Target 2. 30% of degraded areas are under effective restoration
Ensure that by 2030 at least 30 per cent of areas of degraded terrestrial, inland water, and marine and coastal ecosystems are under effective restoration, in order to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, ecological integrity and connectivity.
Following are the guidance notes prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) for Target 2
Habitat degradation is the result of human-induced processes that result in a decline in biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services, and resilience and can occur in terrestrial, freshwater or marine and coastal ecosystems. Because degradation can take many forms and be measured in different ways, there are varying estimates on the amount of degraded habitat globally. However, estimates suggest that between 20 and 40 per cent of the global land area alone could be considered degraded, affecting the well-being of at least 3.2 billion people
The main direct drivers of land degradation are the expansion of crop and grazing lands into natural areas, unsustainable agricultural and forestry practices, climate change, and, in specific areas, urban expansion, infrastructure development and extractive industry. Habitat loss through transformation and the decline in the suitability of the remaining habitat through degradation are the leading causes of biodiversity loss. Ecosystems affected by land degradation mainly include forests, rangelands and wetlands. Wetlands are particularly degraded, with 87 per cent lost globally in the last 300 years, and 54 per cent since 1900. Marine ecosystems are experiencing high rates of habitat loss and degradation as well, particularly along coastlines, mangrove forests and coral reefs.
This target aims to ensure that 30 per cent of the total area of degraded terrestrial, inland water and marine and coastal ecosystems are under effective restoration by 2030. To accomplish this, the target specifies several elements that need to be considered:
- Restoration – Restoration refers to the process of actively managing the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged or destroyed. Restoration activities can be undertaken for a variety of reasons and across a continuum of actions. For example, ecological restoration includes efforts to increase the area of a natural ecosystem and its integrity through recovering an ecosystem that has been degraded or destroyed, this includes conversion of non-natural transformed ecosystems back to a natural ecosystems state. On the other hand ecosystem rehabilitation includes efforts to increase ecosystem functions and services of transformed ecosystems. Given, the continuum of restoration activities, efforts to reach this target should be specific and identify the type of restoration being undertaken, the overall objectives being sought and the type of area or ecosystem being restored.
- Effective–In order for restoration activities to be effective, they need to be appropriately resourced and monitored over time. Further, the potential for restoration should not be regarded as a justification for the further degradation of ecosystems. The target does not require areas to be restored, given that restoration is a long-term process, but that effective restoration activities have been initiated.
- Degraded ecosystems - Degradation refers to a persistent (long-term) reduction in the capacity to provide ecosystem services. Degraded land includes natural ecosystems which have included a loss of ecosystem functions and services and transformed ecosystems (such as agricultural areas). An assessment of degraded areas within a country is a necessary first step for monitoring the total percent of degraded ecosystems which are under restoration
- Terrestrial, inland water, marine and coastal ecosystems– The Target specifies the need to restore all types of ecosystems whether terrestrial, inland water or marine and coastal..
- Enhance biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services – While restoration activities can be undertaken for various reasons, this target specifies that such activities should be undertaken for the purposes of enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, ecological integrity and connectivity. These different objectives should be considered in the design and implementation of actions to reach this target.
- Connectivity and integrity – An area with high ecological integrity is one which has a composition, structure, function and ecological process close to that of a natural ecosystem. Connectivity ensures the maintenance of natural species habitats. Taking into account both objectives is an important consideration in the design of restoration activities.
- Actions to reach Target 2 should take into account all of the considerations for implementation identified in section C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
- Progress towards this target will support the attainment of goals A and B of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. In addition, progress towards this target will directly support the attainment of targets 3, 8, 11 and 12 of the Framework. Conversely, progress towards targets 1, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 will help to reach Target 2.
- Target 2 addresses issues that were previously addressed by Aichi Biodiversity Target 15
- Elements of Target 2 are also addressed in the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, including targets 6.6, 14.2, 15.1 and 15.3
- Target 2 also links to processes under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) related to land degradation neutrality and associated target setting, the Global Forest Goals and targets of the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests developed under the United Nations Forum on Forests, Ramsar Resolution VII.17 as well as to the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
- What areas in your country are currently degraded? What are the opportunities and constraints in undertaking ecosystem restoration, generally and by habitat?
- What are the trade-offs to consider (potential ecological, economic, and social costs and benefits) in undertaking restoration in specific habitats?
- What national or sub/regional restoration commitments and pledges have been endorsed by your country?
- Who are the key actors that may have an interest, responsibility and/or authority in this matter? How can they be involved?
- What additional resources (financial, human and technical) will be required to reach the national target? How can additional funds be raised? What are possible funding sources?
The monitoring framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework identifies the following indicators) for this target:
- Extent of natural ecosystems by type
- Maintenance and restoration of connectivity of natural ecosystems
- Habitat distributional range
- Index of Species Rarity Sites, High Biodiversity Areas, Large Mammal Landscapes, Intact Wilderness and Climate Stabilization Areas
- Increase in secondary natural forest cover
- Annual Tropical Primary Tree Cover Loss
- Forest Landscape Integrity Index
- Global Ecosystem Restoration Index
- Free-flowing rivers
- Percentage of cropped landscapes with at least 10 per cent natural land
- Bioclimatic Ecosystem Resilience Index (BERI)
- Priority retention of intact / wilderness areas
- Status of Key Biodiversity Areas
- Biodiversity Habitat Index
- Red List Index
- Red List of Ecosystems
- IPBES (2018). Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration.
- UNCCD (2022). Global Land Outlook 2, Land Restoration for Recovery and Resilience.
- FAO (2020). The State of the World’s Forests.
- UNEP (2022). Global Peatlands Assessment.
- UNCCD. National Voluntary Land Degradation Neutrality Targets and related country reports submitted under the UNCCD.
Tools and guidance:
- CBD decision XIII/5 (2016). Short-term Action Plan on Ecosystem Restoration.
- Ramsar resolution VIII/16 (2002). Principles, and guidelines for wetland restoration.
- UNCCD (2016). Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting – a technical guide.
- SER (2023). International Principles and Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration, 2nd Edition.
- Ecosystem Restoration Playbook – a Practical Guide to Healing the Planet.
- FAO, SER & IUCN CEM (2023). Standards of practice to guide ecosystem restoration: A contribution to the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration – Summary report.
- Framework for Ecosystem Restoration Monitoring (FERM)
- IUCN. The Restoration Barometer.
- ITTO (2020). Guidelines for Forest Landscape Restoration in the Tropics
- FAO, IUCN/CEM, SER (2021). Principles for ecosystem restoration to guide the United Nations Decade 2021–2030.
Note from the Secretariat: This guidance material provides an overview of the target by briefly introducing key terms, highlighting some of the implications for national target setting, and providing key points and guiding questions for consideration as part of national target-setting exercises. It also identifies the adopted indicators to monitor progress and resources that could assist with national target setting and implementation. This material should be considered a work in progress, and it will be periodically updated with inputs from Parties and partner organizations in the light of experiences with its use. This information is meant to serve as a resource that Parties and others may wish to consider as they implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. It does not replace or qualify decision 15/4 or 15/5.