Story | 03 Sep, 2021

A day devoted to a decade: Historic pledges to restoration

IUCN World Conservation Congress begins this weekend in Marseille, bringing with it a chance to celebrate commitments and share advances made in the name of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and Bonn Challenge. Two special events on 7 September bring together restoration experts and government ministers who are boldly leading the way. Highlighted by historic pledges to restoration.

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Photo: IUCN

From the main stage at the Nature-based Solutions and Ecosystem Restoration Pavilion, deep in the exhibition hall of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, a weeklong showcase of restoration themed events related to UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) will break new ground. Nature-based solutions (NbS) like Ecosystem Restoration are deeply connected to the global shift to maintain and restore a healthy planet, the foundation on which our societies and economies are built. As global dialogues around Ecosystem Restoration and other NbS continue, there is the need for greater clarity and precision of what they entail and what is required to reach their full potential.

In the pavilion, the programme seizes on the Ecosystem Restoration concept as it enters the mainstream with dozens of tailored events and host of interactive exhibits. On 7 September, two restoration events stand out in the Ecosystem Restoration sphere. From 15:15-16:15 the pavilion will host a Restoration Implementation Showcase to highlight exemplary models that can be replicated and scaled up. Ministers of the Environment and country representatives from across Central America and Africa, where restoration has long been a priority, will share how they have overcome challenges to implementing forest landscape restoration (FLR) and some of the key factors underlying their success.

Celebrating the Bonn Challenge with new pledges, including the host

The Bonn Challenge, launched by the German Government (BMU) and IUCN in 2011, provides a proven model for generating commitment and spurring action under the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. IUCN and BMU are also committed to building restoration communities of action that recognise that action needs to be nurtured from the bottom up and that everyone has their role to play in the Decade.

To underscore this commitment, on the evening of the 7th, steadfast Bonn Challenge partners will be joined by new pledgers to make good on the promise of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration during an event called, Celebrating Commitment and Catalysing Action for Forest Landscape restoration - the Bonn Challenge from 19.15-19.45.

The significance of the new or increased Bonn Challenge pledges isn’t always about their ambition in terms of size. Notably, IUCN Congress host France Region SUD (Region Provence, Alpes, Cote d’Azur) intends to pledge to restore under the Bonn Challenge. This would mark only the second pledge from Western Europe (Scotland was the first). This landmark pledge from continental Europe will surely inspire other countries. But they aren't the only ones, several other governements will be announcing pledges during the event as well. You may have to tune in to find out who.

So come join us at the Nature-based Solutions and Ecosystem Restoration pavilion to learn about IUCN communities of action on restoration, hear restoration experiences directly from several governments’ ministers, and to celebrate those governments announcing new Bonn Challenge pledges.