REPORT: UNEP (2022) - The Benefits of Ecosystem Restoration: an Analysis of Five European Restoration Initiatives. 55 pp. POLICY BRIEF: UNEP (2022) - The Benefits of Ecosystem Restoration: 11 Lessons Learned from an Analysis of 5 European Restoration Initiatives. 12pp.

The benefits of ecosystem restoration: an analysis of five European Restoration Initiatives report reveals how degraded ecosystems in Europe are being restored by the efforts of organisations, local communities and governments. Each location faces its own challenges but the tactics being employed in the five locations are similar. More importantly, they are working.

Ecosystem restoration has an important role to play in meeting the global and national goals of halting biodiversity loss and cutting greenhouse gases emissions. Despite all the projected benefits, restoration has been slow on the ground. It has been difficult to start new projects and to scale up existing ones to larger areas with increased capacity and funding. Today’s new report aims to support the acceleration of much needed restoration work across Europe by providing inspirational examples of the many benefits that restoration can achieve.

The five initiatives analysed in the report span different ecosystems, from the grassland ecosystems of the Altyn Dala Initiative in Kazakhstan to the wetlands of the Danube Delta across Romania, Moldova and Ukraine, to the mountains of the Carpathian Mountains Initiative. Two coastal and marine ecosystems are also included as restoration of marine areas can provide large benefits, as exemplified by the Gökova Bay to Cape Gelidonya Initiative in Turkey and the Five European Seas Initiative covering the Baltic, Black, Caspian, Mediterranean and the North-East Atlantic Seas.

The benefits of these initiatives are multiple, ranging from boosting biodiversity to climate change mitigation and adaptation, to socio-economic benefits, including benefits to vulnerable communities. The report also identifies a set of important enabling factors that promote restoration.

The report is accompanied by a policy brief, The benefits of ecosystem restoration Eleven Lessons Learned from an Analysis of Five European Restoration Initiatives detailing the lessons learned and what policymakers can do to support restoration initiatives.