Deserted land in Sana'a - Alhasbah, Yemen, 2018.
Photo: ©FAO/Soliman Ahmed

11.03.2019

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The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems as a proven measure to fight the climate crisis and enhance food security, water supply and biodiversity.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2021–2030 the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration in early March 2019. Ecosystem restoration is defined as a process of reversing the degradation of ecosystems, such as landscapes, lakes and oceans, to regain their ecological functionality; in other words, to improve the productivity and capacity of ecosystems to meet the needs of society. This can be done by allowing the natural regeneration of overexploited ecosystems, for example, or by planting trees and other plants.

The Decade aims to draw together political support, scientific research and financial muscle to massively scale up restoration from successful pilot initiatives to areas of millions of hectares. Research shows that more than two billion hectares of the world's deforested and degraded landscapes offer potential for restoration.

The degradation of land and marine ecosystems undermines the well-being of 3.2 billion people and costs about 10 per cent of the annual global gross product in loss of species and ecosystems services.

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