World Environment Day – 5 June 2021: reimagine, recreate and restore our ecosystems
On 5 June 2021, World Environment Day will open the decade dedicated to ecosystem restoration. The United Nations has chosen the motto “Reimagine, recreate, restore” to celebrate it. For years, we have exploited and destroyed ecosystems, even though human survival depends on their health. This is the moment to change course! Investing in ecosystems means investing in our future.
The importance of ecosystems and their restoration
This includes nature, but also systems created by man such as cities and farms. Human health depends on the health of these ecosystems, but we seem to have forgotten this. According to the United Nations:
- Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch, and we have destroyed half of our wetlands over the last century;
- As much as 50% of our coral reefs have already been lost;
- As much as 90% of our coral reefs could be lost by 2050, even if global warming is limited to an increase of 1.5°C;
- The loss of ecosystems is depriving the world of carbon sinks such as forests and peatlands, at a time when humanity can least afford it.
- The World Environment Day website and the restoration decade website, constantly updated: for all stakeholders in ecosystem restoration, with news, projects, partners, funding and the knowledge needed to take concrete steps. In addition, around 500 events worldwide have already been registered on the site and will help to celebrate this day;
- Ecosystem Restoration Playbook (practical guide on World Environment Day 2021): the UNEP guide on ecosystem restoration. The guide provides an introduction to the various actions that may slow or stop ecosystem degradation and help them recover. It sets out three pathways to getting involved in ecosystem restoration:
- taking action such as starting or supporting an on-the-ground restoration project
- making smart choices like buying only sustainable products and changing diets;
- raising your voice in support of ecosystem conservation and restoration.