Initiative 20x20 and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: Amplifying Action

November 6, 2020

by Luciana Gallardo Lomeli | Initiative 20x20 Secretariat

Initiative 20x20 and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: Amplifying Action

2021 to 2030 marks the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which calls for the protection and revival of ecosystems for people and nature. To guide its activities in the years ahead, hundreds of people shaped the Decade’s Strategy, which calls on governments, private sector, civil society organizations, researchers, and local communities to build:

“A world where — for the health & wellbeing of all life on Earth & that of future generations — we have restored the relationship between humans & nature, by increasing the area of healthy ecosystems, & by putting a stop to their loss, fragmentation & degradation.”

In practical terms, the strategy looks to build a global movement, increase political and financial support and build technical capacity to strengthen restoration. Initiative 20x20 is ready to respond to this call to action in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Our nearly 100 technical and financial partners have consistently supported member countries to develop and enhance their policies on sustainable land use while building healthy rural economies. Most recently, during COP 25 in 2019, Initiative 20x20 reupped its ambition when 6 governments signed the Declaration of Madrid, committing to begin restoring and protecting 50 million hectares by 2030.

So how does Initiative 20x20 align with the Decade’s three goals? It is already helping:

Build a global movement: Since 2014, Initiative 20x20 has mobilized local organizations, businesses, and governments to reach our ambitious regional restoration goal. By making a strong economic and environmental case by leaning on our partners, Initiative 20x20 has inspired countries like El Salvador, which first proposed the Decade, and Chile, which recently included restoration in its contribution to the Paris Agreement, to act. Initiative 20x20 members have become visible on the world stage and have built synergies with AFR100 in Africa by adapting techniques to track progress and by sharing investment strategies and lessons learned from the Latin American restoration movement.

Increase political and financial support: The partnership has engaged 17 governments to enhance their restoration ambitions and achieve their climate, conservation, development, and food security goals. Now, we are directly working with governments to develop policies that support restoration. Simultaneously, the Secretariat has worked with private impact investors. Overall, Initiative 20x20’s partners have invested billions of dollars in projects that are creating thousands of jobs and restoring millions of hectares. Some of these projects are privately-led and demonstrate the solid financial case behind pursuing social and environmental goals. Others demonstrate how governments have deployed public funds to achieve restoration at a large scale. Our website features more than 50 of these success stories, providing proof that restoration is happening on the ground.

Build technical capacity: Initiative 20x20 has convened task forces to address key crosscutting issues, like developing a strong investment ecosystem, communicating best practices and designing systems to track progress. In addition to opening these issues to the broader community, the task forces have created a collaborative community of research across Latin America and the Caribbean that exchanges knowledge and experiences. Through programs like the Land Accelerator and TerraMatch, we are also training the next generation of entrepreneurs whose businesses restore the land. We are helping them access the funding that they need to scale up.

The next ten years will determine the future of our planet and the people who live there. In Latin America and the Caribbean, we are ready to support a generation of people dedicated to restoring their land and future.

Want to learn more? Visit our Restoration Projects section to see 50+ stories of success.

Join the conversation on Twitter by using #GenerationRestoration and #Initiative20x20 and tagging @restoreforward