Giving Compass’ Take:
• Judith D. Schwartz covers the United Nations Climate Summit prioritizing pushing for land restoration that would impact farming practices.
• How can private citizens support land restoration efforts?
• Read about environmental restoration innovation.
Another global climate initiative is revving up that focuses on large-scale land restoration as a way to counter the advent and impact of climate change.
The U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, slated to run from 2021 to 2030, highlights the importance of natural systems in climate stability — and elevates the role of sustainable agriculture in adapting to and mitigating climate change.
Until now, land has been a side issue in climate policy, which has focused largely on energy and other sectors. But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) August special report, Climate Change and Land, was a “game-changer,” says Christophersen. The report considered “the whole land-climate system,” asserting that agriculture, forestry and other land uses account for 23 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Musonda Mumba, head of UNEP’s Terrestrial Ecosystems Program, echoes the need to support sustainable agricultural approaches that build climate resilience. “Land degradation is closely related to unsustainable agricultural practices, some of which have included deforesting spaces,” she says. “The ripple effect of this includes loss of topsoils, compacted soils and eventually infertile lands, further spiraling people into poverty” and limiting the capacity of these soils to sequester carbon.
The Decade on Ecosystem Restoration would cost an estimated $800 billion by 2030. Funding for restoration can come primarily from redirecting fiscal policy — including funds now steered to fossil fuel subsidies — and private finance. Research indicates that the returns on eco-restoration greatly exceed the investment, particularly when the costs avoided are taken into account.
Read the full article about the UN climate push for land restoration by Judith D. Schwartz at GreenBiz.
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