To launch the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, UNEP has released this synthesis report as a call to action for anyone and everyone to join the #GenerationRestoration movement to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide.
Becoming #GenerationRestoration: Ecosystem Restoration for People, Nature and Climate synthesizes evidence of the state of degradation of the world’s ecosystems and details the economic, environmental and social rewards that restoration can bring. The report shows that, far from being a ‘nice to have’, ecosystem restoration is needed on a large scale in order to achieve the sustainable development agenda. Over-exploitation of natural resources is embedded in economies and governance systems, and the resulting degradation is undermining hard-won development gains and threatening the well-being of future generations.
Countries need to deliver on their existing commitments to restore 1 billion hectares of degraded land and make similar commitments for marine and coastal areas. Ecosystem restoration is one of the most important ways of delivering nature-based solutions for food insecurity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity loss. It won’t be quick or easy, and it will take deep changes to everything from the way we measure economic progress to how we grow food and what we eat. But the beauty of ecosystem restoration is that it can happen at any scale – and everyone has a role to play.
Facing the triple threat of climate change, loss of nature and pollution, the world must deliver on its commitment to restore at least one billion degraded hectares of land in the next decade – an area about the size of China.
Restoration is key to the prosperity and well-being of people. Vibrant ecosystems provide benefits from food and water to health and security that our growing population needs today and will need in the future.