The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Program (AP), they added, the request to restore at least one billion hectares of degraded land by 2030 must also be matched by a similar commitment to the oceans, otherwise they risk a growing threat to global food security.
Some 420 million hectares of forest have been lost since the 1990s, the UN report notes, and member states “are not on track” to deliver on their commitments to increase the total amount of forest by three percent by. 2030, said Mette Wilkie, director of the FAOThe Department of Forestry.
“Conservation efforts alone will be insufficient to prevent large-scale ecosystem collapse and biodiversity loss,” FAO and AP maintained, before stressing the need for countries to “reprogram” their post-COVID-19 recovery and move from massive subsidies to high-carbon sectors such as fossil fuels.
“It is no longer enough just to protect what we have, we must go further and restore, not only to stop the loss of biodiversity, but also to meet the Paris Agreementclimate goals, “said Tim Christophersen, head of the Nature for Climate Branch, UNEP Ecosystems Division, referring to the 2015 summit, where countries pledged to limit the rise in global mean temperature to well below of two degrees Celsius with respect to the pre-industrial level and preferably 1.5 ° C.
“If we do it at the necessary scale, we will have benefits far beyond climate change and biodiversity… for food security, for health, for clean water, for jobs. Restoration can benefit all of these Sustainable Development Goals“, He explained.
Ecosystems – from forests and farmland to rivers, oceans and coastal areas – offer natural protection from the triple threat of climate change, nature loss and pollution, but “mismanagement of the planet” threatens the well-being of future generations , the agencies warned.
Places that need the most attention include agricultural land and forests, grasslands and savannas, mountains, bogs, urban areas, fresh waters and oceans, FAO and UNEP insisted, adding that communities living on nearly two billion hectares of degraded land include some of the poorest and most marginalized in the world.
Launching the joint UN report, UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen and FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu urged all countries to engage in a “global restoration effort” to protect and promote natural spaces, as this will bring cleaner air and water, mitigate extreme weather shocks, promote human health and biodiversity, the benefits of which include better plant pollination.
“The degradation is already compromising the well-being of some 3.2 billion people, or 40% of the world population,” said Ms. Andersen and Mr. Dongyu. “Every year we lose ecosystem services worth more than 10 percent. Percent of our global economic output,” but “massive gains” are possible if these trends can be reversed, they added.
It takes $ 200 billion a year
To achieve the land restoration goals by 2030, UNEP and FAO estimate that investments of at least $ 200 billion per year will be needed by 2030. Among the concerns about the source of this funding, the United Nations report noted that every dollar invested in restoration should create up to 30 times that amount in economic benefits.
While the need to restore the land is urgent, as recognized by a United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 sponsored by the UN General Assembly, the protection of coasts and the sea is even more important to the well-being of all, the United Nations agencies insisted.
“We are talking about two thirds of ocean ecosystems that are damaged, degraded and modified, and when you consider that the planet is 70% ocean, this is a huge amount, including plastic pollution which is so ubiquitous that it is very difficult to avoid. plastic. – even in the fish we catch and eat, “said Christophersen from UNEP.