UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
This year’s World Environment Day launched the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global effort to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems. SOS and our frontline partners have successfully restored thousands of hectares of orangutan habitat in Sumatra over the last decade. In the coming ten years we will help to restore and rewild 10 times as much land again – for the benefit of orangutans, people and the planet.
The need to restore damaged ecosystems has never been more urgent than it is now. Those of us living in cities might not feel it, but ecosystems support all life – the healthier Earth’s ecosystems are, the healthier we will be as well. By focusing on ecosystem restoration, the UN and many other organisations will end poverty, combat climate change and prevent a mass extinction of species.
To avoid the most dangerous impacts of global warming, we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half by 2030 – a goal that is impossible to meet unless we restore ecosystems and support their function as carbon stores. Tropical forests like the ones we are working to protect and restore in Sumatra are excellent carbon stores when functioning properly. Carbon is stored in their soils, and photosynthesis by the plants within them allows them to act as carbon sinks too.
In addition, one million endangered species are at risk of extinction if we carry on as we are. Research shows that in priority areas, restoring even 15% of ecosystems can cut extinctions by 60%. Without restoring damaged ecosystems in Sumatra, we stand to lose Sumatran orangutans, Tapanuli orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants and thousands more species, all of which play a vital role in the health of their ecosystems as well as being precious in their own right.
SOS is proud to support vital restoration work through our existing projects with Orangutan Information Centre and Nature for Change, and we look forward to expanding our reach and impact as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration continues.
Please donate if you can. We are all in this together.