Did you know that “Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch and over the last century we have destroyed half of our wetlands”? Or that “As much as 50% of our coral reefs have already been lost and up to 90% of coral reefs could be lost by 2050, even if global warming is limited to an increase of 1.5°C.”
With these alarming statistics, we must take a look at the environment and the damage we have caused up to now and find ways to slow down or recover from these damages. Let us use World Environment Day to reflect and become aware of our past actions that are causing severe environmental damage to the earth. While the pandemic last year seemed to clear up some grey skies, it won’t be long until we go back to the way we were living before. So to prevent and protect our beautiful earth, let us acknowledge the environmental issues on World Environment Day and plan for the future.
Keep on reading to learn more about World Environment Day and what we can do on World Environment Day and for our earth.
What is World Environment Day?
World Environment Day is a United Nations Observance Day, which is held every year on June 5th. World Environment Day is a day to understand and learn more ways to take care of our environment and earth. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1974 and since then every year on June 5th, the world comes together in hopes of protecting and helping our planet.
2021 World Environment Day Theme
The 2021 World Environment Day theme is Ecosystem Restoration. Our survival and lives are intertwined with the entire ecosystem, everything is a delicate balance. The ecosystem is all about how living organisms interact with the environment. However, up to now, we have done quite a lot of damage to our ecosystem and environment that we need to wake and protect before it gets too late. Thus, it is important that we restore our ecosystem and environment so that future generations have a chance.
This year’s World Environment Day’s goal is to conduct a global movement:
It means repairing billions of hectares of land – an area greater than China or the USA – so that people have access to food, clean water, and jobs.
It means bringing back plants and animals from the brink of extinction, from the peaks of mountains to the depths of the sea.
But it also includes the many small actions everyone can take, every day: growing trees, greening our cities, rewilding our gardens, or cleaning up trash alongside rivers and coasts.
In addition, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration will be officially launched on World Environment Day 2021. The goal of the program is to prevent, halt, protect, reverse the damages that have been done in the next 10 years. As it is said that we still have 10 years that we can take action before it is too late. So the UN is taking action to restore the forest and the oceans. And by doing so, no only will we restore our ecosystem, but it can combat poverty, climate change, and the loss of biodiversity.
The World for Environment
For World Environment Day, many countries and cities are working on making a difference for the environment. Trying to restore the environment and the ecosystem in their own ways. Let’s check out some of their progress!
Pakistan – 2021 World Environment Day Host
As Pakistan is the host of 2021 World Environment Day, the Pakistan government has been focusing on restoring their environment such as the mangrove. The Pakistan government had launched their Ten Billion Tree Drive to help restore the Mangrove which is largely tied to Pakistan’s economy too. By restoring the mangroves, it can combat climate change and the effects of climate change such as floods. In addition, Pakistan has focused on many other aspects of the environment to restore both its economy and environment.
Madrid having their Green Return
Other actions to restore the ecosystem and environment include Madrid restoring their “Green Belt” as part of the World Environment Day participation and for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Due to the pandemic, people realized the need for more nature and green in our life, thus, leading to the Madrid government restore their green within the city.
African Green Stimulus Programme
54 ministers from different African countries have agreed upon the African Green Stimulus Programme, to restore the forests and thus, stimulate the green economy respectively. Tasks include restoring Congo’s Basin Peatlands, Nigeria’s Mangrove for Life, or South Africa’s Working for Water. All of these actions are aimed to restore the ecosystem and lead the world in green restoration and become examples for the rest of the world.
What can we do for World Environment Day?
World Environment Day is a day that everyone can participate in to learn more about our environment and what we can do to make a difference. It is important that everyone participates in World Environment Day because we are all part of the ecosystem.
Here is a quick list of how you can help individually for the environment and on World Environment Day:
- Support and advocate for your local community or our countries action to restore the ecosystem
- Learn more about the ecosystem and what you can do to help
- Volunteer in local cleanups or plant tree programmes if it is available.
- Support sustainable brands and products in your daily life, such as sustainable coffee brands
- Reduce your waste through plastic-free or zero waste movement
- Start a garden in your home, add more green in your neighborhood
- Donate to programme that is working on ecosystem restoration
By participating in World Environment Day, you are not only helping the environment and others that are in need, but also yourself. Every small step you decide to take for the environment is a big step!