Ecosystem degradation diminishes ecosystem services and can have a profound impact on human well-being. Restoring the degraded ecosystems and enhancing ecological services are major global challenges. In this paper, we provide an overview of the missions and goals of ecological restoration and propose that nature-based solutions are essential for such restoration efforts. We also propose the concept of “near-natural precise restoration”, detailing its theoretical basis and key technical approaches. Finally, we introduce a case study concerning the near-natural precise restoration of degraded ecosystems around Danjiangkou Reservoir, a crucial water source region for the middle route of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project. Taken together, this review establishes a theoretical framework for near-natural precise restoration.