Environment

World Environment Day 2024: Our land, our future

World Environment Day 2024 Our land, our future

Photo: Wild Pixar from Pixabay

Published

June 5, 2024

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Published:

June 5, 2024

Country:

Comments:

1

Share

Every year on June 5, we celebrate World Environment Day. It was established by the United Nations in 1973. World Environment Day 2024  themes focus on land restoration, halting desertification and building drought resilience under the slogan “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.”

World Environment Day is the largest global platform for public awareness about the state of the environment and is celebrated worldwide. This year’s host is Saudi Arabia.

Ecosystems around the world are under threat. From forests to lands to agricultural areas and lakes, the natural spaces that humanity depends on are at a turning point.

Nearly 40% of the planet’s land is degraded, and droughts are 29% more frequent and last longer than in 2000. If urgent measures are not taken, by mid-century, they could affect three-quarters of the world’s population.

Therefore, on this World Environment Day, the importance of land restoration, halting desertification, and strengthening drought resilience is emphasized. This year’s slogan is: “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.”

The loss of once-productive land threatens food supplies, drives climate change, and causes a biodiversity crisis, pushing a million species toward extinction, experts say.

We are the generation that can reconcile with the earth

“We cannot turn back time, but we can grow forests, revive water sources, and restore soil. We are the generation that can reconcile with the earth,” said the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

In recent years, countries around the world have committed to restoring a total of one billion hectares of degraded land and achieving other goals to prevent ecosystem loss. Much of the restoration conducted so far has been under the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

The Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to agricultural lands, and from mountain tops to ocean depths, and its implementation began in 2021, symbolically on World Environment Day.

Saudi Arabia, this year’s host, is among the nations that have embraced restoration.

To limit global warming from pre-industrial times to 2100 to at least two degrees Celsius, we must reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This requires ecosystem restoration, which must go hand in hand with the decarbonization of the economy.

Also, by halting land and ocean degradation, we could prevent the loss of one million endangered species. Scientists say that restoring just 15% of ecosystems in priority areas would be enough to reduce species extinction by 60%.

How to protect the ecosystem

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration focuses on forests, agricultural lands, grasslands and savannas, rivers and lakes, oceans and coastal areas, cities, peatlands, and mountains, which humanity has degraded. Every type of ecosystem can be restored by reducing the pressures we create and taking action on the ground to speed up their recovery.

First of all, this involves preserving key processes such as photosynthesis, carbon storage, nutrient cycling, and water filtration, while simultaneously protecting and restoring biodiversity.

Worldwide, between 765 million and one billion hectares of land need to be restored. Almost half of this area is located in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Asia and Latin America.

Organize tree and plant planting actions

To restore land and stop the spread of the desert, it is necessary to plant trees and plants. In your local community, you can organize tree and plant planting actions to increase green areas and prevent soil erosion. Growing trees along streets can reduce urban temperatures by up to five degrees Celsius.

Recycling is another way to reduce negative impacts on the environment. It also helps conserve resources and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Rational use of water will also contribute to protecting water resources and mitigating land degradation due to water scarcity.

The importance of land restoration for the ecosystem is demonstrated by the example of Nepal. This country has tripled the tiger population by restoring meadows and forests.

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification will be held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, from December 2 to 13.

Make agriculture more sustainable

The way we produce and consume food is responsible for 80% of biodiversity loss. The first change you can make is to buy and produce organic food. By buying organically grown products, you support local farmers who practice organic farming methods. Organic agriculture helps maintain soil fertility and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Start composting organic waste to produce natural fertilizer for your garden or yard. Composting helps enrich the soil with nutrients and improve soil fertility.

Protect freshwater systems

The world’s freshwater ecosystems provide food and water for billions of people as well as habitat for countless plants and animals. They also maintain water cycles that make the land fertile and are crucial for regeneration. However, freshwater ecosystems are disappearing at an alarming rate due to pollution, climate change, and overfishing.

What we can do as individuals is to reduce water consumption in daily activities. For example, collect rainwater to water the garden.

Comments (1)
Jatinkumar Chandubhai Patel / June 5, 2024

Our Land is our Mother we are the child of Land.
So as a child of Land our responsibility to save our Earth & take care of our land our future.
Without land we are nothing. I’m possible to grow.

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