Urban trees and forests in the spotlight as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration commences
To further stimulate action at the local level in the Decade of Action, UNECE is extending the Trees in Cities Challenge until the end of 2022. This will allow cities that could not make a pledge due to the disruptions and financial strain caused by the pandemic to join the campaign.
In March 2019, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2021 – 2030 to be the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and called for action at all levels to protect and restore degraded ecosystems and reverse biodiversity loss. Adding to their climate change mitigation and health benefits, urban trees and forests offer a unique opportunity for policy-makers at the local level to contribute to the Decade.
In the words of UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova: “As we enter the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, we must remember that urbanization is one of the key causes of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. The Decade will be key to reversing that relationship. Mayors – this is your chance to make history. A single concrete building may be a landmark of your city for a few decades, but a cared for and properly maintained urban forest can be one for centuries. Join our efforts to protect, maintain and restore these precious urban ecosystems”.