What is ecosystem restoration?

Ecosystem Restoration identifies itself, as the recovery of ecosystems that have been devalued and demolished as well as maintain/preserve the already intact ecosystems. A healthy ecosystem along with rich biodiversity grants greater benefits such as more fertile soil, bigger production of timber and fish, and larger stores of green house gases. Ecosystem restoration is one of the important ways of delivering nature based solution for food insecurity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity loss.

Restoration can happen in many ways, for example- by planting trees or by removing pressures so that nature can recover on its own. All kinds of ecosystem can be restored, including forest, farmlands, cities, wetlands and oceans. Restoration initiatives can be launched by almost anyone, from governments and development agencies to business communities and individual. Restoration is the key to the prosperity and well being of people. Lively ecosystem provide benefits of food and water to health and security that our ever increasing population needs and will need in the near future.

Almost every ecosystem on earth has been altered by human activity. Some of these impacts are neutral and contributes to sustainability, but some disturbances to land air or water disrupts the nature. over-intensive use, soil erosion, excess use of fertilizers and pesticides are exhausting many farmlands. Ways to restore them include reducing tillage, using more natural fertilizers and pest control, growing more diverse crops, including trees. These steps will help rebuild carbon stores in soils, making them more fertile so that countries can feed their increase population without using more land. The restoration of farmland also creates habitats for wildlife.

Forests and trees are being cleared to feed humanity’s hunger for land and resources. logging, firewood cutting, pollution, wildfire, are damaging whatever is remained. Replanting and reducing the pressure on forest so that trees re-grows naturally. Degraded and disused farmland can be great for restoration of forest.

Coming to rivers and lakes, safe water has become a luxury .Freshwater ecosystem has been destroyed by pollution, overfishing and infrastructure as well as drawing more water for irrigation, industry and homes. Restoration means halting pollution, reducing and treating waste, managing demand for water and fish, and reviving vegetation above and below the surface.

In mountain regions, clearing of slopes for farming and for houses can trigger dangerous erosion and pollute rivers at their source. Humanity can counter the trend by reviving forests, and restoring against the protection they provide against avalanche, landslides, and floods.

Cities and towns can seem like ecological desserts. There’s little or no room for vegetation in urban areas among factories, roads and houses. Urban areas have huge potential for for restoration. Citizens and municipal authorities can clean up waterways, let bee-friendly plants grow and create urban woodlands and other wildlife habitats in parks, schools and other public spaces. Mowing grass frequently is cheaper for cities and allows nature to thrive. Contaminated industrial areas can be rehabilitated and turned into places for nature and recreation.

Hence restoration is possible if we humans take up initiatives to restore and look after our nature. Baby steps by everyone and the government would lead up to huge changes in future.

Prerona Sarkar
Author: Prerona Sarkar

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