UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030—What Chance for Success in Restoring CoastalEcosystems?

by Nathan J. Waltham, Michael Elliott, Shing Yip Lee, Catherine E.Lovelock, Carlos M. Duarte, et.al
Opinion article Year: 2020 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00071


Waltham, N. J., Elliott, M., Lee, S. Y., Lovelock, C., Duarte, C. M., Buelow, C., ... & Sheaves, M. (2020). UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030—what chance for success in restoring coastal ecosystems?. Frontiers in Marine Science7, 71.


On 1 March 2019, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (New York) declared 2021–2030 the “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.” This call to action has the purpose of recognizing the need to massively accelerate global restoration of degraded ecosystems, to fight the climate heating crisis, enhance food security, provide clean water and protect biodiversity on the planet. The scale of restoration will be key; for example, the Bonn Challenge has the goal to restore 350 million km2 (almost the size of India) of degraded terrestrial ecosystems by 2030. However, international support for restoration of “blue” coastal ecosystems, which provide an impressive array of benefits to people, has lagged. Only the Global Mangrove Alliance (https://mangrovealliance.org/) comes close to the Bonn Challenge, with the aim of increasing the global area of mangroves by 20% by 2030. However, mangrove scientists have reservations about this target, voicing concerns that it is unrealistic and may prompt inappropriate practices in attempting to reach this target (Lee et al., 2019). The decade of ecosystem restoration declaration also coincides with the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which aims to reverse deterioration in ocean health. If executed in a holistic and coordinated manner, signatory nations could stand to deliver on both these UN calls to action.