Investments of USD 26 billion across 18 countries have brought 14 million hectares of degraded landscapes – an area about the size of Greece – under restoration, according to the Restoration Barometer report published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in December 2022.
The report highlights the various benefits these restoration efforts bring for conservation and sustainable development. Detailed case studies in the report – e.g. on Mozambique’s National Mangrove Strategy, satellite use in Guatemala and endangered species protection in Mexico – also reveal that through restoration efforts in these 18 countries, twelve million jobs were created and over 145 million tonnes of carbon were sequestered in 2022.
Endorsed by more than 50 governments, the Restoration Barometer was developed by IUCN with the support of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection. The tool is used by governments to track restoration and its benefits across all terrestrial ecosystems, including coastal and inland waters, and to report on their commitments against global frameworks such as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the Bonn Challenge, the Paris Agreement or 1t.org.
Using the Restoration Barometer tool, countries record their restoration policies, modes of planning, monitoring systems and funding structures that make their efforts possible and ensure they will continue. They can then track the sizes of the areas under restoration, plus the corresponding climate, biodiversity and socio-economic benefits that result from the restoration programmes being implemented.
Next year, the Barometer will be further extended to include restoration efforts in kelp, seagrasses and shallow reefs, allowing users to report from ridge to reef. Looking ahead, the Restoration Barometer will also be made available for use by companies seeking to set and track restoration targets; 34 companies are currently piloting the tool in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and 1t.org. Next year, this new application will go live on the Restoration Barometer website, opening up opportunities for the private sector to transparently monitor company-wide restoration commitments.