Epilogue: Toward a Transdisciplinary Science of Ecological and Cultural Landscape Restoration

Authors

  • Z Naveh

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lowdermilk Division of Agricultural Engineering, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel
      Address correspondence to Z. Naveh, email znave@tx.technion.ac.il
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Address correspondence to Z. Naveh, email znave@tx.technion.ac.il

Abstract

To bridge the gaps between restoration as a science and as a practice, restoration ecology has to broaden its scope toward transdisciplinarity in close cooperation with landscape ecologists and other holistic environmentally oriented scientists, professionals, practitioners, and stakeholders. For restoration, the ongoing transdisciplinary scientific revolution has opened new insights to cope with the complex bio-hydro- and human-ecological network relations. The Total Human Ecosystem (THE), integrating humans with all other organisms and their total environment at the highest level of the global hierarchy, should become the unifying holistic paradigm for all synthetic “eco-disciplines.” These should link ecological knowledge, wisdom, and ethics with their scientific and professional expertise from the natural and social sciences and the humanities. As the tangible matrix for all organisms, including humans, our industrial Total Human Landscape is the concrete spatial and functional system of the THE. It forms a closely interlaced network of solar energy–powered natural and seminatural biosphere landscapes and fossil energy–powered urban and agro-industrial technosphere landscapes. The self-organizing and self-creative restoration capacities of biosphere landscapes are driven by mutually amplifying auto- and cross-catalytic feedback loops, but the rapidly expanding technosphere landscapes are driven by destabilizing “run-away” feedback loops. To prevent a global breakdown and to ensure the sustainable future for both humankind and nature, these positive feedbacks have to be counteracted by restraining, cultural feedbacks of environmental planning and management, conservation, and restoration. As the theme of this special issue alludes to, this template should become an integral part of an urgently needed sustainability revolution, to which the transdisciplinary landscape restoration could contribute its important share.

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