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Erik Lukas

Guide to Ecological Engineering: The restoration of coral reefs and associated ecosystems

Erik Lukas

In January 2020 the French Coral Reef Initiative (Ifrecor) published a report entitled “A guide to ecological engineering: the restoration of coral reefs and associated ecosystems”. This report provides important information and analyses that were critical in informing UNEP’s upcoming coral restoration report for UNEA-5, and was the outcome of extensive data collection by the authors. It provides an inventory of ecological engineering techniques employed mainly in France but also globally, for the restoration of coral reefs and their associated ecosystems (seagrasses and mangroves).

This guide is the result of the collaborative work of a very active community of stakeholders whose objective is to share common, updated tools for ecological engineering in reef environments in order to benefit from feedback. Ecological engineering encompasses all techniques and processes for solving socioeconomic and/or environmental problems through the use of living organisms or other materials of biological or non-biological origin. Four technical approaches may be adopted: ecological restoration, ecological improvement or rehabilitation, creation and protection.

It builds on two existing publications: “Reef restoration: Practical guide for management and decision-making” and “Reef restoration: Concepts and guidelines”.

The aim of the report is to help contracting authorities, environmental managers, project owners and research units to familiarize themselves with the techniques and to use synthetic data to propose solutions adapted for habitat restoration and selected ecological functions. The funding for the translation was provided by UNEP.

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