The UN Decade on Ecosystem restoration kicks off on June 5, on World Environment Day. As one of a growing number of member organisations, we at Ecosulis – one of the UK’s leading rewilding-focused consultancies – are excited about the opportunities it offers to both governments and landowners. The ten-point strategy for the UN Decade is bold: designed to empower a movement (#GenerationRestoration) through incentives, financing practical restoration initiatives, investing in research, and showcasing rewilding success.
By “celebrating leadership and encouraging others to step up”, the UN hopes to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. The initiative aims to raise awareness of restoration opportunities around the world, targeting a diverse assortment of partners: governments; NGOs; organisations such as Ecosulis; scientists; funding bodies; corporations; landowners and marginalised groups most at risk from climate change. This wide, multi-stakeholder approach is essential if we are to effectively address the huge environmental challenges that we now face. As the UN points out, this strategy will only succeed if everyone plays a part.
A rapidly growing number of global member organisations, including Ecosulis, have signed up to be part of the UN Decade. Many have scheduled events, with a range of symposiums, investment summits and discussion forums now on offer to the wider restoration community through the UN’s online portal. These events will help to promote collaboration, cross-pollination and big picture thinking.
At Ecosulis, we are looking forward to building on the opportunities for partnership and collaboration that the UN Decade could generate – indeed, it has the potential to bring about transformative change by providing governments with access to an extensive network of experienced restoration organisations and a deep pool of best practice expertise. By connecting existing global initiatives, such as the Bonn Challenge, which has seen 60 countries commit to restore 350 million hectares of forest landscapes, the UN hopes to promote and accelerate restoration.
Delivering nature-based solutions
All eyes are now on the Cop 26 Climate Summit; the Glasgow-based event in November will see a wide range of stakeholders promote nature-based solutions for challenges around climate change adaptation and mitigation. In the UK, and across the world, it has already been proven that rewilding at scale could provide effective flood mitigation, carbon capture and carbon offsetting solutions.
At Ecosulis, we understand the beneficial impact that such solutions can have, having worked in the rewilding and restoration space for over 30 years. As the UN Decade kicks off, we are already scaling up those benefits as we expand our reach and diversify our clientele. As we work alongside landowners and local authorities, this means articulating the ecological and economic rationale for rewilding in a clear and compelling way. Rewilding provides viable alternatives to traditional farming and land management practices by enabling new ways of generating revenue – however, awareness of its huge potential now needs to be amplified.
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