World Environment Day, 5 June 2021
The global crises of the past year have brought many of us to the brink of despair as we witness the fragility of life and nature. We therefore welcome the sense of hope implicit in this year’s theme for World Environment Day – ‘Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.’
The organisers of World Environment Day say: “We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature.”
This World Environment Day marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, to be launched on 4-5 June through a Virtual Launch Gala. Ecosystem restoration is about restoring ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed, and conserving those that are still intact, through planting and allowing nature to recover by removing pressures. By 2030 it is planned that 350 million hectares of degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems be restored, generating US$9 trillion in ecosystem services and removing 13 to 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
All kinds of ecosystems can be restored, including forests, farmlands, cities, wetlands and oceans. Anyone can begin these initiatives – governments and development agencies, businesses, communities and individuals.
As well as conferring urgently needed environmental benefits, the economic benefits of restoring ecosystems exceed nine times the cost of investment, whereas inaction is at least three times more costly than ecosystem restoration.
World Environment Day offers online events that all can attend at https://www.worldenvironmentday.global
Dr Anne Morris, Chair,
ICJW Environment and Sustainable Development