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