Wetlands restoration as part of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration: unlocking the untapped potential of the Earth’s most valuable ecosystem

Wetlands restoration as part of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration: unlocking the untapped potential of the Earth’s most valuable ecosystem

4 juin 2021

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems, and restore them to achieve global goals. Only with healthy ecosystems, can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity.

The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.

The UN Decade starts officially on the 5th June 2021. The objectives of this initiative are: 
-    joining efforts to collaborate and successfully implement restoration initiatives across the world;
-    promoting a global movement focussing on ecosystems restoration;
-    developing legislative and policy frameworks to incentivise restoration;
-    developing innovative financing mechanisms to fund operations on the ground;
-    undertaking social and natural science research on restoration in terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine as well as marine environments;
-    monitoring global progress on restoration;
-    building the technical capacity of restoration practitioners globally.

Wetlands are vital for our survival. Yet, the world has lost 87% of its wetlands since 1700 — and they continue to disappear at an alarming rate, even today. The Convention on Wetlands recognizes that the restoration of the Earth’s wetlands must be a key priority for ensuring a sustainable future. It is thus a priority in the Convention´s Strategic Plan. The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 represents a distinct and timely opportunity for joining efforts and making meaningful headway worldwide in preventing, halting, and reversing the degradation of our planet’s wetlands.

On this occasion the Convention on Wetlands, as global partner of the UN Decade on Restoration, has produced three fact sheets to assist restoration efforts by Contracting Parties, policy makers and practitioners. The three factsheets are:
-    Wetlands restoration: unlocking the untapped potential of the Earth’s most valuable ecosystem
-    Realizing the full potential of marine and coastal wetlands: why their restoration matters
-    Restoring drained peatlands: now an environmental imperative

These materials highlight the critical role wetlands play in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.