Posted on 03 February 2021
Restoring nature on land and sea would have huge benefits for people’s health and well-being and help tackle the biodiversity and climate crises.
A publication launched by WWF, Nature restoration: Helping people, biodiversity and climate
, brings this to life through a collection of real-world examples.
Human activities have already significantly altered the natural world
, causing catastrophic biodiversity loss and causing dangerous levels of climate change. Furthermore, the outbreak of Covid-19 has brought into sharp focus just how much human health and well-being and the health of our planet are inextricably linked. Nature restoration can be a key tool to address environmental degradation and to improve people’s livelihoods.
WWF urges the European Commission to increase the positive impacts of nature by rapidly setting clearly defined binding restoration targets. WWF is specifically calling for a target of at least 15% of land and sea to be restored by 2030 both at the EU and Member States level. In addition, WWF is advocating for 15% of rivers to be restored to a free-flowing status in 2030 by removing physical barriers like dams. WWF is also calling for a target for CO₂ removal by natural sinks, as a separate target from the EU 2030 emissions reduction targets.
The publication goes beyond biodiversity and climate with a focus on local people, from the flourishing ecotourism in Romania to local cooperation with fishers in France, all of the stories clearly demonstrate that nature restoration benefits people and the planet alike.