UN proclaims 2021-2030 as Decade of Ecosystem Restoration

Nosara, Guanacaste in Costa Rica; Photo ©REDD+ Landscape, GIZ/Sergio Pucci

Nosara, Guanacaste in Costa Rica; Photo ©REDD+ Landscape, GIZ/Sergio Pucci

At its meeting on March 1, 2019, the United Nations General Assembly, reacting to an initiative by El Salvador, declared the coming decade 2021-2030 to be the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. The initiative was supported by the Central American Environment and Development Commission CCAD and its member countries, as well as by declarations from the Latin American and African conferences of environment ministers.

Environment Minister Linda Pohl at the UN General Assembly; Photo: ©United NationsThe goal of the UN Decade is the restoration of degraded or destroyed ecosystems as a contribution to the goals of the three UN conventions on climate change, biodiversity and desertification and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This UN Decade is intended to provide a framework for the further development of existing international initiatives such as the Bonn Challenge, the 20 by 20 Initiative, the AFR100 and the UN New York Declaration on Forests and also to strengthen the synergies of these initiatives.

By restoring degraded ecosystems, important ecosystem services such as carbon storage and water balance regulation will be preserved and the resilience of ecosystem-dependent populations to climate change will be strengthened. This can be achieved through different measures, such as natural regeneration, afforestation and the promotion of adapted agroforestry systems - and this is an approach which contributes to the achievement of various global goals, e.g. the conservation of biodiversity, a sustainable water supply, protection against climate risks and food security.

Tree nursery in El Salvador; Photo: ©REDD+ Landscape, GIZ/Javier KafieSince 2018, the initiative for the UN Decade of the Salvadoran Ministry of the Environment MARN and CCAD has also been supported within the framework of the IKI project, 'Reconstruction of Forest Landscapes in Central America and the Dominican Republic and the Implementation of the Green Development Fund for Central America (REDD+ Landscape II)'. The project is jointly financed by the German Environment Ministry and the European Union. The 'Green Development Fund', integrated into the project, finances the restoration of ecosystems in six Central American countries as a regional mechanism for implementing the goals of the UN Decade and strengthens the region in its pioneering role.