CBD highlights opportunity for large scale restoration across Europe

Wild area restoration in Europe - of global significanceWild area restoration in Europe - of global significance

Potential for restoration across 200,000 km2 of abandoned farmland in Europe is cited as providing significant opportunity to support global biodiversity strategy in the CBD’s 3rd Global Biodiversity Outlook (2010).

Published in advance of the Nagoya Conference to address the world’s declining biodiversity, the Report is particularly significant.

“………There are opportunities for rewilding landscapes from farmland abandonment in some regions – in Europe, for example, about 200,000 square kilometers of land are expected to be freed up by 2050. Ecological restoration and reintroduction of large herbivores and carnivores will be important in creating self-sustaining ecosystems with minimal need for further human intervention.” CBD 3rd GBO, 2010, page 75

Against a backdrop of failure to meet most of the 2010 Biodiversity Targets, the Report provides strong affirmation of the importance to international conservation of protecting and restoring large wild areas of natural habitat and process in Europe.

The role of undisturbed old growth forest in particular is emphasized in the Report, not only through storing significantly greater quantities of carbon than its managed counterpart, but via the process of ‘carbon fertilization’ which could augment this capacity further. Similar arguments apply to undisturbed wetland and peat areas.

For further detail on the CBD Global Biodiversity Outlook Report, see: http://gbo3.cbd.int