World Environment Day takes place every year on the 5th of June. It is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment.
The global theme for World Environment Day 2021 is “Restoring Our Ecosystems - Together”.
World Environment Day 2021 marks the launch of the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (#GenerationRestoration).
The United Nations’ Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. It can help to end poverty, combat climate change, and prevent a mass extinction.
As host of World Environment Day 2021, Pakistan will highlight environmental issues and showcase the country’s own initiatives and its role in global efforts. The day will be celebrated across the world through various events and activities, in line with latest COVID-19 regulations.
Categories of ecosystems and the benefits of restoring them:
- reduce tillage and adopt natural fertilizers and pest controls
- use crop rotation, grow more diverse crops (including trees) and integrate them with livestock-rearing, which can restore biodiversity and provide more nutritious diets
- return trees to former forest land and improve the condition of degraded forests
- plant indigenous tree species, which can include conserving wild plants, animals and protect soil and water sources that are part of the forest ecosystem
- improve water quality, for instance by treating all waste water before it is discharged
- dams can be better designed to restore river connectivity, while water extraction can be managed to maintain minimum flows
Grasslands, Shrublands and Savannahs
- clear woody vegetation and re-seed native grasses
- strengthen governance systems, such as secure tenure and participatory rangeland management
- Farming techniques such as agroforestry can be more resilient in the face of changing weather patterns
- infrastructure such as dams and roads can be planned to avoid fragmenting rivers and other habitats
Oceans and coasts
- pollutants must be treated before they reach the ocean, and solid waste like plastics kept out completely
- governments and communities need to make fishing sustainable
- Re-wet and restore already drained and degraded peatlands to halt their greenhouse gas emissions
- green spaces need to be placed at the heart of urban planning
- contaminated industrial areas can be rehabilitated and turned into urban nature reserves and places for recreation and relaxation
Ecosystems support all life on earth. The healthier ecosystems are, the healthier the planet, and it’s people. The Global Biodiversity Framework leads on to each nation having to implement meaningful changes at a national and local level to restore nature, part of which is making real short- and long-term changes to reverse the decline of nature.