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Celebrating the first Earth Day within the UN Decade on Restoration

22 / Apr / 2022Events

Celebrating the first Earth Day within the UN Decade on Restoration

By restoring damaged ecosystems, we can halt and reverse Earth’s biggest environmental and societal challenges.

Earth is clearly suffering the consequences of a growing human population that has for decades neglected the signs of ecological disturbances and degradation. Pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss are the main crises affecting the environment as a response to an unsustainable management of natural resources. This Earth Day highlights the need to reverse the damage and protect our health and our livelihoods, thus it is imperative to adopt a holistic perspective that takes into consideration not only the environmental aspects but the socio-economical components as well.

The ecosystem approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. It recognizes that humans, with their cultural diversity, are an integral component of ecosystems. The well-being of people all over the world depends on healthy ecosystems to provide goods, like food and water, and services like climate regulation and protection from natural hazards.

The IUCN Ecosystem Management Programme, through four key programmatic areas, works with governments and local communities to develop and implement Ecosystem-based policies and actions to achieve long-term disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Also addressing the information gaps and capacity needs for the sound management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems, with the development of tools such as the Red List of Ecosystems

Given the environmental crisis that our planet is going through, the RLE framework turns out to be a very relevant method to:

  • better understand the dynamics and processes of ecosystems,

  • identify which ecosystems are healthy and which are at risk of collapsing,

  • identify the main threats and possible ways to mitigate or eliminate their impact,

  • monitor the impact of conservation measures, in order to identify the most effective and efficient ones.

The development of the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology the first-ever comprehensive classification framework for classifying and mapping all Earth’s ecosystems, also constitutes a key tool for the sustainable management of nature. This typology allows more coordinated and effective approaches to identify which types of forests, reefs and wetlands are most critical to biodiversity conservation and supply of ecosystem services, as well as those at great risk of collapse.

The conservation and management of ecosystems has never been more central to the future of biodiversity and human well-being on Earth. The CBD post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and the UN Sustainable Development Goals mandate global action that depends directly or indirectly on ecosystem assessment. Knowing the status of ecosystems will inform where and how we can act to restore the natural balance and secure our future.


Written by: Susana Barreto




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