5 things you should know about restoration

Get all the ins and outs from our favorite reads

Is land degradation the world’s most underreported problem? Our planet’s landscapes and seascapes are losing their ability to sustain us – and yet, you’ll scarcely hear a word about it outside of climate and environmental circles.

On 21 November, we at the Global Landscapes Forum will be hosting a free online event to examine how to stave off degradation by restoring landscapes: the Restoration Experiences Digital Forum. Here are five facts you should know ahead of the forum, plus a few of our favorite restoration reads to get you acquainted with the topic.

Degraded landscape
Land degradation directly affects half of the world’s population. qinghill, Unsplash

Land degradation threatens half of global GDP

Up to 40 percent of the Earth’s land has already been degraded, directly affecting about half of the world’s population and putting half of the global economy at risk. If we don’t act now, another area of land the size of South America could become degraded by 2050.

In this article, we run through some of the startling conclusions from the most comprehensive report on land degradation ever written – and what we can do about it now.

Singapore rail corridor
Singapore has repurposed a rail line into a green corridor. Joshua Leong, Unsplash

Some world leaders are doing their bit

Governments face relentless (and often justified) criticism for not doing enough to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises. But even here, there’s still hope: in July, the European Parliament passed a law that will require the restoration of 20 percent of the E.U.’s land and sea areas by 2030.

And the E.U. isn’t alone: here are five more policies introduced this year that aim to protect nature.

An agroforestry project in São Sebastião da Grama, State of São Paulo, Brazil. PROJETO CAFÉ GATO-MOURISCO, Unsplash

Regenerate to restore

There’s no restoring the planet without rethinking our food systems, which are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and a key driver of biodiversity loss.

That’s where regenerative agriculture comes in. Here’s all you need to know about this trendy yet mysterious term, including what it means, how it can benefit us, and how we can get the best out of it.

Jose Xerafico
Indigenous and rural communities have a vital role to play in restoring landscapes. Courtesy of David Santiago Rocha Cárdenas.

Indigenous and traditional knowledge are key

If we want restoration to succeed, we must ensure that it’s not only rooted in the latest science and technology but also co-led by Indigenous and rural communities who live off the land. That’s because no one knows landscapes better than the people who have lived there for centuries or even longer.

So, here are two views from our Restoration Stewards on the ground: one working with Indigenous youth to rebuild food sovereignty in the Philippines, and another harnessing the wisdom of Kenyan elders to save the country’s mangroves.

Seedling
There are countless ways to restore and reforest degraded landscapes. aiokr chen, Unsplash

There’s no single right way to reforest

A lot of the talk around restoration revolves around forests, given the vast amounts of carbon they store, as well as the fact that they’re under threat virtually everywhere.

It’s clear that we need to end deforestation and bring back the forests that have already been lost – but how? In this five-part series, we dive into five main ways to reforest the Earth, from natural regeneration to agroforestry.

To learn more, register here for the Restoration Experiences Digital Forum (21 November). The event will be held fully online and is free for everyone.

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climate changeforestsland degradationlandscape restorationrestoration

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