500+ Words Essay on Ecological Restoration

In this post, we are going to provide an Essay on Ecological Restoration for students.

What is Ecological Restoration?

The planet is confronted with grave issues. Throughout the world, billions of people are suffering from the effects of the climate crises, food and water scarcity, and the COVID-19 epidemic. Ecosystems are a critical ally in overcoming these obstacles. It is critical to safeguard them and manage their resources sustainably. However, simply protecting and managing our remaining natural landscapes and oceans sustainably will not suffice: the planet’s devastated ecosystems and the enormous benefits they give must also be restored.

Ecosystem Restoration is the “process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged or destroyed” (SER Primer, 2004). It is a deliberate action that initiates or accelerates the progression of an ecological pathway—or temporal trajectory—towards a reference state. The goal of ecological restoration is to create an ecosystem that is resilient and self-sustaining in terms of structure, species composition, and function, as well as integrated into the greater landscape and capable of supporting sustainable livelihoods.

Numerous healthy ecosystems are the result of human endeavours over extremely long time periods, and hence restoration frequently needs the involvement of resource-dependent populations. In this way, ecological restoration contributes to global conservation and sustainable development efforts. There are two key obstacles involved with pursuing ecological restoration. One is how to restore huge areas with a range of land uses. The second is how to strike an equitable balance between biodiversity conservation and human well-being.

By establishing the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, governments acknowledged the critical need to avert, halt, and reverse global ecosystem deterioration for the benefit of both people and environment. The timescale of 2021–2030 emphasises the critical nature of the undertaking. Without a sustained 10-year restoration effort, we will be unable to meet the Paris Agreement’s climate targets or the Sustainable Development Goals.

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The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a once-in-a-generation chance to alter food, fibre, and feed production systems to meet the demands of the twenty-first century and to eradicate poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. This goal will be accomplished by effective and innovative management of landscapes and seascapes that prevents and halts degradation and recovers degraded ecosystems. Forest landscapes, farming, livestock, and fish-producing ecosystems should be restored primarily to a healthy and stable state, capable of providing ecosystem services and supporting human requirements for sustainable production and lifestyles.

For example, around one-third of the world’s agriculture is degraded, almost 87% of the world’s inland wetlands have vanished since 1700, and approximately one-third of commercial fish species are overexploited. Degradation already has a negative impact on the well-being of an estimated 3.2 billion people – or 40% of the world’s population. Each year, we lose ecosystem services equivalent to more than 10% of global economic production.

If we can reverse this tendency, we will reap enormous rewards. Restoring ecosystems and implementing other natural solutions might account for more than a third of the overall climate mitigation required by 2030. Restoration can also help to mitigate the likelihood of catastrophic extinctions and future pandemics. Agroforestry alone has the potential to improve the food security of 1.3 billion people.

Global restoration demands ongoing investment. However, there is mounting evidence that it pays for itself. For example, restoring healthy coral reefs by 2030 might generate an additional USD 2.5 billion per year for Mesoamerica and Indonesia; Costa Rica, which has doubled its forest cover during the 1980s, has seen eco-tourism develop to account for 6% of GDP.

While restoration science is a relatively new field of study, we currently possess the knowledge and instruments necessary to prevent ecosystem degradation and restore them. Farmers, for example, can leverage well-established restorative methods such as sustainable agriculture and agroforestry. Landscape techniques that include all stakeholders – including women and minorities – in decision-making advance social and economic development while also promoting ecosystem health. And policymakers and financial institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the enormous demand for and potential for green investment.

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The United Nations is a strong supporter of this critical project. Along with conducting research for this study, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with other partners, will provide leadership, coordination, and technical assistance throughout the UN Decade.

300 + Words Essay on Ecological Restoration

We can no longer ignore that we are a part of our environment, which is rapidly deteriorating. We need to maintain and repair ecosystems in order to go forward on a more sustainable route. Healthy, stable, and biodiverse ecosystems are the foundation of our own and other species’ health and well-being. They aid in the regulation of our climate and the control of extreme events, pests, and illnesses, as well as the provision of water, food, raw resources, and recreational spaces. They absorb our garbage, support economic sectors and millions of people’s livelihoods, and nourish our health, culture, and spiritual fulfilment. However, we have been overexploiting and damaging the world’s ecosystems and wild species, resulting in the deterioration of the very services on which we rely (UNEP 2021). The ways humans generate food (Benton et al. 2021) and transform our landscapes and oceans, as well as climate change, pollution, and invasive species, are driving this deterioration (IPBES 2019).

Over the last few decades, the global economy has experienced unprecedented growth, which has been fueled by the deterioration of the world’s natural resources. As a result, our tremendous gains in income and poverty reduction have come at the expense of a considerable degradation in the biosphere’s health. We are using the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to sustain our existing way of life (Global Footprint Network 2021), putting our economies’ futures in jeopardy (Dasgupta 2021).

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There has never been a greater urgency to rehabilitate damaged ecosystems. Degradation undermines hard-won development benefits and jeopardises the well-being of today’s children and future generations, while making national pledges more difficult and costly to achieve.

The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims to prevent, halt, and reverse the deterioration of all types of ecosystems, thereby contributing to global poverty reduction and guaranteeing that no one is left behind.

Ecosystem restoration is the process of halting and reversing deterioration, resulting in increased ecosystem services and biodiversity recovery. Ecosystem restoration involves a broad range of approaches that vary according to local conditions and cultural preferences. Depending on the goals, restored ecosystems can take a variety of paths:

from degraded natural to more intact natural ecosystems (often by assisting natural regeneration)
• from degraded, modified ecosystems to more functional modified ecosystems (e.g. restoration of urban areas and farmlands)
• from modified ecosystems towards more natural ecosystems, providing that the rights and needs of people who depend on that ecosystem are not compromised.

Ecosystem restoration is a broad term that refers to a multitude of strategies for conserving and rebuilding damaged ecosystems (UNEP and FAO 2020). This may entail active restoration or the eradication of degradation-causing agents in order to ‘passively’ encourage natural regeneration. Whichever strategy is taken, restoration takes time, resources, knowledge, enabling policies, and governance if it is to benefit human well-being, economic development, climate stability, and biodiversity protection.

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