National parks, protected areas and traditional approaches are critical to conserving biodiversity. But shielding pristine habitats and endangered species is no longer enough to halt the rapid loss of nature.
That is why governments and experts are urgently preparing a comprehensive new global framework for biodiversity. Amid a raft of measures, including more protection, the framework is expected to include a drive to restore ecosystems of all kinds around the world.
Five different restoration initiatives show how reviving ecosystems, conserving biodiversity, and building a sustainable future go hand-in-hand.
1. Grasslands buzzing with life in Canada
A restoration project in Ontario, Canada is creating and enhancing more than 1,500 hectares of grassland ecosystems. The Grassland Stewardship Initiative aims to protect and recover threatened bird species, including bobolinks and meadowlarks, while improving the quality of the soil and its ability to capture carbon.
2. Greening farms across Zambia
Agroforestry systems, which combine crops with trees, support biodiversity. Now hundreds of small farmers in Zambia’s Copperbelt province are receiving training and tools in return for letting indigenous trees grow on their land. The WeForest project provides families with better and more diversified livelihoods, such as beekeeping, which cuts their dependence on the charcoal business degrading local miombo woodlands.
3. Urban parks flourishing in Scotland
With 80 percent of the global population expected to live in cities by 2050, the need to preserve, restore and create urban spaces for nature is urgent. A project in Glasgow, Scotland uses exhibits exploring 10,000 years of local history to entice visitors to the restored Seven Lochs Wetland Park. The 16 square km park aims to promote the heritage and well-being of local communities and become a haven for wildlife, from deer to damselflies.
4. Hope springs for coral reefs in Belize
Coral reefs are biodiversity hotspots, food banks, storm barriers and tourist magnets all in one. To offset the damage from coral bleaching events, the Fragments of Hope project in southern Belize is regenerating its barrier reefs with species that can be resilient in the face of climate change. The initiative promotes the sustainable management of coastal habitats so the natural wonders that draw visitors and support local livelihoods can have a long-term future.
5. Regenerating peatlands in Borneo
Tropical peatland fires eliminate biodiversity while pumping vast quantities of climate-altering carbon into the atmosphere. Sebangau National Park in Borneo is home to clouded leopards, sun-bears and the world’s largest protected population of orangutans. To prevent fires here, the Borneo Nature Foundation is empowering communities to restore burnt peatlands by planting 1 million native trees and blocking drainage channels.
[Note: This story is a part of ‘Punascha Pruthibi – One Earth. Unite for It’, an awareness campaign by Sambad Digital]