Grasslands and savannahs are suffering heavy losses from degradation and conversion.  

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration offers important opportunities to address these losses through a range of restoration techniques. However, if poorly planned, the Decade could undermine some remaining natural and semi‐natural grassland and savannah ecosystems by encouraging afforestation on these areas, thus acting as a perverse incentive.  

This article outlines the main issues and steps needed to ensure that the Decade creates positive outcomes for these important and highly biodiverse ecosystems:  

  1. better understanding of status and trends in degraded and converted grasslands and savannahs;  
  2. making the case for grassland and savannah restoration at both national and international levels;  
  3. ensuring post‐2020 biodiversity conservation targets address all natural ecosystems;  
  4. improving selection tools for restoration to avoid displacing valuable ecosystems; and  
  5. identifying successful grassland and savannah restoration approaches that address ecological, cultural, and social needs. 

Affiliate Partner

Nigel Dudley, Luca Eufemia, Martina Fleckenstein, Maria E. Periago, Ilka Petersen and Jean F. Timmers

Type of publication

Journal Article

Type of Ecosystem

Grasslands, Shrublands and Savannahs

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