UNEP Releases Report on Ecosystem Restoration

3 June 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a new report titled "Dead Planet, Living Planet: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration for Sustainable Development." The report highlights that the repair of forests, lakes and other types of nature reserves that have been damaged or depleted can generate wealth, create jobs, sequester carbon and alleviate poverty.

The report underscores the importance of nature restoration activities, including rehabilitating water flows to rivers and lakes, improving soil stability and fertility for agriculture, and combating climate change by sequestering and storing carbon from the atmosphere.

The report cites evidence that well-planned, science-based, community-supported programmes can recover between 25-44% of the original services alongside the animals, plants and other biodiversity of the former intact system.

It offers several recommendations, including that overseas development agencies, international finance agencies and regional development banks should factor ecosystem restoration and long-term management assistance into development support, and that 1% of a country's gross domestic product (GDP) be set aside annually for conservation, management and restoration of the environment and natural resources. [UNEP Press Release] [Report Website]