A new global analysis looking at the distribution of forests and woodlands has ‘found’ 467 million hectares of previously unreported forest in dryland ecosystems – a land area equivalent to 60% of Australia. In this day and age of advanced remote sensing how are such discoveries still possible?
There has been a recent recommendation to set restoration baselines as pre-degradation ecological communities. However this is a nostalgic aspiration, akin to restoring the ‘Garden of Eden’. It is unrealistic, expensive and does not acknowledge ecosystem change. Restoration should respond to the current drivers of biodiversity loss by addressing declines in ecosystem function and provisioning of ecosystem services.