Rangelands are one of the biggest ecosystems in the world, with an estimated 500 million pastoralists alone who depend on them. Photo: ILRI

Putting drylands and rangelands on the agenda of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Blog post

On 1st March this year, the UN General Assembly announced the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. This upcoming decade offers a window of opportunity to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems as a means to combat climate change, raise food security and ensure water supply and biodiversity conservation.

The next 2 years are devoted to helping define the vision and actions of what Bill McKibben, author and founder of the climate change grassroots movement, describes as “the most important decade of the century”. Some of the critical tasks ahead include charting a road map, forging partnerships, aligning objectives, sharing and learning best practices, identifying funding opportunities and activating governments, private sector, youth and other key stakeholders.

As part of that effort, the Global Landscapes Forum is holding a 1-day special event on 28 September in New York entitled Restore the Earth. UN and international agencies, foundations, research organizations, indigenous leaders, private sector, policy makers and global experts will gather to raise awareness on the Decade, to define the key land and seascapes and to launch the global movement that aims to restore up to 2 billion hectares of degraded ecosystems through nature-based solutions.

The drylands and rangelands session is being hosted by the International Land Coalition (ILC) Rangelands Initiative, with co-sponsorship from the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock, as part of its ongoing research work on rangelands and pastoralism. The session will be led by Fiona Flintan, senior scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute and lead of the ILC Rangelands Initiative Global, together with Daisy Hessenberger, from the Global Ecosystem Management Programme (EMP) at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The challenges threatening drylands and rangelands, and solutions for their restoration will be discussed, along with the urgent need to fill data gaps surrounding these ecosystems. Speakers from Mongolia, Cameroon and Argentina will take the audience on a journey to three countries to demonstrate some innovations that land users are implementing to protect the natural productivity of the ecosystems upon which they depend.

Paola Agostini, Lead Natural Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank, will wrap up the session with remarks on some of the ways forward for drylands and rangelands restoration.

It’s not too late to be a part of this grassroots event to help restore degraded ecosystems across the world. You can tune into the live digital edition of the event for free by registering here.

Catch our tweets on the event on Twitter @CGIAR_Livestock

Learn more about drylands and rangelands: