IUCN Director General's Statement for World Environment Day
Now is the time to rebuild what we have lost. The restoration of our scarred land and seascapes intrinsically connects us to a chance at a healthier future and sets the stage for a nature-based recovery. Today, the symbolic launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration ignites us to action. IUCN hears the call. Emboldened by the strength of our Union, we were early advocates for the Decade, building on efforts like the Bonn Challenge, the Nature-based Recovery Initiative, and the Agriculture and Land Health Initiative.
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Through the collective power of our Members, partners, experts and Commissions, IUCN has become a world leader on ecosystem restoration, girding the Decade with foundational restoration science, reinforced through the application of the IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions, the Bonn Challenge Barometer, and the Global Ecosystem Typology classification system. On the ground, our constituency is already forming strategic communities of action to make an impact all over the world – from re-establishing the ecological integrity of a single hillside or a seagrass bed, to the large-scale landscape restoration of a plateau or mountain range. And restoration is a smart investment. It generates returns far beyond the initial investment, benefits people, nature, and economies, and can reduce the risks of conflict and migration.
The stage is set to ramp up ecosystem restoration that is based on good science and leads to documented progress on hundreds of millions of hectares in every type of ecosystem, from the mountaintops to the sea floor.
We will restore.