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Type: Journal article
Title: UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 - what chance for success in restoring coastal ecosystems?
Author: Waltham, N.J.
Elliott, M.
Lee, S.Y.
Lovelock, C.
Duarte, C.M.
Buelow, C.
Simenstad, C.
Nagelkerken, I.
Claassens, L.
Wen, C.K.-C.
Barletta, M.
Connolly, R.M.
Gillies, C.
Mitsch, W.J.
Ogburn, M.B.
Purandare, J.
Possingham, H.
Sheaves, M.
Citation: Frontiers in Marine Science, 2020; 7:1-5
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 2296-7745
Statement of
Nathan J. Waltham, Michael Elliott, Shing Yip Lee, Catherine Lovelock, Carlos M. Duarte, Christina Buelow, Charles Simenstad, Ivan Nagelkerken, Louw Claassens, Colin K-C Wen, Mario Barletta, Rod M. Connolly, Chris Gillies, William J. Mitsch, Matthew B. Ogburn, Jemma Purandare, Hugh Possingham, and Marcus Sheaves
Abstract: 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 ( 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.
Keywords: Coastal ecosystems; restoration; United Nations; wetlands; blue carbon; mangroves; seagrass
Rights: Copyright © 2020 Waltham, Elliott, Lee, Lovelock, Duarte, Buelow, Simenstad, Nagelkerken, Claassens, Wen, Barletta, Connolly, Gillies, Mitsch, Ogburn, Purandare, Possingham and Sheaves. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00071
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