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The UN urges actions to restore ecosystems and IUCN is ready to take on the challenge

Joining efforts to one of the main objectives of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021 2030), forest restoration.

The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) was adopted in March of this year to respond to one of the main concerns of the United Nations (UN): the restoration of degraded ecosystems. The agreement, backed by more than 70 sponsors, seeks to urge states and civil society organizations to generate actions that contribute to recovering the ecological functionality of lakes, seas, forests and many other ecosystems that are currently not in a position to meet the needs of society. Good news: IUCN is ready to take on the challenge.

“We need to promote an aggressive restoration program that builds resilience, reduces vulnerability and increases the capacity of systems to adapt to daily threats and extreme events” - Minister Lina Pohl, El Salvador

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In this sense, one of the main tasks is the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR): a process by which ecological functionality is recovered and human well-being is improved in degraded and deforested areas. The FLR represents a critical piece of this ecosystem rehabilitation puzzle, as it is estimated that around 500 million hectares of these ecosystems show potential to be restored. Take into account that restoring only 350 million hectares of degraded spaces from now until 2030 could generate 9 trillion dollars in ecosystem services and eliminate large amounts of greenhouse gases from our atmosphere.

Forest restoration is considered to contribute to: 

  • Improve livelihoods, food and water security 
  • Support climate mitigation and adaptation.
  • Give species biodiversity an opportunity for a better future. 

Therefore, IUCN is working with six countries on a pilot program to verify the implementation of the Bonn Challenge, a recognized global objective of forest landscape restoration that is in line with another major challenge posed by the United Nations to humanity: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

El Salvador, one of the countries involved in the IUCN project, has already committed and is moving towards recovering 1 million hectares of forests (an area equivalent to half of its territory). The achievements of this Central American nation, in accordance with SDG 15 and 17, represent an example of the positive impact of the restoration of degraded forests and serve as inspiration for other countries to consider making similar commitments.

 

Written by: Norberto J. Méndez

Style & format: Lila García

Translation: Antonieta Parilli

Provita Dec 05, 2019

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