The implementation of ecological restoration in Spain: challenges and opportunities
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This study examines policies containing the method of ecological restoration in Spain. Large areas of Spain are affected by drought issues, causing adverse effects on economic activities, health, and social and psychological well-being. Practices of ecological restoration could solve the underlying causes of drought, such as land degradation, erosion and a lack of vegetation. Although this method is incorporated in several national and regional policies, the effectiveness of addressing drought issues by the method of ecological restoration is limited. A comprehensive analysis of the reasons for this limited effectiveness does not yet exist. Therefore, this study aims to identify the challenges and opportunities for decision makers at the national and regional level for the successful implementation of ecological restoration. In order to identify the challenges and opportunities, relevant national and regional policies containing plans for ecological restoration will be analyzed in terms of case-study-criteria at the level of organizing, governing, planning, implementing and accounting. It will become clear that challenges exist at all levels. More specifically, the main challenges include the lack of a well-developed plan with well-elaborated measures, lack of involvement of stakeholders, scientists, experts and technical people, and insufficient funds. This is valuable knowledge for policy makers both at the national and regional level, to improve the effectiveness of policies containing ecological restoration in the near future.