Just ahead of World Environment Day and amid demands from scientists and grassroots organizers for global systemic changes, a pair of United Nations agencies on Thursday launched the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration with a report that serves as a call to action for everyone to join the #GenerationRestoration movement.\r\n\r\n\u0022Restoration is essential for keeping global temperature rise below 2°C, ensuring food security for a growing population, and slowing the rate of species extinctions.\u0022\r\n—U.N. report\r\n\r\nThe new U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report highlights that humans are using 1.6 times the resources that the planet can sustainably provide and since the 1990s, 420 million hectares or over a million acres of forest have been lost.\r\n\r\nSuch statistics underscore the need for countries to deliver on existing pledges to restore at least one billion degraded hectares of land—roughly 2.47 billion acres or an area about the size of China—as well as make similar commitments for the world\u0026#039;s oceans.\r\n\r\n\u0022We speak of two-thirds of ocean ecosystems being damaged, degraded, and modified, and if you consider that the planet is 70% ocean, that is an enormous amount, including plastic pollution which is so ubiquitous that it is very hard to avoid plastic—even in fish that we catch and eat,\u0022 said Tim Christophersen, head of UNEP\u0026#039;s Nature for Climate Branch, Ecosystems Division, according to U.N. News.\r\n\r\nIn the report\u0026#039;s foreword, UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen and FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu write that \u0022the 2021–2030 timeline underlines the urgency of the task. Without a powerful 10-year drive for restoration, we can neither achieve the climate targets of the Paris agreement, nor the Sustainable Development Goals.\u0022\r\n\r\nAndersen and Qu point out that \u0022degradation is already affecting the well-being of an estimated 3.2 billion people—that is 40% of the world\u0026#039;s population. Every single year we lose ecosystem services worth more than 10% of our global economic output.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022This report presents the case for why we all must throw our weight behind a global restoration effort,\u0022 they continue. \u0022Drawing on the latest scientific evidence, it explains the crucial role played by ecosystems from forests and farmland to rivers and oceans, and charts the losses that result from our poor stewardship of the planet.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEntitled Becoming #GenerationRestoration: Ecosystem Restoration for People, Nature, and Climate (pdf), the report says that \u0022restoration is essential for keeping global temperature rise below 2°C, ensuring food security for a growing population, and slowing the rate of species extinctions. Humanity is not outside of nature; it is part of it. We need to recreate a balanced relationship with the ecosystems that sustain us.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe agencies detail what is happening in various ecosystems, from farmlands and forests to grasslands, mountains, peatlands, savannahs, urban areas, and bodies of water. They also outline why restoration is necessary for the economy, food security, clean water, human health and well-being, the climate emergency, peace, and biodiversity.\r\n\r\n\u0022Unfortunately, we are still going in the wrong direction,\u0022 the report warns. \u0022People living in poverty, women, Indigenous peoples, and other marginalized groups bear the brunt of this damage, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only worsened existing inequalities.\u0022\r\n\r\nUNEP and FAO also emphasize that restoration must happen on a massive scale to achieve the international community\u0026#039;s sustainable development agenda, that successful efforts will require \u0022deep changes\u0022 but deliver multiple benefits, and that \u0022everyone has a role to play,\u0022 from governments and donors to youth organizers.\r\n\r\nEcosystem restoration, the report says, \u0022is one of the most important ways of delivering nature-based solutions for societal challenges.\u0022 Some of the changes it requires include natural capital accounting, eliminating subsidies that incentivize further degradation and fuel the climate emergency, reducing food waste, using agricultural land more efficiently, promoting plant-based diets, and incorporating the importance of healthy ecosystems into educational systems.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe U.N. agencies estimate that restoring lands in line with the one billion hectare commitment will require an investment of at least $200 billion per year by 2030—and while that may seem steep, the report notes that every $1 invested in restoration creates up to 30 times that amount in economic benefits.\r\n\r\n\u0022Restoration needs to be seen as an infrastructure investment in a country\u0026#039;s well-being. We need imagination,\u0022 UNEP\u0026#039;s Christophersen told The Guardian. \u0022For many people, I think restoring a billion hectares is a bit abstract. We have decades of experience of how this could work but never on the scale we\u0026#039;re talking about. We have space program[s] and nuclear weapons—it is possible.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe report comes as 126 Nobel laureates shared a statement titled \u0022Our Planet, Our Future: An Urgent Call for Action\u0022 with leaders of Group of Seven countries and the U.N. secretary-general ahead of a G-7 summit, and a day after La Via Campesina, an international movement of peasants and others, published an \u0022Anti-Imperialist Manifesto in Defense of the Environment.\u0022 Members of that movement are among those planning global actions for Saturday, which is\u0026nbsp;World Environment Day.