Clara Rowe on mapping all restoration projects in the world and provide transparency to the restoration movement

Clara Rowe is the CEO of Restor, a science-based open data platform to support and connect the global restoration movement. This is conversation about technology, transparency, and bioacoustics in our transition to regeneration. 


What if every restoration project, which could be a farm, a forest, or a wetland, is registered on a science-based open data platform, and thus the progress or lack of it is made transparent for all of us to follow? Why is it important to talk about nature restoration now? What is bioacoustics and what is its potential concerning regeneration? Where else should we look apart from carbon?

How Restor Works to Restore

Despite the important role of nature restoration in conserving biodiversity and having a better climate the details about restoration projects all over the world are impossible to find. Hence, to help stakeholders in the restoration space to make better decisions, Clara Rowe founded Restor, an open-access platform that stores information about every nature restoration project around the globe. With their use of high-quality satellites and data analytics, Restor creates a positive environment of transparency and collaboration among a variety of people in the restoration space. 

“Restoration of forests alone has the potential to draw down about 30% of carbon emissions. It has the potential to prevent about 60% of expected biodiversity loss, and it could improve food security for over a billion people around the world.” – Clara Rowe

We’re Running Out of Time  

Fighting the climate crisis requires a holistic and collective effort that needs to happen now. We have no tolerance for silver bullet solutions that only waste our resources. In order to drive solutions impactful enough to address the climate crisis that is bound to worsen in a few decades, we need at least 8 trillion dollars. To empower these nature-based, holistic solutions, technology has a vital role, especially in the restoration space. While technology is not a solution by itself, it is a powerful enabler of solutions that are efficient, effective, responsible, and most importantly, transparent. 

“Restoration is the center of what we do. We’re just simply trying to, through technology, enable that to happen more efficiently, more effectively, more responsibly.” – Clara Rowe

The Astounding Potentials of Bioacoustics 

Clara and Koen also unpack the interesting potential of bioacoustics or the sounds that come from nature, as an indicator of biodiversity. Bioacoustics is so wide as it is applicable not only to biotic factors (i.e. sound of birds, insects), but also abiotic factors (i.e. the sound that water picks up). This theory requires the highest grade of technology to be further studied, bioacoustics is an area worth exploring. When proven and made possible, bioacoustics has the potential of becoming a remote measurement for biodiversity, which ultimately means that an area’s biodiversity can be accurately measured and accessed with the use of phones or similar devices. 

“For me, anything that could happen with a handheld device that many, many people around the world have access to, it’s something that we should really invest in.” – Clara Rowe

Looking Way Past Beyond Carbon 

Carbon sequestration as a way to measure biodiversity is incredibly important in the restoration space. However, to bring real solutions, we must look at other dimensions to gain equal and balanced perspectives. Some areas the industry may have been neglecting are biodiversity itself, as well as people. Landowners and managers need to be more involved and there should be less ‘lip service’ and more funding. This is why in order to keep moving forward, investors in the restoration space play a huge role, also the reason why Restor has been making improvements here and there to make their platform more comprehensive. 

“If we only think about that [carbon], we lose many other dimensions of what makes an ecosystem whole. So the ability to have scalable ways to measure biodiversity and not just carbon is something that we’re really interested in helping to bring to the table.” – Clara Rowe

Other Points Discussed 

Koen and Clara also talked about:

  • How scientific processes are one solid path to scaling;
  • How we should start with defining our policies and values;
  • How we should invest on thinking about a diversity of approaches, test these approaches, and build a portfolio of them;
  • Restor making it more and more desirable for the community to share more and more information about their restoration projects;
  • Taking away the risks that farmers face.

To know more about Clara Rowe and Restor, download and listen to this episode. 



Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.

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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

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