The 2021 UN Environment Programme report, entitled “Becoming #GenerationRestoration: Ecosystem Restoration for People, Nature and Climate” was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in June 2021, synthesises evidence of the state of degradation of the world’s ecosystems and details the economic, environmental and social rewards that restoration can bring. It also highlights the overexploitation of natural resources and why ecosystem restoration is so important.
The report presents the case for why we all must throw our weight behind a global restoration effort. Drawing on the latest scientific evidence, it explains the crucial role played by ecosystems from forests and farmland to rivers and oceans, and charts the losses that result from our poor stewardship of the planet.
The UNEP report highlights the overexploitation of the natural resources, which is embedded in economies and governance systems. Not only does overexploitation threaten all life forms of our planet, but it also jeopardises the wellbeing of future generations. To avert this, the report says, countries need to restore one billion hectares of degraded land and make similar commitments for marine and coastal areas.
The restoration of our ecosystem is difficult but it will be one, if not the, most important way of delivering nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation, food insecurity and the biodiversity loss. The report indicates that we unfortunately are still going in the wrong direction since massive economic growth comes at the cost of ecological health. It stresses that because of this, we have to take quick action and that here everyone has a role to play.
(UNEP/ FAO/ Lu)