The objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are ending poverty, conserving biodiversity, combating climate change and improving livelihoods for everyone, everywhere. These objectives are unlikely to be met unless ecosystem degradation is stopped and ecosystem restoration is undertaken at the immense scale of hundreds of millions of hectares globally.
Currently, there is insufficient political support and technical capacity in both the public and private sectors to invest in the many hundreds of thousands of ecosystem restoration initiatives worldwide that are needed to achieve restoration at such a scale. Not only would such an investment contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, but it would also yield considerable economic returns. Based on data from a wide range of ecosystems, for every dollar spent on restoration, at least nine dollars of economic benefits can be expected. The UN Member States decided to implement a Decade on Ecosystem Restoration to realise these benefits and to ensure that healthy ecosystems play a critical role towards achieving the SDGs by 2030. It will do so by supporting and inspiring governments, NGOs, civil society, children and youth, private sector companies, indigenous peoples, local communities and individuals globally to collaborate and develop the appropriate skillsets for catalysing and successfully implementing restoration initiatives across the world.
The support will include: constructing a digital hub for sharing knowledge and starting a global movement focussing on restoration; developing legislative and policy frameworks to incentivise restoration; developing innovative financing mechanisms to fund operations on the ground; detailing a new ethical imperative to conserve, restore and care for nature; undertaking scientific research on restoration in terrestrial as well as marine environments; and building the technical capacity of restoration practitioners globally.