Land restoration for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (2019)




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As we approach the final decade before the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are to be achieved in 2030 a huge step-up is required on all fronts if the world is to achieve its targets and reverse the climate and species crises. Currently, about a quarter of the world’s land is degraded. Land restoration and rehabilitation together represent one of three primary strategies for achieving SDG 15 (Life on Land), and particularly for meeting the land degradation neutrality target under that goal (15.3). This International Resource Panel think piece highlights that both the process of land restoration and rehabilitation, and the restored land, have tremendous potential to help the world limit climate change and achieve its aims for sustainable development. The think piece provides diverse reflections for policymakers, academics and practitioners for the development of strategies to maximize the co-benefits of land restoration and rehabilitation for life on land by highlighting the risks, trade-offs and costs of land restoration and rehabilitation for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its associated goals. It strongly recommends a systemic analysis, before investment is made, to avoid unintended consequences. The think piece provides a clear strategy to maximize cross-cutting opportunities for land restoration or rehabilitation across multiple SDGs. The observations and conclusions provided by the 37 authors, while by no means exhaustive, provide hope and aspirations for investments in land restoration and rehabilitation across the globe.

* IRP (2019). Land Restoration for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: An International Resource Panel Think Piece. Herrick, J.E., Abrahamse, T., Abhilash, P.C., Ali, S.H., Alvarez-Torres, P., Barau, A.S., Branquinho, C., Chhatre, A., Chotte, J.L., Cowie, A.L., Davis, K.F., Edrisi, S.A., Fennessy, M.S., Fletcher, S., Flores-Díaz, A.C., Franco, I.B., Ganguli, A.C., Speranza, C.I, Kamar, M.J., Kaudia, A.A., Kimiti, D.W., Luz, A.C., Matos, P., Metternicht, G., Neff, J., Nunes, A., Olaniyi, A.O., Pinho, P., Primmer, E., Quandt, A., Sarkar, P., Scherr, S.J., Singh, A., Sudoi, V., von Maltitz, G.P., Wertz, L., Zeleke, G. A think piece of the International Resource Panel. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya