The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is an urgent call for the large-scale revival of nature in farmlands, forests and other ecosystems. We must restore ecosystems to tackle climate change, save species from extinction and secure our future.
Restoring ecosystems will bring massive benefits for people and nature and climate:
Climate Mitigation: Restoring forests, peatlands and mangroves can provide over one-third of the greenhouse gas mitigation needed by 2030.
Biodiversity: By halting and reversing the degradation of lands and oceans, we can prevent the loss of 1 million endangered species. Restoring 15% of converted lands in priority areas could avoid 60% of expected species extinctions.
Food Security: Restoration through planting trees on farmland could increase food security for 1.3 billion people.
Economy: Half of the world’s GDP is dependent on nature and halting the decline of ecosystem services could prevent losses of $10 trillion in global income by 2050.
Water Supplies: Forest restoration and better farm practices could cut the pollution of water supplies for 81% of cities globally.
Health: Restoring green and blue spaces cut risks from pollution and heat while boosting mental and physical well-being for billions of people.
Climate Adaptation: Ecosystem restoration can play an important role in people’s adaptation to climate change by increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to extreme events
Security: Restoring degraded ecosystems reduces the pressure on resources, helping to prevent conflicts and migration in the long term- between 50 and 700 million people are predicted to migrate by 2050.
Governments must deliver on a commitment to restore and rewild at least 1bn hectares of land by 2030 (an area the size of China). The world needs to quadruple its annual investment in nature if the climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises are to be tackled by the middle of the century.
We need action and the commitment of resources to make it happen. We will only succeed if everyone plays a part.