The beginning of a decade dedicated to the restoration of ecosystems marked the World Environment Day this June 5. The United Nations announced that it will begin this global mission aimed at reviving billions of hectares, from forests, farmlands, mountains and deep-sea areas.
World Environment Day (WED)
World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated annually on 5 June and is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. First held in 1974, it has been a platform for raising awareness on environmental issue such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption, and wildlife crime.
An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscapes, work together to form a bubble of life.
Under the slogan ‘Reimagine, recreate, restore’, this year’s commemoration of the date was hosted by Pakistan and focused on the recovery of ecosystems with the aim of preventing, halting, and reversing man’s damage to nature. But to achieve such rehabilitation, the planet’s inhabitants would have to repair an area larger than China or the United States, replant trees and rebuild the habitat of animals that are now on the verge of extinction.
According to a UN report, the disappearance of ecosystems deprives the Earth of carbon drains, such as forests and peatlands, at a time when humanity can no longer afford to lose them. In addition, global greenhouse gas emissions have increased for three consecutive years and the planet is on the brink of potentially catastrophic climate change, the statement warns.
Every three seconds the world loses an area of forest equivalent to a soccer field and in the last century alone, half of the world’s wetlands have been destroyed and drained for agricultural purposes. Fifty percent of coral reefs have disappeared and up to 90 percent could vanish by 2050, even if global warming is limited to an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the text.