April 23-27, 2007
Hyatt Regency
Crown Center
Kansas City, Missouri

Restoration Coffee House Session Three: Measuring Outcomes
Friday, April 27, 8:30am-10:00am


This Restoration Coffee House (RCH) session follows from the two earlier sessions by closing the loop in managing ecosystem restoration by assessing results and using outcomes to guide and improve restoration efforts. Rigorous measurement of outcomes is essential to adaptive management and to testing and refining the models that underpin defining success and setting priorities. Yet, monitoring and other measuring programs are often not appropriately designed for assessing success or comparing priority actions, are inadequately supported or sustained, or do not produce results useful to managers on a timely basis. Consequently, after years of implementation some large-scale ecosystem restoration programs have been criticized as unaccountable. This may cause public and political support to wane. This RCH session will explore the state of practice in measuring outcomes in several major ecosystem restoration programs, bringing out “the good, the bad and the ugly” and identifying steps that can substantially improve the measurement of outcomes. The panel and audience will be initially challenged to address the following questions.

  1. How effective have the monitoring and assessment activities been in assessing progress and informing decision-makers and the public regarding the choices to be made in major ecosystem restoration programs? For new restoration programs, have lessons been applied from other regions in the design of monitoring and assessment?

  2. What are the major constraints (e.g., financial support, technical limitations, lack of agreement on metrics, analysis and reporting, etc.) in designing and implementing an effective outcome measurement system?

  3. Does the ecosystem restoration program yet have effective outcome metrics in the form of a manageable set of scientifically sound indicators that can be consistently applied and serve the needs of decision-makers? How might they be improved?

  4. To what degree are measured outcomes being used in adaptive management of the ecosystem restoration, i.e. by providing interpretable and timely information to decision-makers that allows them to track progress towards measures of success, refine those measures, and set priorities among actions to achieve them?

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