Story | 11 Nov, 2021

As world leaders in Glasgow commit to restoration of terrestrial ecosystems, IUCN launches the first of its kind typology of restoration actions

IUCN spurs restoration action and monitoring by launching a typology of restoration interventions for ALL terrestrial ecosystem types including coasts and inland waters. The IUCN Restoration Intervention Typology for Terrestrial Ecosystems (RITTE), will be integrated into the Restoration Barometer, a globally accepted tool to monitor restoration progress. The Typology and Barometer are vehicles for implementation of restoration commitments including the Glasgow Declaration, the Bonn Challenge and the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

content hero image

Photo: IUCN / freepik.com_sandimage

Last week, during the UNFCCC climate conference, more than 100 world leaders signed the Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use, pledging to conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration by 2030.  

Ecosystem restoration is recognised as a Nature-based Solution with vast potential to harness the power of nature to provide benefits to people’s livelihoods, improve access to essential resources, create and restore habitats for countless species, and store vast amounts of carbon to help mitigate climate change.

But what does ecosystem restoration look like and include? How can the world know how land has been brought under restoration? IUCN were surprised to find that there was no overall typology or classification of types of interventions for terrestrial ecosystem restoration – so IUCN mobilised its network of experts and built one.

To ensure accuracy, IUCN convened and consulted more than 35 internal and external experts to identify which interventions should be included under each ecosystem type. This included experts working on the specific terrestrial ecosystem types – deserts and semi-deserts, forests and woodlands, grasslands, shrublands, savannahs, farmlands and mixed use-areas, rivers, streams, lakes, mangroves, urban areas and peatlands.

The ecosystem types were derived from the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology and the grouping of ecosystems for the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.  The typology also aligns with existing or emerging classification systems, such as the one that will be used by the upcoming Mangrove Restoration Tracker Tool developed under the Global Mangrove Alliance.

The typology of restoration interventions will be soon road-tested by government representatives applying the expanded Restoration Barometer, with guidance from IUCN and the support of the German Government.

IUCN has expanded the Restoration Barometer, originally developed to track the progress of forest landscape restoration commitments under the Bonn Challenge, to all terrestrial ecosystems. This will allow restoration champions to better elaborate on how they have brought hectares under restoration and how they are contributing to achieving multiple global restoration goals.

Look out for the new Barometer website being launched later in November, and for additional typology categories on seagrasses, kelp forests, and shallow reefs next year.

The process of developing RITTE was led by Swati Hingorani, Carole Saint-Laurent and Florian Reinhard, and facilitated by Benjamin Christ of Impact By Design. The experts consulted include (in alphabetical order): Bora Masumboko, Boris Erg, Chris Buss, Daniel Marnewick, Dominic Andradi-Brown, Dorothee Herr, Dr. James Dalton, Dr. Scott Perkin, Dr. Thomas Worthington, Dr. William Darwall, Emily Goodwin, James McBreen, John Stanturf, Jonathan Davies, Kathryn Bimson, Kevin Smith, Laila Annouri, Maria Mejia, Mercedes Munoz Canas, Mike Acreman, Neil Cox, Peter Frost, Raphael Glement, Richard Lindsay, Russell Galt and Tony Nello. The IUCN Task Force on Agriculture also contributed to the process.