Workshop How to implement ecological restoration in civil engineering sector The power of participation

Roadside restoration has been historically performed using standard techniques such as hydroseeding and plantings. These conventional techniques oriented to control erosion and boost ecosystem recovery often fail (at least under Mediterranean conditions), leading to unsatisfactory results with que consequent cost for construction companies that must afford the environmental liabilities. However, the field of ecological restoration provide new approaches that can be used in roadside restoration, that allow to integrate infrastructure more efficiently and add value to projects and companies. This practical science has reached a degree of maturity that could guide practitioners in order to significantly improve their activities. Moreover, some companies are aware of the importance to improve restoration actions associated with their activity in order to be more competitive and improve their return of investment, but the truth is that there are some barriers that imped the application of ecological restoration in civil engineering sector. On the one hand, governments and companies implicated in the development of restoration projects related with infrastructures usually have limited knowledge about innovative restoration techniques.  On the other hand, all stakeholders that, in some way, are involved in restoration projects linked with civil engineering are disconnected, so the interchange of experiences and needs do not take place. In this sense, to generate multidisciplinary encounters that promote participation of all stakeholders in the identification of barriers and the co-creation of new solutions to implement innovative environmental approaches in civil engineering sector are essential to better integrate infrastructures with the ecosystems and the social environment, with a triple win for nature, society and businesses. In the present communication we introduce our experience with the development of discussion forums and participatory processes to implement environmental innovation in civil engineering sector and main conclusions derived from them.

participatory processes; ecological restoration; environment; civil work; industrial sectors; sustainability; natural capital