UN declares decade of ecosystem restoration

On March 1st 2019 the general assembly of the United Nations agreed on a decade of ecosystem restoration for 2021-2030. This decision is a call to action to the international community. It further underlines the importance of current initiatives to restore fragmented ecosystems all over the world.

Current state of ecosystems worldwide needs this initiative

Jochen Flasbarth, secretary of state for the environment of the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety, welcomes the decision.

The decision to proclaim a decade of ecosystem restoration comes exactly at the right moment: after a century of massive nature and environmental destruction, a decade of restoration is necessary.

Jochen Flasbarth
Secretary of state for the environment of the German ministry for environment, nature protection and nuclear safety

He further says that of all marine and terrestrial ecosystems, particularly forests are in an alarming condition. This decade of ecosystem restoration offers the framework to connect and bundle up initiatives and efforts to tackle the issue of ecosystem fragmentation. Already existing initiatives, like the Bonn Challenge for restoring forest landscapes, could get another boost to reach their ambitious goals till 2030. On behalf of his Ministry, he fully supports the UN’s decade of ecosystem restoration.

Tackling ecosystem fragementation urgently needed

The last years offer many examples on how far-reaching the effects of human-made habitat and ecosystem fragmentations are. Intensified agriculture and forestry, or the outwards expansion of urban areas, offer little space for nature to adapt to changes. No matter what though, nature will adapt, the only slow factor that remains is society. The troubles arising from this, however, are rarely connected to our human-made landscape alterations. From intensive forest fires of spruce mono-cultures in Northern Germany to rising numbers of human-wildlife conflicts. To enable a working relationship with nature we have to stop controlling and altering and start giving back.

A decision like this one from the United Nations is of great importance, because it underlines the importance of unfragmented and restored ecosystems. The next step would be to include this decision into international and national action plans. This way the initiative would be backed up by legal frameworks and sufficient funding to be implemented properly.

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