A Call to Action and Declaration of Commitment for Regenerative Development and Restoring the Earth
Humanity is currently facing a most daunting challenge – that of reversing global warming while stabilizing the climate and restoring the natural environment that our very lives and well-being depend upon. Conventional agriculture causes 25% of our greenhouse gas emissions and is leading to the loss of almost all topsoil within 60 years. We’ve cut down 46% of the trees on earth.
Many areas that were once forested are now deserts; and with the current rate of cutting, the rainforests will be gone in just 40 years. Land degradation and loss of ecosystem health are disrupting natural water cycles creating drought. Ocean acidity has increased by 30% contributing to the loss of marine life, coral bleaching and die off. Global warming is causing increasingly severe “un-natural” disasters and human catastrophes.
More carbon has been released into the atmosphere from land degradation and our farming practices than from all of the fossil fuels used to date. The solution is right under our feet! The world’s soils provide a massive carbon storage system, which still contains three times as much carbon as in the atmosphere. With regenerative practices we can re-sequester much more than this.
A global campaign of unprecedented proportion will be needed to accomplish this. A new book by Project Drawdown details the many benefits that can come from 80 different approaches to limiting and drawing down carbon; an article on Natural Climate Solutions by Bronson Griscom et al in the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences details ways that we can upscale voluntary national commitments; and the Commonwealth has launched a new Initiative on Regenerative Development for Reversing Climate Change (RDRCC) that will need our support.
We thus call on all people, stakeholder groups, and governments to join us in developing full plans to cooperatively implement these recommendations on Regenerative Development for drawing down greenhouse gasses, while putting communities at the center of development, included below. Likewise we commit ourselves to focus on achieving the following objectives and encourage all others to do so as well:
Fully fund and implement the Paris Climate Agreement, countless UN Conventions and Agreements, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the Commonwealth RDRCC plan once completed.
Provide adequate funding to develop, implement, and scale these recommendations through the use of community-led development in as many communities as possible, drawing from such best practices and success stories as are described at www.ecovillage.org/climatesolutions.
Develop and adopt the policies and actions needed to transition fully to regenerative agriculture and to achieve the 4 per 1000 Initiative’s goal of increasing carbon in the soil by 0.4% each year.
Scale up the investments for agriculture in climate finance from the paltry 2% to what is truly required to transition to regenerative agricultural practices.
Scale up the Bonn Challenge on planting trees from restoring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2020 (which has already been achieved) to 2 Billion hectares as soon as possible, while ensuring it is done in a regenerative, restorative and participatory manner.
Put in place a global agreement and/or partnership initiative that focuses specifically on phasing out all unsustainable agriculture and fossil fuel subsidies and replacing them with policies and programs that support the transition to renewable energy and regenerative agricultural processes and systems as is being called for by the V20 Climate Vulnerable Countries, World Wildlife Fund & Zero Carbon Britain (ZCB).
Develop and implement a plan to restore large and small scale water cycles, replenish water tables, and restore the health of watersheds through water retention landscaping and other elements of a Global Action Plan on Climate Restoration.
Restore biodiversity and achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Accords through restoring eco-system health and adopting regenerative and restorative actions and practices.
Phase out the use of fossil fuels and transition to 100% renewable energy via Climate Vulnerable Countries commitments as well as by Sustainable Energy 4 All, ZCB, GO100%, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), etc.
Support efforts to implement innovative community based solutions such as the: Ecosystem Restoration Camp Initiative, Nordic Folke Center, Pan African and Ecovillage Development Programmes, EmerGENcies Program, Charity Water, natural building, local materials, biological waste treatment systems and composting toilets, etc.
Fully implement the International National Trust Organization’s Edinburgh, Dublin, Victoria, Entebbe, and Gianyar Declarations to protect our Natural and Cultural Heritage; along with the Rio Declaration and Principles from the UN’s 1992 Earth Summit Conference.