Restoring Our Degraded Planet

By Tim Christophersen
NAIROBI, Jun 7 2019 (IPS)

On the 1st of March 2019, we saw one of the rare moments in
history when the entire world comes together and agrees on a joint
way forward. The United Nations General Assembly recognized the
urgent need to tackle the compounded crisis of climate change and
biodiversity loss, and passed a resolution to proclaim 2021-2030 as
the
UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
. With the aim to restore at
least 350 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2030 – an
area the size of India – the UN Decade is a loud and clear call
to action for all of us. And it is a great opportunity for the
UN-REDD Programme and its partner countries to build on 10 years
worth of relevant experience with safeguards, impactful policies
and measures, and attracting private and public
investments.

Tim Christophersen

It is high time that we bring more attention to the essential role
of nature for a peaceful, fair and prosperous future. Nature can
provide more than one third of the solution to climate change, but
nature-based solutions such as ecosystem restoration and forest
conservation currently receive less than 3 percent of climate
finance. Neglecting nature in our implementation of climate
solutions means we are also not doing enough to save biodiversity.
The double whammy of climate change and biodiversity loss has
impacts that go far beyond our economy. If we do not act now, the
very foundations of our culture, and our cohesion as a global
civilization could be at risk.

How can we turn the tide? While ecosystem restoration is not a
silver bullet for our current crisis, it is a useful approach to
shift the narrative, from despair to action. Restoration is about
active participation at all levels. The restoration of ecosystems
can at the same time restore a sense of community, and restore
dignity and hope to disadvantaged and marginalized communities
around the world. It can provide many young people with a new sense
of purpose and opportunity, and help vulnerable communities to
adapt to climate change.

To harness the full potential of this UN Decade, we need three
key changes, at global and national level:

Investments:
public funding needs to crowd more private sector investments into
restoration. For the 350 million hectare target, we need an
estimated 837 billion USD of public and private investments by
2030. This can be achieved through a mix of shifting subsidies and
other fiscal incentives, and public risk capital to attract private
investments.
Capacity: we need a huge cadre of young (or
young-at-heart) green entrepreneurs, who will need a combination of
skills on ecology, social transformation, and sound financial and
business sense. There are potentially millions of jobs world-wide,
if we can train and help these ‘eco-preneurs’ of the
future.
Government leadership: above all, we need
Governments to step up. They need to take over the baton now from
the citizens who are protesting for better climate protection, more
decent jobs, and more equality. There is already a ‘regreening
revolution’ underway across degraded landscapes and coastal areas
world-wide. But we need Governments to ensure this is going in the
right direction, by giving clear policy signals, and setting solid
strategies to integrate nature-based solutions into national
climate action and sustainable development pathways.

The restoration of ecosystems across the globe, at a significant
scale, has the potential to be a big part of the required joint
effort of humanity to turn the tide of environmental degradation.
We have risen to critical global challenges before, and we can do
it again.

The post Restoring
Our Degraded Planet
appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
Restoring Our Degraded Planet