Best of Landscape News 2019: Restoration

Our pick of this year’s top stories

2019 was a landmark year for both international and corporate commitments to restoration, as the U.N. adopted the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which will run from 2021 to 2030, and fresh momentum has been built toward promoting investments in sustainable land use. At the local and regional levels, too, Indigenous peoples and local communities have taken restoration into their own hands as both a means of subsistence and as a bulwark against the climate crisis. This week, we take a look back at the top Landscape News stories on restoration from 2019.

The Everglades, forever more

In the U.S. state of Florida, the story of how a half-century of wetland dredging and diking was reversed in one of the world’s most ambitious restoration projects.

Cyprus trees at sunset in the Everglades. G.Gardner, NPSphoto
G.Gardner, NPSphoto

Landscapes 101: Get briefed on our planet’s ecosystems

What exactly are peatlands and rangelands? A series of primers on planet’s major ecosystems, the challenges they face, and why they matter.

Patagonia, Chile
Deensel, Flickr

How to turn your backyard into a carbon sink

Landscapes meet landscaping in this DIY guide to replacing a manicured lawn with a thriving ecosystem in your own back garden.

Fruit grown in a backyard
Vera Sayão, Flickr

Molly Burhans on how to reduce the separation of church and Earth

Catholic cartographer Molly Burhans explains how she uses digital mapping to help the Church expand its conservation efforts.

Molly Burhans
Courtesy of Molly Burhans

Here stands the Great Green Wall

An in-depth look at the progress and holdbacks of Africa’s Great Green Wall, another one of history’s most ambitious restoration efforts.

A lone tree stands in the Sahara, whose encroachment on the Sahel has led to the desertification of lands and inspired the Great Green Wall. orientalizing, Flickr
orientalizing, Flickr

The take-off of the drone in conservation

How drone technology is being increasingly used to detect illegal poaching and logging, calculate carbon storage and even plant seeds from the air.

Drones are increasingly becoming an alternative to satellites for remote sensing mapping landscapes, as well as tool for monitoring and seed-planting. Courtesy of OpenForests
Courtesy of OpenForests

It takes a village to restore Africa’s degraded land

A journey to the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where local communities are working together with international NGOs to restore degraded lands.

The community of Litoy in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ahtziri Gonzalez, CIFOR
Ahtziri Gonzalez, CIFOR

U.N. declares 2021 to 2030 ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’

Arguably the biggest news of the year for restoration, as the U.N. General Assembly commits to mobilizing resources for restoring the planet’s degraded landscapes.

Ollivier Girard, CIFOR

New U.N. decade to combat the ‘era’ of climate change, with optimism

El Salvador’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Lina Pohl gives the inside line on how the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration came to be.

El Salvador's Lina Pohl
Pilar Valbuena, GLF

Urban wetlands: Now coming to a city near you

From flood protection to drinking water, wetlands provide a wide variety of ecosystem services to cities around the world. After centuries of having drained their wetlands to make room for infrastructure, more and more cities are now starting to restore them.

Amiens, France, has been named a Ramsar Wetland Cities for its commitment to protecting the waterways that have earned it the nickname "Venice of the North." Rien Honnef, Flickr
Rien Honnef, Flickr

What are we doing to protect blue spaces?

U.N. Special Envoy for the Ocean and Fiji native Peter Thomson on the state of ocean conservation, the role of the private sector, and our limited knowledge of what lies underneath the waves.

Markolf Zimmer, Flickr



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