This year marks the beginning of the United Nations (UN) Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which is aimed at preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean while helping to end poverty, combat climate change, and prevent mass extinction.
The United Nations General Assembly in March 2019 proclaimed between 2021 and 2030 as such amid the loss of nature happening at an unprecedented rate worldwide.
“The ASEAN member-states, as parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), take great interest in this global initiative and actively participate in the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework that lays down targets and strategies in approaching this new decade,” the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) said in a statement.
“The region (Southeast Asia), being one of the richest on the planet in terms of biodiversity having 18 percent of the world’s known plants and animals and one of the most vulnerable to climate change, has a larger stake in the global efforts to restore natural ecosystems from sea to land,” it added.
Ecosystem restoration is a holistic approach to assisting the recovery and reconstruction of degraded, damaged, or destroyed areas, with equal attention on conserving protected areas.
As of 2020, the Philippine government planted 35.6 million seedlings covering around 45,000 hectares of denuded and open forestland across the country, completing 95 percent of its target under the National Greening Programme.
However, ACB said Southeast Asia needs more of initiatives that have both short-term and long-term positive impacts on the environment and the well-being of its people. SOVEREIGNPH