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World Environment Day: Ecosystem Restoration is the Key to Transform Our Relationship with Nature

Every year people across the world commemorate June 5 as World Environment Day. It is a day to recognize and understand the importance and significance of nature in our life and ramp up global efforts to protect the planet. This year the theme of World Environment Day is “Ecosystem Restoration”.

Shivam Dwivedi
World Environment Day
World Environment Day

Every year people across the world commemorate June 5 as World Environment Day. It is a day to recognize and understand the importance and significance of nature in our life and ramp up global efforts to protect the planet. This year the theme of World Environment Day is “Ecosystem Restoration”.  

To prevent Environmental Deterioration and to restore our various Ecosystems, United Nations has declared this decade as the ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’. All responsible stakeholders can join this global movement to prevent and reverse ecosystem degradation to secure a sustainable future for all. 

What is Ecosystem Restoration? 

  • Ecosystems are the web of life on Earth. An ecosystem comprises living and non- living things that work together in a given place. They exist at all scales from a grain of soil to the planet at large including forests, deserts, oceans, wetlands, rivers and Coral Reefs etc. Cities and farmlands are come under human- modified ecosystems. 

  • Right now, these ecosystems around the world are under massive threat. Forests are being cleared, Rivers are being polluted, Wetlands are drained, Coasts and Oceans are degraded and overfished etc. Until we change our ways and practices towards ecosystems. We will not only destroy the landscapes we love, but will also undermine the very foundation of our well- being. 

  • Ecosystem Restoration drive involves many stakeholders like individuals, institutions, businesses, organizations, NGO's and others with similar interests that can help to reverse the harm and to restore the earth. Restoring an ecosystem means preventing biodiversity loss and thereby helping nature to deliver their benefits to people and other wildlife, strengthening their natural resources and process and taking actions that prevents degradation and reduces its further extent. 

Need for Ecosystem Restoration: 

  • Human survival critically depends on Earth’s natural systems and these systems that we are observing today are the results of million years of evolution on earth and it has natural capability to regenerate and replenish itself. But excessive and irrational exploitation of natural resources are causing imbalances in this natural system and leads to a plethora of disruptions in our environment. 

  • This further results in different types of environmental damages like ecological disturbances, destruction of natural flora and fauna, pollution of air, water and land, instability of soil and rock masses, landscape degradation, desertification and global warming. 

  • We all know that each year we celebrate environment day, and on this day top Organizations, Institutions and Governments all around the world make promises, take pledges to do this and that to protect our environment but we all know what’s happening with these promises and commitments. 

  • Year after year, we are witnessing the deterioration in our environment and still, a large number of people believe that these organizations and governments are the only stakeholders responsible for this crisis. But they are not responsible for this alone as this is our collective misdeed and we all are equally responsible for this climate change so the solution lies with us and together we can be the solution. We can't go back in time but we can change our behavior and choices to become more eco-friendly and more sustainable towards our nature. 

Steps to Restore Ecosystems: 

Humanity’s environmental challenges have grown in number and severity ever since the Stockholm Conference in 1972 and now represent a planetary emergency. While tackling the emergency is demanding, the UNEP report 2021, Making Peace with Nature, highlights a path to a sustainable future with new possibilities and opportunities. 

Key Findings of UNEP Report: 

  • Transforming humankind’s relationship with nature is the key to a sustainable future.

  • The current model of development degrades the Earth‘s finite capacity to sustain human well-being.

  • Society is failing to meet most of its commitments to limit environmental damage.

  • The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is threatened by environmental risks.

  • Human knowledge, ingenuity, technology and cooperation can transform societies and economies and secure a sustainable future

  • Science-based management can reduce the adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment

  • Transforming land management can meet human needs while helping biodiversity

  • Earth’s environmental emergencies must be addressed together to achieve sustainability.

  • Transforming food and water systems to make them equitable and resilient

  • Transforming economic and financial systems to become sustainable and just

  • Transforming to low-carbon energy systems with access to clean energy for all

  • Keeping the planet healthy is key to providing health and well-being for all.

  • Promoting peaceful societies is key to reducing environmental degradation

  • All actors have a part to play in transforming humankind‘s relationship with nature etc

How to Participate in Ecosystem Restoration Drive: 

There are the following ways to get involved in the ecosystem restoration drive: 

  • Firstly, get informed about your surroundings, the ecosystem that really matters to you then know about that local ecosystem, reasons for their declining and how you can help them to recover. 

  • All stakeholders like individual, business, youth groups, NGO's, Farmers, cities and local authorities, teachers, Women's, Scientists can use their community strength in their ways towards ecosystem restoration. 

  • Take Restoration Action, Start your on-the-ground initiative, join an existing restoration or conservation effort, or help build an alliance to give a bigger boost to nature's comeback. 

  • Choose Eco-friendly products and a healthy diet. Change your behavior and spending to shrink your local and global environmental footprint and divert resources toward companies and activities that bring back nature instead of harming it. Encourage others around you to do the same. 

  • Raise your voice in support of ecosystem conservation and restoration. 

  • Make your voice and ideas count in debates about how to manage your local environment, and about how we can make our societies and economies fairer and more sustainable. Press decision-makers to do the right thing. 

Earth needs help right now. The climate emergency, the loss of biodiversity and the pollution threatening to destroy our beautiful home and eliminate many of millions of species that share this beautiful planet with us. But this degradation is not inevitable. We have the power and the knowledge to stop this degradation and to restore our ecosystem. But we have to Act Now! Ongoing pandemic crisis may be an SOS call to remind us about the impending apocalypse. Now it's high time to be an environment warrior! Take a Pledge to Save our Ecosystem! 

Progress is impossible without Change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. Act Now! Save Our Planet! 

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