National Biodiversity Future Centre (NBFC) focuses on the Mediterranean area (biodiversity hotspot) and addresses global challenges related to the protection and restoration of marine, coastal, transitional and terrestrial ecosystems: in particular, NBFC carries out research and promotes the development of practices for monitoring, conservation, valorisation and restoration of the biodiversity, including genetic and functional aspects, in order to counter the effects of anthropogenic impact and climate change and to support ecosystem services. At the same time, NBFC supports research and innovation activities for the enhancement of biodiversity through processes of circular economy and restoration ecology and economy, with the primary objective of protecting the resources provided by ecosystems and at the same time ensuring the quality of personal well-being.
Ecological degradation, which is considered to be one of the most severe environmental challenges in the world, it represents one of the main issues to be solved by NBFC strategies. Researchers of the Center are involved in many activities dedicated to ascertain the driving factors, processes, approaches and best practices to reverse ecological degradation. These are one of the most key steps to define a suitable restoration ecology strategy. Concerning Restoration tool and strategy, the NBFC team will define the most suitable science-based restoration interventions, and evidence-based practice supported by innovative tools for the restoration ecology. Moreover one of the main goals is in developing general predictions and broad theories that apply to restoration projects across ecosystems developed in different Italian areas, from the sea to the urban context. NBFC activities are focusing on developing innovative tools to investigate some key elements to consider in restoration ecology programs and also methodologies to analyse disturbing factors. Ecological restoration design, implementation of the existing ones and application of the Nature Based Solutions (NBSs), are carried out in order to measure and monitor the performance of restoration action and quantify the benefits in terms of biodiversity enhancement and ecosystem services, also through pilot studies. From the activities dedicated to planning sustainable restoration intervention, among the final results there will be also the development of advanced support systems based on machine learning techniques to develop prediction models and the releasing of NBSs catalogue for several Italian environmental areas and the design of supporting tools for the management.
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