FAO and the GEF

Partnering for sustainable agri-food systems and the environment

FAO and UNEP call for World Restoration Flagships at UNEA-5


28 Feb 2022, Nairobi, Kenya - FAO and UNEP, as co-leads for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, called for nominiations for World Restoration Flagships under the UN Decade during a high-level flagship side event at the resumed fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5). 

In her opening statement at the high-level side event, FAO’s Deputy Director-General Ms Maria Helena Semedo underlined the importance of restoration efforts, urging partners to take critical actions following the recent launch of the Working Group II contribution to Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation. She presented a viable solution “We need green and climate-resilient agriculture across all production systems (crop, forestry, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture) that reverses biodiversity loss, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and enhances adaptation and resilience.” 

The side event called for greater ambition, bolder vision, and stronger commitments when Parties agree on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at CBD COP15 and review Land Degradation Neutrality targets at UNCCD COP15. UNEP's Executive Director Inger Andersen called the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration a “rallying cry to step up terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems restoration to tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.

Integration across the board is imperative

Greater integration of efforts is needed to ensure lasting restoration of ecosystems, was the clear message that came through during the lively panel discussion with representatives from Germany, El Salvador, Pakistan, UNESCO, the GEF, European Investment Bank, and UNEP Major Group for Children and Youth. Mr. Mohamed Bakarr, Lead Environmental Officer of the GEF, stressed that "restoration cannot be pursued as an isolated agenda but it should be seen as an opportunity to build synergy across various multilateral conventions for multiple benefits within a common framework." The upcoming eighth replenishment cycle of the GEF fund (GEF-8) will play a strategic role in achieving the objectives of the UN Decade through the GEF-8 Integrated Program on Ecosystem Restoration. 

Closing the event, FAO’s Tiina Vähänen and UNEP’s Tim Christopherson called on countries to nominate their first, best, and most innovative flagship projects, saying it will remain a recurring call throughout the decade

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration:  From Commitments to Actions for Nature