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#SolutionMonday: 8 depleting ecosystems and how to restore them

ecosystems - climateaction

#SolutionMonday: 8 depleting ecosystems and how to restore them

Hello readers. Welcome to #SolutionMonday on CleanbuildVoices!

Ecosystems are being degraded by human activities and as the world seeks ways to beat emissions targets, people are also turning to ecosystems restoration to mitigate emissions.

Below are 8 ecosystems that are facing degradation and ways they can be restored or conserved.

Farmland

Overgrazing and soil erosion; monocultures; removal of hedges and trees; pollution from fertilizers and pesticides, etc., are degrading farmlands.

To restore them, crop rotation with more diverse crops including trees, livestock grazing on cropland after harvest, use of natural fertilizers, and pest control are needed.

Forests

Clearing forests for infrastructure, agriculture, grazing, and logging for firewood, as well as other factors like pollution, invasive pests, and wildfires, are degrading forests.

Activities like rewilding, replanting native trees, as well as the conservation of plants and animals are sure ways of restoring these ecosystems.

Freshwater

Factors such as water extraction for irrigation, industry, and homes; sand and gravel mining; dams, canalization, and drainage for agriculture; pollution from chemicals, plastics, and sewage are destroying these ecosystems.

To restore it, there would need to be a control on water extraction, fishing, and mining; dam removal or redesign, restoring water flows to wetlands; wastewater treatment

Oceans and coasts

Factors like overfishing and coastal clearance for aquaculture; plastic and nutrient pollution; wastewater discharge, etc., are major culprits of the depletion of these ecosystems.

To restore them, sustainable fishing, wastewater treatment, pollution control, management, and restoration of coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses need to be implemented.

Grasslands and savannah

Grasslands and savannahs are diminishing due to their conversion to cropland and pasture; overgrazing and soil erosion; unsustainable resource extraction; invasive species.

To restore them, active clearance of woody vegetation; reseeding native grasses and replanting native shrubs and trees; reintroduction, and protection of native fauna need to the implemented.

Mountains

Mountains are depleting due to forest clearance for agriculture, dams and roads; soil erosion; natural disasters such as avalanches, landslides and floods.

Activities such as tree planting, better planning of infrastructure, use of low-impact farming techniques such as agroforestry are needed to restore these ecosystems.

Cities

Cities are being choked by urban sprawl; waste and emissions from industry, traffic, and homes.

With stricter planning laws; clean-up of waterways and former industrial sites; tree planting and creation of green space and urban wetlands, these ecosystems will definitely be restored.

Peatland

Peatlands are being degraded by extraction; drainage for agriculture, infrastructure, mining and fossil fuel exploration; fire, overgrazing, pollution, etc.

Restoring them will entail re-wetting and conservation.

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