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World Environment Day: UN launches Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

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June 3, 2021

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June 3, 2021

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The United Nations declared the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration would begin on June 5, the World Environment Day. It called on individuals, groups, governments, businesses and organizations to join forces in a global #GenerationRestoration movement to halt and reverse ecosystem degradation in order to secure a sustainable future for all.

The World Environment Day focuses on ecosystem restoration and its theme this year is Reimagine.Recreate.Restore. Geared toward helping everyone interested to join #GenerationRestoration, the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) has developed the Ecosystem Restoration Playbook. The document lays out practical advice on joining the movement by taking action, making smart choices, and raising one’s voice.

Ecosystem Restoration is a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea

Ecosystem restoration means preventing, halting and reversing the damage – to go from exploiting nature to healing it. This World Environment Day will kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea, the UN said on its website, adding that only with healthy ecosystems we can enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change and stop the collapse of biodiversity.

The Ecosystem Restoration Playbook displays advice on joining the #GenerationRestoration movement by taking action, making smart choices, and raising voice for restoration

Ecosystem loss is depriving the world of carbon sinks, like forests and peatlands, at a time when humanity can least afford it. Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown for three consecutive years and the planet is on pace for potentially catastrophic climate change, the UN claims.

The emergence of COVID-19 has also shown just how disastrous the consequences of ecosystem loss can be. By shrinking the area of natural habitat for animals, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens – including coronaviruses – to spread, the UN said.

The host country of the World Environment Day 2021 is Pakistan. The country is implementing an ecosystem restoration project  – the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project. Launched in 2019, it has just reached a new milestone – Pakistan planted its billionth tree. The plan is scheduled to be finished by 2023.

Guide to join #GenerationRestoration

The 21-page guide describes approaches to restoring eight key types of ecosystems – forests, farmlands, grassland and savannas, rivers and lakes, oceans and coasts, towns and cities, peatlands, and mountains.

The Ecosystem Restoration Playbook helps you identify opportunities for on-the-ground restoration in your area and find partners and support. It also shows you how to relieve the pressure on ecosystems by changing what you do and what you buy, and by encouraging everyone to get serious about sustainability, the playbook reads.

world environment day 2021 generation restoration playbook

The guide outlines three pathways to join the movement and improve the well-being of people and nature:

You can take action by:

  • Announcing an ambitious restoration project or policy initiative, whether at local, regional or national level – tell the world what role you will play in a ten-year push
  • Volunteering for an existing restoration effort
  • Cleaning up a lake, beach, park or other natural area
  • Greening your home, business, school, or a public space with indigenous trees or plants

You can make smart choices by:

  • Pledging a donation or other support for restoration or conservation initiatives
  • Halting purchases of products and services that are not certified as sustainable
  • Starting a new diet or catering policy based on seasonal, sustainable and plant-rich products.

You can raise your voice by:

  • Putting on or participating in an exhibition of posters, photos or art showing the beauty of local ecosystems
  • Holding a discussion about the value of ecosystems and the threats they face
  • Staging an online campaign to draw attention to climate change, nature loss and what can be done to reverse these trends
  • Writing a letter to your local newspaper.
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