UNEP has released a synthesis report as a call to action for anyone and everyone to join the #GenerationRestoration movement to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide. It details the economic, environmental and social rewards that restoration can bring.
Far from being a ‘nice to have’, ecosystem restoration is needed on a large scale in order to achieve the sustainable development agenda. Over-exploitation of natural resources is embedded in economies and governance systems, and the resulting degradation is undermining hard-won development gains and threatening the well-being of future generations.
Countries need to deliver on their existing commitments to restore 1 billion hectares of degraded land and make similar commitments for marine and coastal areas.
Ecosystem restoration is one of the most important ways of delivering nature-based solutions for food insecurity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity loss. It won’t be quick or easy, and it will take deep changes to everything from the way we measure economic progress to how we grow food and what we eat. But the beauty of ecosystem restoration is that it can happen at any scale – and everyone has a role to play.
There has never been a more urgent need to restore damaged ecosystems than now. Restoration of ecosystem is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, mainly those on climate change, poverty eradication, food security, water and biodiversity conservation.
The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a global effort aimed at restoring the planet and ensuring One Health for people and nature.
The Decade unites the world behind a common goal: preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems worldwide. Forests, grasslands, croplands, wetlands, savannahs, inland, marine and coastal ecosystems and urban environments – all of them are in dire need of some level of protection and restoration.
This incredible challenge can only be met if everyone – including Member States, local governments, partners from the private sector, academia and civil society – come together to find viable, lasting solutions. Restoring damaged ecosystems is an efficient and cost-effective way people can work with nature to address the most pressing challenges humanity is facing today, i.e. the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) global pandemic, especially in the context of the Build Back Better approach.