UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
On March 4, 2019, the United Nations recognized the critical role of ecosystem restoration as a tool for improving environmental conditions and enhancing human communities by designating 2021-2030 the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
At the 7th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in September 2017, SER and partners issued a Call to Action, outlining the challenges and opportunities of ecological restoration, as well as the urgent need to revitalize and reinforce the essential links between nature and human society: “Only by communicating openly, guaranteeing the integrity of science, and incorporating all stakeholders into the process can we ensure that ecological restoration conserves biodiversity, addresses climate change, and improves human well-being around the world.” Today’s declaration is an important step in this direction.
Global habitat degradation threatens the well-being of billions of people and results in catastrophic reductions of ecosystem services. The UN announcement makes the promise of restoration clear: “Restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded land between now and 2030 could generate USD 9 trillion in ecosystem services and take an additional 13-26 gigatons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.”
“The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is both urgently needed and globally appreciated,” said George Gann, SER International Policy Lead. “Achieving the goals of this new UN Decade will require continued enthusiasm and funding for this work, as well as a common understanding of how to design and implement successful restoration projects that proactively and collaboratively engage local communities. SER’s International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration are just such a tool and can help ensure that the money and time invested in restoration projects is well spent and effective.”