Little more than one year after Lina Pohl brainstormed ways to get landscape restoration efforts to go to scale (with the help of wine, though she says she would have preferred tequila) she stood at a podium in front of the United Nations General Assembly as they adopted her proposed U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030), dedicating 10 years and a global summoning of financial, scientific, policy and hands-in-the-dirt efforts to bringing degraded ecosystems back to health.
“Ecosystem degradation leads to a loss of critical ecosystem services, adversely impacting the well-being of at least 3.2 billion people around the world and increasing, moreover, their vulnerability to the effects of climate change,” she said in her address to the Assembly from behind her thick-rimmed glasses. “Reversing this reality is possible, through actions in tune with nature.”
Having held numerous positions at environmental and social organizations in Mexico and El Salvador prior to serving as the latter’s Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources from 2014 to 2019, Pohl’s knowledge of the Latin American landscapes is now channeling into her latest role as a representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Mexico.
Moving ever forward, a half-year after the Decade’s adoption, she was back at the U.N. for Climate Week NYC, already urging the audience to hurry up and put the idea of the Decade into action. This effort should be led by women, “because we are more intelligent, obviously,” she said, to a round of applause.