Against a backdrop of environmental crisis, the scientists believe that the next ten years is going to be crucial in the fight against climate change and the loss of millions of species. As part of the various initiatives, they believe that the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a chance to revive the natural world.
The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration that aims at generation restoration was a result of global, open and inclusive consultation process in 2019 and 2020. It will be adapted periodically and will guide the implementation of the UN Decade by all stakeholders in a spirit of partnership, inclusiveness and joint coordinated action.
Empower a global movement
The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims at stopping and reversing the destruction and degradation of billions of hectares of ecosystems. However, it is a challenge with the immense diversity of ecosystems and the threats they are facing. The UN aims at connecting and empowering all the actions of the many Groups and individuals, and gets informed about restoration opportunities in their area.
Several of the organisations on the ground are often underfunded and face long-term financial insecurity. As the benefits of restoration far outweigh the costs, initial investments in the magnitude of billions are needed, the UN believes. The Governments, international lenders, private business and development agencies would have to ramp up their support.
Set the right incentives
Though restoration is good for the planet and people, it is often not rewarded. The UN says that though direct up-front investments are there, caring for nature can also mean foregoing some of the financial gains of less sustainable practices. However, there are ways to change this: agricultural and fishing subsidies that often finance harmful practices could be used to support restoration instead. In the long-term, healthier ecosystems can produce bigger harvests, more secure incomes and a healthier environment for people, the UN said.
Over the past years, incredible momentum has rose around restoration. Campaigns to plant trillions of trees have captured the imagination of many and communities have come together for mass planting festivals. Under the Bonn Challenge, more than 60 countries have committed to bringing 350 million hectares of forest landscapes back to life. Indigenous peoples have acted as defenders of their ecosystems for generations. The UN Decade will celebrate leadership and encourage others to step up.
Deforestation, the depletion of fish stocks and the degradation of agricultural soils are all caused by global consumption patterns. The UN Decade will work to identify and encourage restoration friendly consumption. This can range from shifting diets to promotion restoration-based products.
Invest in research
Noting that restoration was complex, the UN said that restoration practices that work in one ecosystem may have adverse impacts in another. Scientific understanding of how to restore and adapt ecosystems is still developing. Considerable investments are needed to identify the best practices for restoration, the UN said.
Build up capacity
Thousands of conservation and restoration initiatives are already underway. The UN Decade will be fuelled by their vision, expertise and dedication. The UN Decade’s strategy seeks to build the capacity of marginalized groups that stand to lose most from the continued destruction of ecosystems – such as indigenous peoples, women and youth to take an active role in restoration.
Celebrate a culture of restoration
Noting that reviving the environment does not lie just with governments, experts and practitioners alone, the UN maintained that it was also a cultural challenge. The UN Decade’s strategy has now called on artists, storytellers, producers, musicians and connectors to join the Generation Restoration initiative.
Building next generation
The UN Decade’s strategy makes a direct link between the wellbeing of youth and the goals of restoration. Education for restoration will turn today’s children into ecosystem ambassadors, provide skills for sustainable jobs and ensure that the UN Decade’s achievements far outlive its timeframe.