A new online platform reveals thousands of local efforts around the world that are actively working to restore and conserve nature. Nature is being lost on an unprecedented scale — 75% of natural land has been severely altered by human activity. Restoration offers hope in the face of this environmental crisis: 73,400 restoration sites are registered on Restor, with the number increasing daily. Already, almost 3,000 of these sites are visible to the public.
Built on Google Earth Engine and described as a “Google Maps for restoration”, Restor allows anyone, anywhere to see and engage with the global restoration movement, watch how landscapes change over time, and learn about the ecology of any terrestrial location.
Slowing climate change and reducing its impacts
Restoration is critical to slowing climate change and reducing its impacts, like the flooding, fires, and drought experienced around the world this year. “The restoration of nature is an incredibly powerful way to reintroduce native species, capture carbon, and protect the land we all depend on”, said Restor CEO Clara Rowe. Managed in ecologically and socially responsible ways, restoration can increase food security for more than 1.3 billion people, sequester more than 299 gigatonnes of CO2, and avoid 60 percent of expected species extinctions.
Anyone can be part of the restoration movement
Through Restor, anyone with an internet connection can now be part of the restoration movement. Whether it’s someone wanting to volunteer for a local project, a community that wants to understand the restoration potential of their local area, or a restoration practitioner who needs ecological data to plan and monitor a restoration site, Restor provides that information.
Restor’s users can locate and connect with a global network of initiatives, ensuring valuable know-how and lessons can be shared across the ecological restoration community.
A platform grounded in science and transparency
A network of more than 200 science collaborators provided the scientific research underpinning Restor’s ecological insights. Information includes how many species occur in a given region, rainfall amounts, and the carbon sequestration potential of a particular plot of land. These insights will continue to be updated as new research is published and users upload their own data.
Long-term, standardized monitoring can be difficult for projects to maintain. Restor provides high-resolution satellite imagery down to 50cm resolution — detailed enough to show individual trees. This means change over time can be monitored remotely in almost any terrestrial location.
Founded by ETH Zurich’s Crowther Lab and developed in collaboration with Google, Restor is a nominee for the Royal Foundation’s Earthshot Prize and an official partner of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Restor makes its public launch at Countdown Summit, the first-ever in-person TED climate conference.