The RNC Alliance - restoring natural capital

RNC Alliance is no longer active and this website is now an archive for the many excellent RNC related articles and materials published by our members. 


We are still working together, but have put our energies into the EcoHealth Network which still encompasses Restoring Natural Capital but is far broader in scope. Please see:  

And also: 



What is the restoration of natural capital (RNC)?

The restoration of natural capital (RNC) is any activity that invests in the replenishment of natural capital and thereby improves the flows of ecosystem (natural) goods and services, while enhancing the wellbeing of people. RNC activities restore natural ecosystems and rehabilitate arable land or other production systems in an ecologically sound manner. These activities are intended to enhance the physical, socio-economic, psychological, and cultural aspects of people's quality of life. RNC initiatives include programs to raise awareness of the value of natural capital in people’s daily lives.


rnc alliance






What is the RNC Alliance?


The RNC Alliance is an international network of individuals and not-for-profit, non-governmental organisations that offer locally appropriate solutions to resolve environmental and economic development problems simultaneously in under developed countries and industrial countries alike.

Research, demonstration, education and outreach are the basic activities of the Alliance.


Show your support for the RNC Alliance by becoming a member.
To become a member, receive newsletters and updates please contact us .

We are sorry we have had to discontinue the "registration" and "add to list" features for the moment due to the volume of spam. Please let us know if this is causing you a problem.



2018 and beyond - Whats-new?

Please see: 


2017 - Whats-new?


Paleorelicts or archaeophytes: Enigmatic trees in the Middle East - publish date Feb 2017. To link to this article:

Many new articles have been added under Articles in English, Articles in Spanish, Latin America and Africa - please check them out...

RNC Ireland and Paddy Woodworth - see new website here.


2016 - Whats-new?



2016 was a year of great advances for ecological restoration in Brazil. The new Forest Code is now being implemented, and researchers have followed closely this process and participating, whenever possible, to make it more effective. Given the need and demand to up-scale restoration, restoration ecology has sort strategies to reduce restoration costs and to provide income from restoration activities, increasing the engagement of farmers and local communities in restoration programs. This will be the main research focus of 2017, we hope to develop in this year solutions to transform the large-scale restoration of natural ecosystems a viable activity both in socioeconomic and ecological terms.



We are pleased to announce an RNC project encompassing the Mayan Forest Reserves in the Yucatan Peninsula, funded by "El Colegio de la Frontera Sur and US-Fish and Wild Life Service.

People in the Maya communities of the central part of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, combine the persistent use of their natural resources with it´s conservation through mayan forest reserves, among which are the Legal funds (FL) and Tolches (T). In largely deforested areas by agricultura use, these reserves form a network of biological connectivity that has gone unnoticed by governmental institutions and conservation NGOs. Notwithstanding their cultural and biological relevance, these reserves are at risk because of the weakening of the normativity on the "common weatlh", the growth of the population of young people who demand land and by governmental programs, that can be well intentioned but can trigger inadequate practices, such as giving incentives to those communities that have destroyed or degraded their FL and T and to ignore the efforts of those who habitually preserve them. We consider that the knowledge and recovery of the traditional community strategies of forest management are a priority to conserve cultural landscapes and their biodiversity. We intend to achieve it through the provision of workshops and the establishment of demonstration plots, which will enable the community to be trained in the different ways that exist for the restoration of natural capital (RCN). We also want the "trained" people  to be the ones to spread RCN forms in those communities where their FL and T are degraded.


International Environmental Weed Foundation and Habitat Network presents its annual update for year 2015-2016. Read update here.



There are a number of new articles under Articles in English and in Spanish - many uploaded December 2016 - please have a read. Also please see....

Suzanne J. Milton & W. Richard J. Dean (2015) Repairing compound damage in arid ecosystems – challenges and controversies, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 70:2, 127-133, DOI: 10.1080/0035919X.2015.1046971 To link to this article:

View Natural History of Ecological Restoration blog here. See some great articles about recent ecological projects.

Published this year "Karooveld Ecology and Management", authors Karen J. Esler, Sue J. Milton, W. Richard J. Dean, please see:


See also "Newsletter Updates"


Click on the Promotional Items to the right to read abstracts for our books available from the not-for-profit environmental publisher Island Press, Amazon and others.

Also see the SER Restoration Reader which provides a summary of restoration books published by Island Press in co-operation with the Society of Ecological Restoration.




Here are a few highlights from previous years for your interest.





Restoring forests: What constitutes success in the twenty-first century?


