The mission of the decade: Restore our ecosystems
We’re celebrating World Environment Day (5 June 2021) as the United Nations launches a much-needed new initiative to recognise the critical and urgent need to restore the planet’s ecosystems.
The goal of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is to “prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean”. The aim is to tackle climate change, prevent mass extinction and help end poverty. They’ve set the date of 2030 to make this happen.
Plant Your Future works tirelessly to reverse deforestation and degradation in the Peruvian Amazon and we achieve this by empowering rainforest communities with the training and support needed to take-up sustainable agriculture.
Not only is this helping to fight climate breakdown and biodiversity loss, but it’s also reducing poverty for families who depend on the land for their livelihoods.
According to data published by the UN, we are losing about 4.7million hectares of tropical forest every year, an area the size of the Dominican Republic or Slovakia.
Much of this land is cleared to create farmland, which now covers more than one-third of the Earth’s land surface and is one of the most vital ecosystems we need to sustain all life on Earth, including human-kind.
The UN acknowledges that the exhausted farmland is perfect for forest restoration – something that Plant Your Future has long been aware of. In fact, it underlies everything that we do.
We all need to take proactive action to plant native trees to heal the wounds we have already inflicted on the planet. Tree planting is one of the most impactful ways to build resilience against climate change, as long as it’s carried out carefully – in the right places, with the right species, and with local communities in control.
Trees are the one tried and tested ‘technology’ we already have to suck carbon out of the atmosphere at scale and so in early 2020, the Plant Your Future team developed a plan to plant one million trees in the next few years – restoring 1,000 hectares of degraded and abandoned land across the Peruvian Amazon back to forest cover.
This ambitious goal is part of our overall five-year strategy which was approved by our Board of Trustees and will mean planting more native trees in the Amazon than we’ve ever achieved before. This commitment will help us to transform degraded farmland into thriving forest and support local communities to increase and diversify their income.
We believe that addressing the social and economic issues that drive deforestation is the only way to safeguard the rainforest into the future. It’s critical to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal to restore the world’s ecosystems while alleviating poverty. It’s vital to creating a better world for us all.
Author: Chloe Tonkin – a volunteer PR consultant and copywriter for Plant Your Future