Celebrated each year on June the 5th, World Environment Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment and combating global problems such as climate change, marine & terrestrial pollution or biodiversity loss. The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is Ecosystem Restoration, as the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) prepare to launch the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.
With this initiative, the United Nations is hoping to build a strong, broad-based global movement to ramp up restoration and put the world on track for a sustainable future. The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.
World Environment Day 2021 host country Pakistan’s 10 billion tree Tsunami project
World Environment Day 2021 host country Pakistan will also be celebrating a number of environmental projects, including its “10 billion Tree Tsunami project”, which aims to plant 10 billion trees by 2023 and its “Protected areas initiative”, which aims to increase protected areas such as national parks, wetlands and wildlife reserves to 15% of the country’s total area by 2023.
UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said: “Pakistan has shown real leadership in efforts to restore the country’s forests; we are grateful for their commitment to host World Environment Day 2021 and lead the charge for all nations to restore our damaged ecosystems through the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.”
UNEP releases new report on Ecosystem Restoration for World Environment Day 2021
To celebrate World Environment Day, UNEP released a synthesis report on 3rd of June 2021, called “Ecosystem restoration for People, Nature and Climate”, as a “call to action for anyone and everyone to join the movement to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide”. The report gives an overview of “the state of degradation of the world’s ecosystems and details the economic, environmental and social rewards that restoration can bring”. In this way, UNEP is urging countries to “deliver on their existing commitments to restore 1 billion hectares of degraded land and make similar commitments for marine and coastal areas”. According to the report, “Ecosystem restoration is one of the most important ways to deliver nature-based solutions for food insecurity, climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as biodiversity loss”.
Ushering in the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration
Finally, to welcome the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, UNEP is organising a Virtual Launch Gala, which will be broadcast live on 4th and 5th June 2021, “comprising of inspiring messages from world leaders, activists, celebrities, and musical performances”. Follow this link to watch the broadcast online (starting @ 16:00 EAT): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-Ediev8Xjk&ab_channel=UNEnvironmentProgramme