Non-Aligned Movement has stressed on the need to protect biological diversity. The Final Outcome Document of the 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement held at Baku stated that “we live in a planet with limited resources and intense human activities, in particular, unsustainable patterns of production and consumption especially in developed countries, are affecting the functioning of Earth’s systems.” In this regard, NAM expressed that the land, forests, rivers, wetlands, sea, biodiversity, atmosphere, glaciers and other components are vital parts of those systems that need to be preserved, and regenerated to maintain the balance of life.
NAM has welcomed General Assembly resolution 73/284 entitled “United Nations Decade on Ecosystems Restoration (2021-2030)”, with the aim of supporting and scaling up efforts to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide and raise awareness on the importance of successful ecosystem restoration. Ecosystem restoration is defined as a process of reversing the degradation of ecosystems, such as landscapes, lakes and oceans to regain their ecological functionality; in other words, to improve the productivity and capacity of ecosystems to meet the needs of society.
This can be done by allowing the natural regeneration of overexploited ecosystems, for example, or by planting trees and other plants. The Decade, a global call to action, will draw together political support, scientific research and financial muscle to massively scale up restoration from successful pilot initiatives to areas of millions of hectares. Research shows that more than two billion hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded landscapes offer potential for restoration.
The text of the Resolution was introduced by Lina Dolores Pohl Alfaro, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, El Salvador. Noting that ecosystem degradation affects 3.2 billion vulnerable people in the world, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America, she explained that the resolution aims to serve as a framework for action and to “revitalize” existing environment-related international agreements and commitments. Such international agreements and commitments include, for instance: the Bonn Challenge, which aims to restore 350 million hectares of degraded ecosystems by 2030; the Initiative 20×20 in Latin America, which aims to restore 20 million hectares of degraded land by 2020; and the AFR100 African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative, which aims to bring 100 million hectares of degraded land under restoration by 2030. Currently 57 countries, subnational governments, and private organizations have committed to bring over 170 million hectares under restoration.
Resolution 73/284 encourages Member States to foster political will, the mobilization of resources, capacity-building, scientific research and cooperation and momentum for ecosystem restoration at the global, regional, national and local levels, as appropriate; mainstream ecosystem restoration into policies and plans to address current national development priorities and challenges due to the degradation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, biodiversity loss and climate change vulnerability, thereby creating opportunities for ecosystems to increase their adaptive capacity and opportunities to maintain and improve livelihoods for all, develop and implement policies and plans to prevent ecosystem degradation, in line with national laws and priorities, as appropriate, build on and reinforce existing restoration initiatives in order to scale up good practices, facilitate synergies and a holistic view of how to achieve international commitments and national priorities through the restoration of ecosystems and to promote the sharing of experiences and good practices in ecosystem conservation and restoration.
The Work planned for 2021–2030 will contribute to achieving targets set by international conventions and agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2020 and Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Land Degradation Neutrality, the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) target setting programme, the Ramsar Convention, the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), the Global Restoration Council and the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017– 2030.
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