Steps Towards Sustainability and Tools for Restoring Natural Capital: Etang de Berre (southern France) case study

J. Aronson, F. Claeys, V. Westerberg, P. Picon, G. Bernard, J.M. Bocognano, R.S. de Groot

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Communities, nations, not-for-pro fi t groups, and some mining, infrastructure, and energy corporations are catching on to the fact that the ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems is vital to their search for sustainability and ecological accountability. The science of restoration ecology can provide the tools and major building blocks necessary to develop a transdisciplinary sustainability science and is a problem-solving toolkit used on the road to global, regional, national, and local sustainability. We discuss a landscape-scale restoration program for the large (155 km²) and heavily polluted Étang de Berre (Berre Lagoon) to illustrate these ideas. This lagoon is situated between Marseille, Salon-de-Provence, and Aix-en- Provence in southern France. We illustrate the use of (a) sequential references, which is a technique from the fi eld of restoration ecology that helps clarify goals and develop consensus among stakeholders and scientists of differing backgrounds; and (b) HMCA (historical multicriteria analysis), which is a variation of MCA that is often used in ecological and environmental economics. We show how to use a HMCA to synthesize ecological, social, and economic criteria across different historical time periods and be applied to a large scale, multifaceted project of this sort when a sequential reference exercise has been performed. Lastly, we note that ecological restoration is the key means for restoring natural capital (RNC) and to simultaneously recover and revitalize social capital. In the ecologically and economically beleaguered and vulnerable area as the one considered here, and indeed many others around the world, the road to sustainability passes through a portal of what we call “RNC thinking.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on "Sustainability Science: The Emerging Paradigm and the Urban Environment", Montclair, New Jersey, USA, 25 - 27 October, 2011
EditorsM.P. Weinstein, R.E. Turner
PublisherSpringer
Pages111-138
ISBN (Print)9781461431879
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Symposium on "Sustainability Science: The Emerging Paradigm and the Urban Environment", Monstclair, New Jersey -
Duration: 25 Oct 201127 Oct 2011

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium on "Sustainability Science: The Emerging Paradigm and the Urban Environment", Monstclair, New Jersey
Period25/10/1127/10/11

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