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SER2011 Mexico Call To Action

August 31, 2011

Message from the 4th World Conference on Ecological Restoration

The delegates of the Society for Ecological Restoration´s 4th World Conference on Ecological Restoration (SER2011) congratulate the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for their practical and forward looking Strategic Plan 2011-2020, including Targets 14 and 15 in which the Parties have agreed that by 2020, ecosystems of particular importance to water security, human health, and sustainable livelihoods are restored, and their resilience and contribution to carbon stocks enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including the restoration of at least 15% of degraded ecosystems.

This is a call to action from the 1000 delegates — representing scientists and practitioners, environmental NGOs, private corporations, government agencies, and community and indigenous leaders from over 60 countries — who gathered in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico from August 21-25, 2011. The delegates addressed many of the challenges and opportunities associated with restoring ecosystems and re-establishing the essential link between nature and culture.

Recognizing the critical importance of our global ecological infrastructure as the foundation for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem resilience, sustainable livelihoods, and future economic prosperity, the delegates strongly urge the CBD Parties to act swiftly to deliver on the restoration commitments embedded in the new Strategic Plan, and to:

    * Integrate ecological restoration into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) as well as legislative and regulatory frameworks which include all sectors of society that use and manage natural capital;

    * Increasingly use ecological restoration as a tool in ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation strategies which enhance social and ecological resilience and carbon sequestration and storage;

    * Prioritize the immediate need to reinstate the flow and improve the quality of ecosystem services to alleviate poverty and increase human well-being while taking into account social, cultural, economic and political values;

    * Increase stakeholder involvement, public education and awareness to effectively engage local and indigenous communities in restoration activities and safeguard their right to a healthy and sustainable future;

    * Support and promote investments and incentive mechanisms, such as Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) and other innovative financial mechanisms, to restore degraded ecosystems and landscapes that provide multiple co-benefits to biodiversity, ecosystems, and communities;

    * Increasingly use ecological restoration to improve connectivity within and between protected areas and other ecosystems that are critical for biodiversity conservation, and to increase their adaptive capacity through the restoration of degraded habitats, landscapes, and seascapes; and

    * Adopt guidance for establishing priorities and the goals of restoration activities, and facilitating the transfer of knowledge, tools and technologies.

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