Scientific evidence shows that ecosystems are under unprecedented pressure. In North America, factors including agricultural intensification, habitat destruction, pollution, resource exploitation and climate change pose threats to crucial ecosystems and the valuable services they provide.
While the challenges are daunting, they also provide opportunities for local communities, business and governments to innovate for the benefit of communities, economies and the global environment.
Using Nature as Solutions
UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is leading the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The decade, which runs from 2021 to 2030, aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.
Throughout California, individuals, businesses and communities are working together to restore, reimagine and recreate degraded ecosystems from urban green spaces to agricultural lands. Important restoration initiatives taking place in the state show how local solutions can have a big global impact.
"California's diverse landscapes require a portfolio of solutions to protect and restore healthy ecosystems that are resilient to the threats posed by climate change. This means we can’t go at it alone,” says California’s Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, Wade Crowfoot.
“Across California, we are engaging and mobilizing inclusive partnerships to accelerate action – from urban to rural settings – and identifying where we can move further, faster, together.”
While progress has been made in protecting many individual species, much biodiversity remains at risk throughout the United States and Canada. To address this challenge, North American stakeholders have come together to explore how nature can be used as a solution to growing environmental challenges. North America is rich in biodiversity and natural capital, presenting great potential in the region to harness the power of nature to address issues such as climate change, air pollution, marine debris, and unsustainable production and consumption.