By reversing the degradation of natural ecosystems and boosting their resilience to climate change, these projects can not only create and support biodiverse wildlife habitats but also improve water quality and capture more carbon.
Since becoming a Finalist of The Earthshot Prize in 2021 for their innovative online nature restoration platform, Restor now lists over 130,000 projects worldwide – including those stemming from a collaboration between that year’s winner: Costa Rica.
Stephanie Feeney from Restor explains how their platform is helping to protect and restore the world’s vital natural ecosystems.
Yes, Restor (www.restor.eco) is a digital hub for nature! Our aim is to support the scaling of 1 million nature projects by 2030.
We connect conservation and restoration projects to the data, funding, and knowledge they need to scale up for people, biodiversity and climate impact. We bring the visibility and scientific transparency needed for responsible investment into nature restoration.
While it is encouraging that governments and companies are pledging billions of dollars towards ecosystem restoration targets, history is littered with examples of top-down decisions gone wrong. Learning from the mistakes of the past, we must ensure this is a bottom-up movement where millions of local communities are engaged and financially incentivised by healthy nature.
It is critical that we empower grassroots efforts by local farmers, communities, and indigenous peoples currently working in isolated and resource-constrained contexts. Restor has been built to serve these grassroots initiatives.
By showing where these efforts are happening across the world, and what they are doing, we shine a light on what would otherwise go largely unseen. Once these projects become part of the Restor community they can connect to a network of peers, experts, funders, service providers – as well as scientific data – that can accelerate their work.
If we want a fully transparent and impactful restoration movement, nature investments should be distributed across millions of projects, visible and accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Watch Restor Founder, Tom Crowther’s, TED Talk from 2020.
Restor is for everyone who is working to protect Earth’s biodiversity!
We believe that when supported by the right tools, we can all take action to protect nature, fight climate change and support the land on which we depend.
We believe Restor is a game-changer because we provide those tools, not just for scientists and experts, but for everyone. However, it is these groups in particular that stand to get the most value from our platform:
Yes, the Government of Costa Rica and Restor first connected when both were named as Protect and Restore Nature Finalists for the 2021 Earthshot Prize.
Since then we entered into a partnership that promises to provide more transparency to the country’s conservation and restoration efforts. Costa Rica’s payment program for nature restoration projects is published on Restor, making their commitments on forest loss and recovery traceable and accountable. The partnership has even opened the door for similar conversations with other countries.
Restor, alongside Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich, is also working with Costa Rica to develop scientific tools and methods to boost transparency around ecosystem management more generally. This work aims to improve the quality of climate and biodiversity data that will be made available globally to support climate action and decision-making and improve environmental integrity in nature-based carbon markets.
“The partnership between Costa Rica and Restor reflects the collaborative and ambitious solutions championed by The Earthshot Prize to repair our planet in the next ten years.”
Christiana Figueres, Chair of The Earthshot Prize Board of Trustees and former UN Climate Chief
We have many exciting developments on the horizon, primarily driven by feedback from the communities that Restor serves. For instance, we know that access to funding is a key barrier for nature stewards that wish to scale up nature projects; we also know that funders or investors are looking for nature initiatives to support. So, we’re razor-focussed on developing a number of innovative solutions that will make it easier and faster for these two groups to find and engage with one another.
We’re also eager to work with the experienced and highly knowledgeable community that surrounds Restor. Both off and on-platform we’ll be making huge efforts to connect everyone involved in protecting Earth’s biodiversity so that hard-earned lessons can be learned, knowledge can be shared, and collaboration opportunities can be realised.
We believe that anyone can be a restoration champion! You can start to protect and restore nature immediately, even in your own backyard.
Here are just a few ways:
Restor can help connect you to the scientific data that you need to make sure that you are protecting native biodiversity, while connecting you with other conservation projects in your neighbourhood.
It might seem like a huge barrier to overcome, but we truly believe that each of us has the power to increase the impact, scale and sustainability of nature conservation and restoration.
The magic of nature makes me optimistic for the future!
It is an astounding thing to see how biodiversity can recover so rapidly if we just give it a chance. When we see thousands of local communities around the world on the Restor platform thriving because of the regeneration of their local biodiversity, we become increasingly confident that we can all start to follow their lead.
Learn more about Restor and the amazing work of all our Protect and Restore Nature Finalists.