Healthy Habitats

Environmental action is often framed in terms of improving single metrics such as carbon or nitrogen. Yet this approach risks inadvertently causing damage by over-emphasising one metric at the expense of the overall ecosystem.

For example, poorly-managed efforts to decarbonise through reforestation can result in the planting of non-native monocultures, which compromise soil health and undermine biodiversity.

It’s clearly vital that we take as holistic an approach as possible to healing breaches in planetary boundaries. A more detailed discussion on this subject can be found here.

Parallel to the need to avoid over-simplifications and reliance on one metric, there is a corresponding need to maintain a diverse approach  in our collective actions to protect and restore habitats and biodiversity.    So – in line with Feasta’s emphasis on the big picture and on breaking down silos – this group has an ongoing project of exploring the different habitat protection/restoration activities taking place in Ireland at present.

As an initial working draft, we have two ways of classifying these:

–  according to their approaches to making change happen

–  according to George Monbiot and Greta Thunberg’s ‘Protect, Restore, Fund’ framework.

There is no implied ranking of the different actions, as we consider all of them to be vital. Our classification is intended to help reveal areas where more actions may be needed, and also to help those working in one area to identify other groups to coordinate with.

If you would like to have access to this project or to contribute to it, please contact

We also believe that Feasta’s research and advocacy on achieving a GDP-growth-independent economy is crucial for freeing up sufficient time and energy – from individuals, community groups and policymakers alike – to protect and regenerate habitats on the scale that is needed.

Some recent Feasta publications on this topic:

Submission to the Irish Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss

“Where are our motorways headed?”: article by Dr Liz Cullen

Note: Feasta is a forum for exchanging ideas. By posting on its site Feasta agrees that the ideas expressed by authors are worthy of consideration. However, there is no one ‘Feasta line’. The views of the article do not necessarily represent the views of all Feasta members.