By declaring the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the United Nations recognizes that there are only 10 years left to restore the world's degraded land: Countries are striving to fight climate change by 2030 through Paris Agreement commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But in many cases, their climate and development agenda are disconnected, even though sustainability and development go hand in hand – especially for rural communities.
The divide is particularly severe when it comes to restoring degraded land. We know that restoring land can boost crop yields and income for farmers, improve access to water, enable people to stay on their ancestral land, and help communities adapt to the changing climate. But with so many competing land uses, it is difficult to focus restoration efforts where they can help communities most effectively overcome climate change and rural poverty, while also halting deforestation and protecting vital biodiversity.
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