Global land resources are under severe threat due to pollution and unsustainable land use practices. Restoring degraded land is imperative for regaining ecosystem services, such as biodiversity maintenance and nutrient and water cycling, and to meet the food, feed, fuel, and fibre requirements of present and future generations. While bioremediation is acknowledged as a promising technology for restoring polluted and degraded lands, its field potential is limited for various reasons. However, recent biotechnological advancements, including producing efficient microbial consortia, applying enzymes with higher degrees of specificity, and designing plants with specific microbial partners, are opening new prospects in remediation technology. This review provides insights into such promising ways to harness biotechnology as ecofriendly methods for remediation and restoration. Global land degradation negatively affects the ecosystem services offered by land systems. Biotechnological advancements (e.g., genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics) can be exploited for restoring degraded lands for multipurpose environmental benefits. Customized (site-specific, pollutant-specific, and cost-effective) packages are essential for successful restoration programs. Restoration efforts must also be targeted for obtaining bioproducts for supporting a bio-based economy.
- land degradation
- land restoration