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An app-ortunity to help measure global environmental restoration efforts

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A new Curtin University developed app aimed at helping users around the globe monitor their own conservation efforts has just been released.

The Recovery Wheel, available for Android and iOS devices, allows restoration managers and conservationists worldwide to use a five-star system to rate specific aspects of their restoration efforts.

The globally-applicable app is based on the Society for Ecological Restoration International Restoration Standards.

Professor Kingsley Dixon, Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Mine Site Restoration (CMSR), based at Curtin University, explained the app is an example of Curtin collaborative research reaching out to the world to help restore the planet.

“This app can help world-wide conservation efforts – from forests in Kenya, to the Gobi desert; the Great Barrier Reef and mine sites in the Pilbara region of Western Australia,” Professor Dixon said.

“It’s a great way for everyone – from experienced ecologists, to business, and anyone involved in conservation efforts – to be able to see how they are doing and what they could be doing better, to successfully restore our planet.

“With more than half of the planet’s land surface disturbed or degraded by humans, restoration is now a multi-billion dollar industry. Getting accurate measures of success is an example of what the Recovery Wheel can do.”

Developed by Curtin PhD student Mr Simone Pedrini, the Recovery Wheel enables users to rate a site based on criteria such as the presence of weeds and/or invasive pests, the ecosystem’s function, species composition, and structural diversity.

“The app is designed to be used in conjunction with the International Restoration Standards to assist the restoration manager on a particular site or area evaluate how a specific ecosystem under restoration treatment is progressing,” Mr Pedrini said.

“Our next plan is to look at how we can further develop the app to allow collected information to be shared with researchers in an effort to better understand restoration practices, techniques and successes across the globe.”

Work undertaken by the ARC Centre for Mine Site Restoration contributed to the development of the app with industry partner in the Centre, the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia

The app was launched in conjunction with 2nd Edition of the National Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration, produced by the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia.

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