UN announced new global biodiversity restoration projects at COP15

Photo by Kris-Mikael Krister/Unsplash.com

Funding along with scientific expertise to be provided for 10 flagship restoration initiatives announced during negotiations between countries at the Montreal summit  

The United Nations announced the top 10 projects aimed at restoring ecosystems across the world, during the COP15 summit in Montreal. The projects stretch from South America to Indonesia, and were shortlisted from more than 150 applications, according to a report by Reuters on Tuesday, December 13.  

The selection of the projects was done to boost momentum during the ongoing negotiations at the summit between countries on a global conservation pact.  

Inger Andersen, the Head of the U.N. Environment Programme, in an interview with Reuters, said, “You can, with a little concerted effort and some wonderful leadership at all levels of society, actually turn this around”. Anderson added, she hopes to demonstrate through the initiative that restoration is possible.  

Recent estimates by the UN agency state that over 40 percent of the world´s land is degraded, the report said. To counter this, one of the targets proposed would require countries to restore over 20 to 30 percent of their degraded landscapes. This includes mountains, wetlands, deserts, and coastlines, the report added.   

The U.N. has also announced that the selected projects will receive funding as well as scientific expertise, although the total amount to be allocated was not mentioned. They will cover an estimated area of 68 million hectares, the report said.   

The targets include, cleaning the polluted Ganges in India, reforestation of Atlantic forests, restoring the seabed in the Persian Gulf to protect endangered dugongs, and plantation of trees and savannah for Africa´s green wall. The list also includes providing support to farmers in drought probe areas of central America.  

Aside from this, other initiatives include, restoring ecosystems in China and measures for protecting the island of Java in Indonesia from erosion as well as storm surge. Plans are also to help build resilience mountain communities in Europe and Africa.

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