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Pathways towards a 'restorative' Anthropocene: a comparative study of three marginalised land practices, their narratives and regenerative potential across local-global dimensions

Project description

Traditional practices pave the way for a 'restorative' Anthropocene

The term 'Anthropocene' refers to the current period of significant human impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems, including climate change. However, a 'restorative' Anthropocene, in which human activity gives back more than it takes, is evident in place-based land practices that regenerate land and ecosystems. The EU-funded REGenPLACE project will compare land practices and regenerative potential for land and biodiversity in three case studies from the United Kingdom, Bhutan and Australia. These include fire management techniques by Australian indigenous communities, the Bhutanese cultural practice of 'Reedum' (closing of mountains) and the transitioning from degraded landscapes to 'rewilded' woodlands in the United Kingdom. The findings from these diverse regenerative land practices will inform current policies and research agendas.


We are experiencing unprecedented environmental and societal changes at a global scale that affect all living beings on earth at a local scale. The epoch of humanity's impact on the biosphere with its irreversible degradation of ecosystems, devistating pandemics, economic and governance failures, unequal development, social and environmental injustice and discrimination, has a name - the Anthropocene. It is synonymous with destruction, inequality and increased vulnerability driven and accelerated by many factors but primarily by the enduring impacts of colonisation, the industrial revolution and the spread of capitalism. A ‘restorative’ Anthropocene instead sees human activity give back more than it takes. Such activity can be seen in place-based land practices that regenerate land and ecosystems. However, many of those practices are marginalised or silenced as they emerge from diverse worldviews and narratives that are perceived as incompatible with contemporary scientific natural resource management approaches.

This study aims to compare marginalised land practices, their associated narratives, and regenerative potential for land and biodiversity across the local-global dimension, by investigating three cases from the Celtic parts of the UK, Bhutan and Australia using a place-based approach within the framing of a ‘restorative’ Anthropocene. The practices to be compared include fire management techniques of Australian indigenous communities known as ‘cultural-burning’ of the landscape, the Bhutanese cultural practice of Reedum [closing of mountains] and the transition from degraded landscapes to 'rewilding' woodlands in the Celtic parts of the UK. The findings from this research will suggest pathways for how we can apply knowledge from culturally, geographically, ontologically and epistemologically diverse regenerative land practices to inform current policy, practice and research agendas across the local-global dimension towards a 'restorative' Anthropocene.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
CF24 0DE Cardiff
United Kingdom

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Wales East Wales Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76