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Post at: Aug 16 2021

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Recent Context

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.

Background

  • 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

Way Forward

  • 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


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