The evolution of Society for Ecological Restoration’s principles and standards: counter-response to Gann et al.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Eric Higgs
  • Jim Harris
  • Stephen Murphy
  • Keith Bowers
  • Richard Hobbs
  • Willis Jenkins
  • Nik Lopoukhine
  • Bethany Sollereder
  • Katie Suding
  • Allen Thompson
  • Steve Whisenant

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Victoria


In response to our recent article (Higgs et al. 2018) in these pages, George Gann and his coauthors defended the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) International Standards, clarified several points, and introduced some new perspectives. We
offer this counter-response to address some of these perspectives. More than anything, our aims are in sharpening the field of restoration in a time of rapid scaling-up of interest and effort, and support further constructive dialogue going forward.
Our perspective remains that there is an important distinction needed between “Standards” and “Principles” that is largely unheeded by Gann et al. (2018). We encourage SER to consider in future iterations of its senior policy document to lean on
principles first, and then to issue advice on standards that meet the needs of diverse conditions and social, economic, and political realities.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-433
Number of pages3
JournalRestoration Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2018


  • ecological restoration targets, global restoration policy, reference ecosystems, restoration principles, restoration standards