Ecological restoration for ecosystem sustainability

Title of the BIP Ecological restoration for ecosystem sustainability

Hosting University

University of Evora (PORTUGAL)

1st Virtual period start:

17th June 2024

1st Virtual Period end:

28th June 2024

2nd Virtual period start:

1st July 2024

2nd Virtual period end:

5th July 2024

In-presence Period start:

2nd September 2024

In-presence Period end:

6th September 2024

3rd Virtual period:

20th September 2024

Language of teaching: English B1
ECTS credits: 6
Number of participants: 30
Study level required: Bachelor and Master students in Ecology and Environment and related disciplines.

Selection criteria:

All selected students receive the ERASMUS+ contribution for short mobility

Admission conditions: students enrolled in first and second cycle study courses in environmental and ecological studies

Contacts: Prof. Carla Pinto Cruz (University of Evora)

Programme description: Anthropogenic and natural environmental changes, exacerbated by climate change, induce disturbances to ecosystem structure and functioning. Ecological restoration aims to recreate, initiate, and accelerate ecosystem recovery after being altered by disturbances. Ecological restoration is a relevant science and a main practical tool in biodiversity conservation. The timeliness of ecological restoration is clearly mainframed within the SDGs and recent developments of the nature restoration law of the European Green Deal, which urges EU Member States to restore at least 30% of degraded habitats by 2030.

An effective broad action of ecological restoration across Europe will demand qualified professionals, well trained with state-of-the-art knowledge to deal with the different restoration approaches. Experience sharing is crucial to help deal with uncertainty and find pathways for successful planning and implementation. To contribute to these challenges, the consortium of universities grounded on the EU-Green Alliance proposes a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) “Ecological restoration for ecosystem sustainability” as a mobility initiative aimed at preparing students to improve their work on ecological restoration or to provide them the knowledge and skills needed to engage in this topic. This BIP gathers the strong experience and skills existing in the 6 universities.

The proposed lecturers have strong theoretical background and empirical experience in ecological restoration, acquired through various management, conservation and applied ecological restoration projects across different ecosystems and biological groups. This action has the uniqueness of joining the expertise scattered across different European countries within a cooperative, integrated, and consolidated BIP. The BIP is organized into 4 modules, intercalated by assignments designed to promote innovative learning approaches. Module 1 provides the basic principles and concepts of ecological restoration. It includes a practical assignment involving transnational online cooperation, with each working group focusing on specific ecological attributes related to ecological restoration.

Module 2 deals with restoration drivers, protected habitats, main threats to biodiversity and ecosystem integrity, legislation, and funding. This includes debate among students to promote inquiry-based and challenge-based learning focused on relevant threats across countries and experiences. Module 3 focuses on the main topics needed to develop and implement restoration projects. This will be based on practical knowledge and experience of the lecturers. Students will prepare a restoration project in transnational working groups. Module 4 is centered on presenting and discussing case studies of restoration across ecosystems. This component is partly online and in presence and includes field visits in Portugal.