UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration was launched on 5th June 2021. A report called ‘Ecosystem Restoration for People, Nature and Climate’ was jointly released by The United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) & Food and Agriculture Organisation of UN (FAO) on this occasion.
- The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 2021-2030 as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration on March 1, 2019.
- It was proposed by El Salvador and was supported by over 70 countries.
- UNEP and FAO are tasked to lead the implementation.
Need of the Initiative
- There has never been a more urgent need to restore damaged ecosystems than now.
- Between 20 and 50 percent of global blue carbon ecosystems (highly productive vegetated coastal ecosystem such as mangroves, salt marshes etc.) have already been converted or degraded.
- Around 1/3rd of the world’s farmland is degraded, about 87% of inland wetlands worldwide have disappeared since 1700. Degradation is already affecting well-being of an estimated 3.2 billion people-40% of the world population.
- Therefore, without a powerful 10-year drive for restoration, neither Paris Agreement nor Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved.
- Restoration can also curb the risk of mass species extinctions and future pandemics.
Objectives of the Decade Programme
- Half of the world’s GDP is dependent on nature, and every dollar invested in restoration creates up to USD 30 dollars in economic benefit.
- Food security, keeping global temperature below 2°C of the pre-industrialised era, realizing sustainable development goals by 2030 etc. all depend on restoring and halting degradation of the ecosystem.
- Only International cooperation can help countries to realize their pledges of restoring 1 billion hectare land area.
- It is imperative that from government and businesses to civil society groups and individuals all come together to realize the decade of restoration.
@ Kameshwar Shukla