Generation Restoration Is Taking Sustainable Action to Save the Ecosystem

Young people and ecopreneurs around the world, known as #GenerationRestoration, are bringing about change.

Corals underwater
Khaichuin Sim / Getty Images.

The United Nations' Decade of Ecosystem Restoration has started. Young people and ecopreneurs around the world, known as #GenerationRestoration, are bringing about change to fix the damage humanity has done and set us on the course to a better future. The World Economic Forum's Youth Challenge highlighted many amazing projects and ideas around the globe.

The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.

According to the UN:

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems, and restore them to achieve global goals. Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity.

Ecosystem restoration and regenerative, sustainable action is becoming more widely considered, and young Ecopreneurs around the world are leading the charge and driving progress in this arena. They are helping humanity switch from an extractive mindset to one which is all about harmony with nature and renewal. 

They are showing that a different way is possible. Humanity can live and thrive while ensuring the protection and enhancement of a healthy planet. There is immense hope in humanity's capacity to heal the wrongs we have done and have a profoundly positive impact on other people, and the natural world around us. 

Dryland and Desert Regeneration

The Sahel Desert and other arid regions offer immense potential for ecosystem restoration. And the Generation Restoration are stepping up. Ecopreneurs are challenged to find solutions for Africa’s Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative. Many are stepping up. For example, Sahara Sahel Foods is using native dryland trees as food sources. Ammam Imman is an NGO working in the hard-hit Azawak region. And Rewild.Earth is working with wild perennial crops in the Zinder Region. 

All of these solutions and many more like them are working towards the same goals as the Somalia Ecosystem Camp Project and many other projects around the world. Geoff Lawton has been leading the charge in re-greening deserts for years. And John D. Liu is another leading figure in this ecosystem restoration. But now a new generation is stepping up and many projects are proliferating.

Forest Regeneration and Afforestation

The many projects working in forest planting and regeneration are too numerous to name. There are many people around the world working towards the Trillion Trees Challenge. Many bringing new insight and innovation to this field. Some, such as Trees AI from Darkmatter Labs, seek to develop transparent and verifiable financial mechanisms to enable nature based solutions at scale.

GainForest, a sustainable non-profit based in Switzerland, is using AI to monitor and reward sustainable nature stewardship. Cultivo's Trillion trees solution is a financing mechanism that allows institutions to invest in regenerative projects. And Farm-Trace helps farmers to measure and report their sustainable process and impact, with tracking on zero deforestation, forest cover, carbon stored over time, and activities like tree planting. 

Wetland Protection and Restoration

Frances Camille Rivera is a restoration steward working on community-based mangrove restoration of unproductive fish ponds in the Philippines.

Another excellent example of wetland restoration is the project of The Weather Makers, who aim to Green the Sinai. The first stage of this project involves the restoration of the Bardawil lagoon and the wetlands around it. And this project will have huge knock-on effects for the surrounding broader region. Many other inspiring projects and people work on restoring wetlands around the world, or on increasing awareness of the importance of these crucial ecosystems. 

Ocean Restoration

Other ecopreneurs are finding and implementing solutions to restore our oceans. ARC Marine is making reef cubes and building artificial reefs which have been lost, for example.

C Combinator is working with Marine Permaculture and The Climate Foundation to sustainably grow and derive higher-value products from seaweed and Kelp Blue is rewilding the ocean through off-shore kelp farming. Many other projects work on tackling plastic waste in the oceans, many led by young people. Grace Easteria's Coral Reef Restoration Project in Thousand Islands, Indonesia makes her another great example of a young person stepping up to save our oceans. 

Of course, the inspiring examples in this article are just a handful of the many people who are stepping up and finding ways to restore ecosystems and do the right thing for people and planet.

Each bioregion has its own unique challenges, both environmental and social. And different solutions are obviously required for different parts of the world. By not just volunteering their time, but also making a business, or enabling businesses to thrive through their endeavours, huge numbers of diverse ecopreneurs are finding ways to re-couple conservation and social and economic systems. They are finding ways to benefit humanity and to reshape society to work in harmony with the natural world. 

View Article Sources
  1. "About the UN Decade." United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.