While land covers less than 30 per cent of the earth’s surface, it is home to 85 per cent of all species. It comprises a variety of terrestrial ecosystems that provide a broad range of essential goods and services, vital to sustaining all life. Biodiversity above and below ground supports the ecological processes that underpin the healthy and beneficial functions of land.
Land use change has been identified as the greatest threat to nature, projected to have the largest global impact on biodiversity by the year 2100. Leveraging synergies between international commitments to stem biodiversity loss and land degradation is therefore key to address these interconnected crises.
On this year's International Biodiversity Day, the new brief “Land Restoration to Safeguard Nature and Livelihoods: UNCCD and CBD Working Together” spotlights the shared agenda of restoration and resilience, central to both UNCCD and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework for 2030. It identifies where and how synergies can enhance implementation at global and national levels, increasing the impact of limited finance and delivering multiple benefits.
UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw said: “We must harness the power of synergy, a power where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Synergies, like the harmony of a finely tuned orchestra, exist where commitments intersect under binding multilateral agreements and voluntary commitments. Here, at the nexus of land governance, management and restoration, we find a melody that can restore balance.”
The brief stresses that preventing degradation of ecosystems and rehabilitating degraded land are cost-effective responses that can simultaneously safeguard biodiversity and improve rural livelihoods, while reducing the growing environmental risks to our societies, economies, and the natural world. Recently adopted Global Biodiversity Framework together with Sustainable Development Goals and Land Degradation Neutrality commitments present a roadmap for a harmonious future when we channel these pledges into national plans and align our actions for resilience and sustainability.