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Saturday, August 24, 2019
NAIROBI, Jun 7 2019 (IPS) - On the 1st of March 2019, we saw one of the rare moments in history when the entire world comes together and agrees on a joint way forward. The United Nations General Assembly recognized the urgent need to tackle the compounded crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss, and passed a resolution to proclaim 2021-2030 as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. With the aim to restore at least 350 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2030 – an area the size of India – the UN Decade is a loud and clear call to action for all of us. And it is a great opportunity for the UN-REDD Programme and its partner countries to build on 10 years worth of relevant experience with safeguards, impactful policies and measures, and attracting private and public investments.
How can we turn the tide? While ecosystem restoration is not a silver bullet for our current crisis, it is a useful approach to shift the narrative, from despair to action. Restoration is about active participation at all levels. The restoration of ecosystems can at the same time restore a sense of community, and restore dignity and hope to disadvantaged and marginalized communities around the world. It can provide many young people with a new sense of purpose and opportunity, and help vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change.
To harness the full potential of this UN Decade, we need three key changes, at global and national level:
The restoration of ecosystems across the globe, at a significant scale, has the potential to be a big part of the required joint effort of humanity to turn the tide of environmental degradation. We have risen to critical global challenges before, and we can do it again.
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