by Alistair Jones
Just recently, on March 1st, the United Nations declared 2021-2030 the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. This implementation offers an unparalleled opportunity for job creation, food security and aggressively mitigating climate change.
Many of the world’s ecosystems have undergone significant degradation with negative impacts on biological diversity and people’s’ livelihoods. Through ecosystem restoration, oceans, lakes, rivers, forests, and other landscapes can improve their productivity and capacity. This restoration could remove as much as 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and generate trillions of dollars in the form of ecosystem services. (UN Environment). El Salvador’s President initially proposed the idea of pooling global resources and dedicate a decade initiating restoration of more than 2 billion hectares of degraded land. (Mollins) This commitment is to ensure an increase in food security, water supply as well as protecting diminishing biodiversity.
However, this needs to be a well thought out frontline attempt to combat climate change. Lina Pohl, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of El Salvador, “we need to promote an aggressive restoration program that builds resilience, reduces vulnerability and increases the ability of systems to adapt to daily threats and extreme events” (UN Environment).
This effort even plans to assist ongoing efforts of restoration such as Initiative 20×20 in Latin American, and the AFR100 Restoration Initiative. As a technical partner of Initiative 20X20, we at Rainforest Partnership are eager to see the advancement of ecosystem restoration.
Our partner community of San Antonio in Peru has taken the first steps of regenerating degraded areas of their rainforest. In the past year, they have started an Ulcumano tree nursery by collecting Ulcumano seeds in the cloud forest and planting them. The goal is to plant the trees in open areas that are missing vegetation cover, and to integrate the trees with their existing coffee plantation to create a productive, biodiverse agroforestry system.
Rainforest Partnership and our partner communities are excited for what is to come. We can further develop sustainable livelihoods and expand sustainable land management practices in the Amazon rainforest. Through restoration, we can reverse the trend of deforestation and create a brighter future for all of us.
Shoer, Rebecca. “ UN Declares Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.” UN Declares Decade of Ecosystem Restoration – Society for Ecological Restoration, The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER), 1 Mar. 2019, www.ser.org/news/440363/UN-Declares-Decade-of-Ecosystem-Restoration.htm.
UN Environment. “New UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Offers Unparalleled Opportunity for Job Creation, Food Security and Addressing Climate Change.” UN Environment, 1 Mar. 2019, www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/new-un-decade-ecosystem-restoration-offers-unparalleled-opportunity.
Mollins, Julie. “Momentum for U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Grows Ahead of Nairobi GLF.” Landscape News, 2 July 2018, news.globallandscapesforum.org/27959/momentum-for-u-n-decade-of-ecosystem-restoration-grows-ahead-of-nairobi-glf/.