October 2015 - Governing a pioneer program on payment for watershed services: Stakeholder involvement, legal frameworks and early lessons from the Atlantic forest of Brazil
This paper describes the governance history of the most successful PES program in Brazil, which is based on tropical forest restoration in riparian buffers and soil conservation measures in pasturelands to improve watershed services affecting 10 million people.
Este artigo descreve a história de governança do mais bem sucedido programa de PSA no Brasil, o qual é baseado na restauração de florestas tropicais em áreas ripárias e medidas de conservação de solo em pastagens para melhorar serviços hidrológicos que afetam 10 milhões de pessoas.


James and Thibaud Aronson, and Edouard Le Floc’h, are working on a book on lost and regained tree canopies and ecological restoration and restoring natural capital in desert and dryland regions of the Earth. They were in Baja California, Mexico in March and in Jordan and Israel in April 2015. They have been writing and posting blogs, for the new Blogsite of the Missouri Botanical Garden, "Natural History of Ecological Restoration". There are also some wonderful photos. Here is the link.


December 2014 - Welcome to new member Fundación Ecotonos

Read article here.


In September, 2014, James Aronson was appointed to a part-time position to help develop the restoration ecology program in the Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Missouri Botanical Garden. He will continue his work at the CEFE/CNRS in France and divide his time between the two institutions.


Check out details of Paddy Woodworth's new book "Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century" - published by the University of Chicago Press - see Newsletter update from Ireland 2013-2014.


2014 Exciting news under Newsletter Updates from Ireland - The Irish Forum on Natural Capital (IFNC) has launched.


Le Floc’h, E. & J. Aronson 2013. Les Arbres des Déserts. Enjeux et promesses. Actes Sud, Arles, France.

James Aronson and his long-time collaborator Edouard Le Floc'h have published a new book in French on trees of arid and semi-arid regions around the world, with emphasis on their importance in conservation, management and restoration of natural capital. The book is intended for a general audience and is richly illustrated and written in lively, accessible language. While a translation into English is not planned, a longer, more detailed, two-volume work on the same subject is under preparation for 2015.


Clewell, A.F. & Aronson, J. 2013. The SER Primer and Climate Change. Ecological Management and Restoration 14:182-186. See PDF under Articles in English.


Propagation guide for native trees of Panamá and the Neotrópical Region - see under Articles in English and Spanish.



Andre Clewell has been selected to be the recipient of Western Reserve Academy’s 2012 Morley Science Medal. The Committee was unanimous in its selection of Andy for this award based upon his outstanding and unique scientific achievements. Congratulations from all of us at the RNC Alliance.



SER Board
In July, 2011, James Aronson was elected by the members of SER for a four year term as a Representative-at-Large to the Society's Board of Directors. He has also been named as Head of SER's Science and Policy Committee. A task force has been set up, with Drs. James Hallett and James Aronson as Co-chairs, to revise and update the SER Primer, and the Guidelines - two of the most widely cited documents produced by SER.


Participation in SER Congress August 2011:
The research group and students that work on the project of restoration of Nueva Palestina in the selva Lacandona, participated in the 4th International Congress of Ecological Restoration held in the city of Mérida. The participation of the group included a trip pre-congress to the Lacandon rainforest in which was showcased the areas in the process of restoration and interaction with the local ethnic groups, the presentation of a symposium and a special meeting "The cinema as a medium to promote actions of ecological restoration from traditional ecological knowledge".

A large committee of Brazilian researchers and students also attended this conference. We note in particular the special session on “The Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact: linking biodiversity conservation and human well-being in a global hotspot”, presented by Brazilian researchers involved in this large-scale, restoration and RNC program with more than 180 members at present and the goal to restore 15 million ha of forest by 2050.


International Master’s degree program 2010
Student papers from the international master’s degree program, “Biodiversity in Tropical Areas and its Conservation" ( have been added in Spanish - see RNC Students 2010.


2010 - New Co-ordinators and project assistance for RNC South America
We welcome two new RNC Co-ordinators for the RNC Alliance in South America. Prof. Nikolay Aguirre Mendoza of the National University of Loja, Ecuador, has accepted the position of Regional Co-ordinator. Dr. Pedro H.S. Brancalion of Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil, has accepted the position as RNC Co-ordinator Brazil. New information and articles from these 2 centres are on and will be appearing on this website so keep watching.

We also welcomed Jesús Muñoz, who represents the Royal Botanic Garden in Madrid, and the National Research Network (CSIC) of Spain, will be assisting in the Latin American projects as well as running projects in Spain.


2007 - James Aronson receives SER International Award James was presented with a Communications Award by SER International, at their August 2007 conference. Read more.


For website information or problems joining please contact Bev Debrincat at:
[email protected] or [email protected]