what role, if any, it could play in building sustainable communities.
You can read my previous research articles here