Article in The Ecologist rips into the notion that if ecologically sensitive area to be developed, could be ok to recreate the ecosystem.
- in HK, get some similar attempts: remember when Long Valley was to be ruined by KCR viaduct, and there were ideas for recreating something like it nearby? Plus other "mitigation" schemes: better than nothing, but rarely/never as good as simply protecting what there is already!
The suggestion that it would ever be possible to faithfully restore a lost ecosystem is in itself ludicrous. Given the complexity and variability of natural systems, the ecological community is increasingly recognizing that recreating or restoring ecosystems to some specified former state is not feasible, especially within reasonable time frames. To ensure any newly created or restored area survives will require a long-term investment. Who will tell developers an offset is not just for Christmas?
Nature cannot be treated like chess pieces that you can move around, eliminating ecosystems at will, only to recreate them elsewhere.
This is most obviously the case with long established ecosystems - ancient woodlands for example, that have evolved over thousands of years in harmony with highly site specific soils, hydrology and meteorology, and management regimes."