In everywhere from snowy Boreal forests to coral-studded Pacific coastlines, national parks, protected areas and traditional approaches are critical to conserving biodiversity.
But shielding pristine habitats and endangered species is no longer enough to halt the rapid loss of nature.That is why governments and experts are urgently preparing a comprehensive, regeneration-focused global framework for biodiversity.
Amid a raft of measures, including more protection, the framework is expected to include a drive to restore ecosystems of all kinds around the world.
Restoration is already on the rise since last year’s launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
Both the UN Decade and the new biodiversity framework will run through 2030. And the mutual benefits of conservation and restoration are already becoming clear.
The following five different restoration initiatives show how reviving ecosystems, reviving biodiversity, and building a sustainable, revitalized future go hand-in-hand.
Grasslands buzzing with life in Canada
A restoration project in Ontario, Canada is creating and enhancing more than 1,500 hectares of grassland ecosystems.
The Grassland Stewardship Initiative aims to protect and recover threatened bird species, including bobolinks and meadowlarks, while improving the quality of the soil and its ability to capture carbon.
How you can help: Look for grasslands near you. Find out what species depend on them and whether their habitat is under threat.
Greening farms across Zambia
Agroforestry systems, which combine crops with trees, support biodiversity in undamaged places, and restore it when practiced on degraded land.
Now hundreds of small farmers in Zambia’s Copperbelt province are receiving training and tools in return for letting indigenous trees grow on their land.
The WeForest project provides families with better and more diversified livelihoods, such as beekeeping, which cuts their dependence on the charcoal business degrading local miombo woodlands.
How you can help: Find a corner of your garden, school grounds or local park where indigenous tree seedlings could be protected and nurtured.
Urban parks flourishing in Scotland
With 80 per cent of the global population expected to live in cities by 2050, the need to preserve, restore and create urban spaces for nature is urgent.
A project in Glasgow, Scotland uses exhibits exploring 10,000 years of local history to entice visitors to the restored Seven Lochs Wetland Park.
The 16km2 park aims to promote the heritage and well-being of local communities and become a haven for wildlife, from deer to damselflies.
How you can help: Join a community group helping manage a nearby park or a citizen science project mapping and monitoring the nature it contains.
Hope springs for coral reefs in Belize
Coral reefs are biodiversity hotspots, food banks, storm barriers and tourist magnets all in one.
To offset the damage from coral bleaching events, the Fragments of Hope project in southern Belize is regenerating its barrier reefs with species that can be resilient in the face of climate change.
The initiative promotes the sustainable management of coastal habitats so the natural wonders that draw visitors and support local livelihoods can have a long-term future.
How you can help: For your next vacation or outing in the sea, check your sunscreen for the coral-friendly label, make sure you stay in designated areas and don’t forget to collect and sort your waste.
Regenerating peatlands in Borneo
Tropical peatland fires eliminate biodiversity while pumping vast quantities of climate-altering carbon into the atmosphere.
Sebangau National Park in Borneo. Indonesia is home to clouded leopards, sun-bears and the world’s largest protected population of orangutans.
To prevent fires here, the Borneo Nature Foundation is empowering communities to restore burnt peatlands by planting 1 million native trees and blocking drainage channels.
How you can help: Try to put only certified deforestation-free products on your shopping list as rainforests are cleared to produce global commodities like palm oil and animal feed.
Looking for more inspiration? Explore these 22 actions recommended by the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Featured photo of pair of blue-eared kingfishers in Borneo is by David Hook from Pixabay.