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Hobbs RJ, ES Higgs and CM Hall (2013) Introduction: why novel ecosystems? Pp. 3-8 In: RJ Hobbs, ES Higgs, CM Hall (Eds.) Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the new ecological world order. Wiley, Oxford.

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A priority outcome from the 2012 United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development (1) was the target to restore, by 2020, 150 million ha of disturbed and degraded land globally (2). An initiative of this scale is estimated to cost U.S. $18 billion per year and to provide U.S. $84 billion per year to the global economy (2). Although such initiatives have transformative potential because of their scope and backing, they require technology and knowledge capacity to deliver proven, scalable restoration (3). Restoration processes must achieve the greatest value for money, as far as socioeconomic and biodiversity conservation outcomes, while avoiding costly and simplistic plantings (4).