This month, June 2021, marks the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. A very welcome initiative, that puts a much-needed spotlight on the pivotal role of ecosystems and the urgency of stopping and reversing their decline.
But I am also cautious. There have been many ‘UN Decades’ that haven’t left a mark. This ‘Decade’, too, could easily remain a top-down, process-oriented series of events, proclamations and promises. Certainly, political leadership and courage are critical ingredients for a meaningful Decade. But more importantly, real success will depend on the extent to which people on the ground are allowed center stage. Progress requires a bottom-up approach, in which the experiences and needs of local organizations are supported – plus connecting those efforts to secure ‘mass’ of action. When this happens, the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration can make a major contribution towards a healthy planet.
Ecosystems and actions on the ground are, of course, the focus of each issue of GO. This time, we zoom in on animals, from the iconic and majestic to the small and underappreciated. All perform critical tasks that keep systems healthy and resilient. It’s hard work. It’s nature. And wonderful. With warm greetings,
On behalf of the DOB Ecology team.