SER2011 A Big Success!
The SER2011 World Conference on Ecological Restoration was celebrated August 21-25, 2011 in Merida, Mexico. The conference attracted 1,000 participants from 60 countries including nearly 450 attendees from Latin America, 190 of whom were from Mexico alone. The program included a total of more than 700 oral and poster presentations and sessions in both English and Spanish. Click here to download the Book of Abstracts.
SER2011 Call to Action
The SER2011 World Conference concluded with a Call to Action to the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) urging them to act swiftly on the commitments to ecological restoration outlined in their Strategic Plan for 2011-2020 and to integrate restoration into their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). Click here to read the Call to Action from the SER2011 delegates.
SER2011 Conference Theme
The Mayans, renowned for their architectural, artistic, mathematical, and scientific achievements, left us a series of gigantic stone monuments and pyramids with precise astrological computations that reflect their understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the earth and the cosmos, and which many have interpreted as prophecies. The Mayans believed that these celestial cycles coincided with the development of our collective consciousness, and that the movements of the heavenly bodies exert influences upon the earth’s biosphere. As we approach the last year of the present great cycle (3113 BC – 2012 AD) and enter the “Age of the Fifth Sun”, the planetary alignment on December 21, 2012 forecasts major shifts in our evolution that afford us tremendous opportunities for the renewal and restoration of harmony between nature and culture.
SER2011 Conference Logo
Logos command our attention; they are symbols or icons that encapsulate a myriad of realities. In Greek, logos is the animating spirit – the reasoning principle throughout time. The SER2011 conference logo of the macaw and agave plant depicts the intimate and mutually-supportive relationship of fauna and flora in nature. The scarlet macaw, which was revered by the ancient Mayans as a representative of the divine, is now on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss and the pet trade. The agave plant was domesticated by the Mayans as a source of fiber (sisal or henequén) and medicine. Its economic and cultural significance continued after colonization with the growth of the sisal industry until its collapse in the 1930s. The terms extinction and collapse are now commonly used by scientists and practitioners in the field when speaking of populations, species and ecosystems.
The SER2011 conference logo represents the interconnectedness of nature and culture – the need and desire for beauty and utility. As environmental degradation encroaches upon our lives, we are now forced to address the current trajectory of nature’s feedback mechanisms. Restoring balance, integrity, and resilience – ecosystem structure and function – is the monumental task before us. Ecological restoration is perhaps one of our most important tools for dealing with the adverse impacts of climate change, habitat loss, and species extinctions while at the same time providing for sustainable livelihoods.