It’s a phrase that’s been on the lips of scientists, officials and environmental activists a lot in the last few months: ecosystem restoration. This year, 5 June, World Environment Day, marks the official launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a 10-year push to halt and reverse the decline of the natural world.
You might be wondering: what exactly is an ecosystem and how do you restore one?
To answer the first question an ecosystem is a place where plants, animals and other organisms, in conjunction with the landscape around them, come together to form the web of life.
Ecosystems can be large, like a forest, or small, like a pond. Many are crucial to human societies, providing people with water, food, building materials and a host of other essentials. They also provide planet-wide benefits like climate protection and biodiversity conservation.
But in recent decades, humanity’s hunger for resources has pushed many ecosystems to the breaking point.
Here are the eight main types of ecosystem and some of the things that can be done to revive them. For more ideas on how to boost your local ecosystems and join #GenerationRestoration, see the UN Decade’s Eosystem Restoration Playbook – a practical guide to restoring the planet.
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