Programa sobre los bosques y el agua

Launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: Restoring forests for water (Este recurso solo está disponible en inglés).


World Environment day 2021 marks the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, an important call for action to protect and restore different ecosystems all around the world, by building a strong, inclusive, and worldwide movement.

Restoration efforts are key to increase the ability of ecosystems to fight against climate change, support biodiversity conservation and improve people’s livelihoods while contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Decade on Restoration estimates that the restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems could generate US$9 trillion in ecosystem services. Ecosystem restoration is therefore a winning investment, with every $1 spent bringing $10- 15 in return.

Forest restoration that takes into account and values water resources can enhance the hydrological functionalities of landscapes and can contribute to mitigation of droughts and floods as well as to the well-being and resilience of people and the environment. Due to the ability of forests to stabilize riverbanks and act as filters, forest restoration efforts will likely result in a reduction of sedimentation and erosion, improving water quality provided by restored areas. According to The Nature Conservancy, land conservation and restoration, including forest protection and reforestation, could lead to a reduction of up to 10 percent in sediments and nutrients in watersheds, improving water quality for more than 1.7 billion people living in cities.


Restoration of forest-water ecosystems

It is vital to encourage restoration actions that consider the forest-water nexus, particularly where this synergy is more intrinsic and plays a central role in the ecosystems. These ecosystems include mangrove forestspeatlands foreststropical montane cloud forests and dryland forests. Peatland forests, for example, are one of the ecosystem categories identified by the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.  They are critical for providing safe drinking water, regulating water, preserving global biodiversity, and store 30% of global soil carbon, an ability that is intrinsically related to the presence of water. Due to the severe over-exploration and degradation, one-quarter of the world’s peatland forests disappeared between 1990 and 2008, according to a report done by Joosten and colleagues from the Greifswald University.

Considering the global importance of peatland forests, and other forest ecosystems where water plays a central role, restoration efforts must increase to ensure the delivery of water services that forests provide. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration will be a significant movement to raise awareness on the importance of preventing, halting, and reversing the degradation of forests, highlighting the wide impact of these efforts on water, and taking into account the forest-water nexus in planning restoration initiatives.

The success of restoration actions depends on us, we need to ensure the health of all ecosystems to ensure our planet’s and our wellbeing. This is vital if we wish to move toward a more sustainable future. Join us on the restoration movement #GenerationRestoration and spread the word about the UN Decade !


For more information please visit:

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Website

Forest and Water Programme Website