Day 156 – REIMAGINE. RECREATE. RESTORE.
“This is our moment. 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. Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid. Join #GenerationRestoration“ – World Environment Day
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is Ecosystem Restoration. Pakistan will act as global host of the day. World Environment Day 2021 will see the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
“Ecosystem restoration means assisting in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed, as well as conserving the ecosystems that are still intact. Restoration can happen in many ways – for example through actively planting or by removing pressures so that nature can recover on its own. It is not always possible – or desirable – to return an ecosystem to its original state. We still need farmland and infrastructure on land that was once forest, for instance, and ecosystems, like societies, need to adapt to a changing climate. Between now and 2030, the restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems could generate US$9 trillion in ecosystem services. Restoration could also remove 13 to 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.” – UN Decades on Ecosystem Restoration
Scientists say these next ten years will count most in the fight to avert climate change and the loss of millions of species. Here are ten actions in the strategy of the UN Decade that can build a #GenerationRestoration.
- Empower a global movement – Groups and individuals can get informed about restoration opportunities in their area. They can join an initiative already underway or start their own.
- Finance restoration on the ground – Governments, international lenders, development agencies and private business will all have to ramp up their support. Individuals can consider giving a donation, their time or their expertise to a worthy initiative.
- Set the right incentives – In the long-term, healthier ecosystems can produce bigger harvests, more secure incomes and a healthier environment for people. Being a leader on restoration needs to be rewarded and not punished.
- Celebrate leadership -The UN Decade will celebrate leadership and encourage others to step up. Just like Indigenous peoples have acted as defenders of their ecosystems for generations., we too, need to protect our lands.
- Shift behaviors – Deforestation, the depletion of fish stocks and the degradation of agricultural soils are all caused by global consumption patterns. The UN Decade will work with all partners to identify and encourage restoration-friendly consumption.
- Invest in research – Scientific understanding of how to restore and adapt ecosystems is still developing. Considerable investments are needed to identify the best practices to restore our planet – one plot at a time.
- Build up capacity – As a priority, the UN Decade’s strategy seeks to build the capacity of marginalized groups that stand to lose most from the continued destruction of ecosystems – such as indigenous peoples, women and youth to take an active role in restoration.
- Celebrate a culture of restoration – Shifting from plundering the planet to healing it is a cultural challenge. The UN Decade’s strategy therefore calls on artists, storytellers, producers, musicians and connectors to join the #GenerationRestoration.
- Build up the next generation – Education for restoration will turn today’s children into ecosystem ambassadors, provide skills for sustainable jobs and ensure that the UN Decade’s achievements far outlive its timeframe.
- Listen and learn – The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration wants to hear from you. Connect with them on social media and be sure to use #GENERATIONRESTORATION
There is a lot of work to be done and no one person or organization can do it alone. We all have to join forces and work together to protect the planet, our home.
Tomorrow, options to donate and recycle your eyewear.