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UN Launches Decade On Ecosystem Restoration To Counter ‘Triple Environmental Emergency’


Heads of Government, religious leaders, activists
and artists joined the United Nations on Friday in a
rallying cry to heal the planet, launching the
UN
Decade on Ecosystem
Restoration
.

It calls
for stepping up efforts to prevent, halt and reverse
degradation of areas such as grasslands, forests, oceans and
mountains, essential to all life on Earth.

Reaching
‘point of no return’

With humanity facing a
“triple environmental emergency” of biodiversity loss,
climate disruption and escalating pollution, now is the time
to act, UN Secretary-General António
Guterres
said in a video message for the online virtual
gala.

“We are reaching the point of no return for
the planet,” he warned.

“We are ravaging the very
ecosystems that underpin our societies, and in doing so, we
risk depriving ourselves of the food, water and resources we
need to survive.”

The UN Decade
runs through 2030, which is the timeline scientists have
identified as humanity’s last chance to prevent
catastrophic climate change.

A role for
everyone

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) are
co-leading this global movement to re-imagine, recreate and
restore ecosystems, which is crucial particularly as
countries strive to emerge from the COVID-19
pandemic.

Inger Andersen, the UNEP Executive Director,
said Governments must ensure their stimulus packages
contribute to recovery that is sustainable and
equitable.

“Businesses and the financial sector must
reform operations and financial flows so that they restore
and not destroy the natural world”, she
added.

Recent research from the UN agency and partners
revealed that investments in nature-based solutions will
have to triple
by 2030
to counter the climate, biodiversity and land
degradation crises.

Ms. Andersen also highlighted a
to-do list for individuals and consumers: “Re-think your
choices, demand deforestation-free products, vote for
sustainability in the polling booth, and raise your voice
loud and clear.”

Against ‘business as
usual’

As the world moves to recover from the
pandemic, healthy ecosystems are more vital than ever,
according to the FAO Director-General, Qu Dongyu.

With
pressure on the planet’s natural resources increasing,
undermining the well-being of 3.2 billion people, or roughly
40 per cent of the global population, he stressed that
“business as usual is not an option.

“We need to
prevent this and reverse the degradation of ecosystems
worldwide, including farmland and forests, our rivers and
oceans”, said Mr Qu.

“More efficiency and
inclusive, resilient AgriFood systems can help restore
ecosystems and safeguard sustainable food production,
leaving no one behind,” he added, echoing the promise of
the Sustainable
Development Goals
(SDGs) which, like the UN Decade, have
a deadline of
2030.

© Scoop Media

 



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