Climate leaders to map out U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration at GLF New York

3 Sep 2019
  • News media required to register by Sept. 23, due to venue security

NEW YORK – Climate, Indigenous and youth leaders, environmental activists and musicians will be among 700 delegates meeting to hash out vital restoration strategies at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in New York on Sept. 28, in preparation for the launch of the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

The decade will provide a framework for landscape conservation and restoration, a process critical for curbing global warming and meeting U.N. climate targets aimed at preventing post-industrial average temperatures from rising to 1.5 degrees Celsius or higher.

  • Global warming on land is occurring faster than over oceans, averaging 1.53 degrees Celsius, according to new data on land and climate released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • The IPCC report stoked fears of potentially catastrophic, irreversible climate events. It built on a 2018 report, which projected a slim 12-year window in which to address the causes of global warming.
  • Each year, about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions are released as a result of deforestation or agriculture-related land degradation.

While the average global temperature is key for U.N. climate targets, a much higher than average heating on land is projected to have profound effects on human systems.

“The U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration can be a turning point in humanity’s relation with nature, and the GLF meeting in New York will set the scene to prepare this,” said Tim Christophersen, coordinator of the decade at the U.N. Environment Programme, which jointly coordinates GLF with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the World Bank. “We expect discussions to pave the way for actions to protect our terrestrial ecosystems, biodiversity and livelihoods.”

GLF New York will follow the U.N. Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit, which will be held on Sept. 23 during the city’s Climate Week in the lead up to the official launch of the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration on World Environment Day 2021.

“We first launched the Global Landscapes Forum six years ago, urging the international community across all sectors to recognize the value of investing in sound landscape management to protect forests and the environment,” said Robert Nasi, CIFOR director general. “With the new U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, we’ll start to see these actions formalized. The public and political will are there, and the decade will offer a framework on which to implement worldwide change, serving as a bridge to move from concept to practical application.”

Delegates will work to demarcate the 2 billion hectares of land and water ecosystems – a footprint the size of South America – that must be restored to achieve environmental equilibrium. Discussions will delve into a range of ecosystems, including rainforests, dry forests, boreal forests, mountains, wetlands, oceans, peatlands, drylands, croplands and pastoral rangelands.

Delegates include: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Indigenous hip hop artist and youth director at conservation group Earth Guardians; Rocky Dawuni, Afro-roots artist and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for Africa; Inger Andersen, Head of UN Environment; Autumn Peltier, chief water commissioner for Anishinabek Nation, a political advocate for 40 First Nations in the province of Ontario in Canada; Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, chief executive of African Union Development Agency-NEPAD; Felix Finkbeiner, founder of Plant-for-the-Planet; Alexandria Villasenor, co-founder of US Youth Climate Strike and founder of Earth Uprising; Christiana Figueres, founding partner of Global Optimism; Theo de Jager, president of World Farmers’ Organisation; Mountain climbers and filmmakers Taylor Rees and Renan Ozturk; Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org; Rebekah Moses, senior manager of impact strategy at Impossible Foods; Lina Pohl, former El Salvador minister of environment; Yannick Glemarec, executive director of Green Climate Fund; Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and more.

  • Members of the press must register by Sept. 23, due to onsite security

Further information on GLF NYC

For further information, to attend or for interviews, please contact:

Julie Mollins

Communications

Global Landscapes Forum

j.mollins@cgiar.org by email

@jmollins on Twitter

juliemollins on Skype

** Remote interviews available

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) is the world’s largest knowledge-led platform on integrated land use, dedicated to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement. The Forum takes a holistic approach to create sustainable landscapes that are productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient and considers five cohesive themes of food and livelihood initiatives, landscape restoration, rights, finance and measuring progress.

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