World Environment Day, UN: "By restoring ecosystems we can make peace with Nature"

The June 5th every year we celebrate the World Environment Day (World Environment Day), an anniversary proclaimed in 1972 by the General Assembly of United Nations and has reached its 47th anniversary today. The first official occasion dates back to 1974, when it was accompanied by the slogan “Only One Earth“; the Earth, after all, is our only one planet and for this irreplaceable heritage, to be protected and preserved. For ourselves, future generations, the biodiversity and the delicate natural balances born of evolution. But the motto of almost half a century ago clearly indicates that the catastrophic impact of anthropogenic activities; despite this, little has been done to stem its effects on the environment. Today we are facing a real crossroads: to intervene quickly and drastically to change course or to succumb to climate changes catalyzed by ourselves. If not, we will reduce emissions by carbon dioxide (CO2) and we will not be able to contain the rise in average temperatures, in fact, within a few decades we will be overwhelmed by an apocalypse. It is no coincidence that scientists point out that thehumanity it is undergoing “unspeakable suffering” and that the very concept of civilization will be challenged within a few decades.

But all is not lost, as pointed out by the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, which on the occasion of World Environment Day 2021 launched an appeal to each of us. “Ecosystem degradation is already putting the well-being of 40 percent of the human population at risk. Fortunately the Earth is resilient, but it needs our help, ”Guteress said. The theme of the World Environment Day is in fact the restoration of ecosystems, with the aim of promoting the recovery and conservation of a large slice of environments (terrestrial and aquatic) torn from nature by human greed and neglect. “This is our time” to speak, says Guterres. Although we cannot rewind the hands of time and remedy the disasters perpetrated for centuries, starting with the Industrial Revolution, we can in fact “plant new trees, green our cities and gardens, change our diet and clean rivers and coasts”. Then Guteress “caresses” especially the young and the very young who, inspired by the movement of Greta Thunberg, are effectively laying the foundations for a substantial green revolution in political management. “We are the generation that can make peace with nature. We become active, not anxious. We are bold, not shy ”, concludes Guteress.

With the World Environment Day of 2021, formally hosted by Pakistan, the “Decade of the United Nations for the Restoration of the Ecosystem” will start, which aims to restore billions of hectares to their ancient natural splendor, from the peaks of the mountains to the sea depths. It will begin planting billions of trees (in Pakistan, 10 billion plants are expected to be planted by 2023), but extensive cleaning programs are also planned. beaches e backdrops, as well as the redevelopment of defaced and contaminated environments. Among the most significant interventions related to the World Environment Day, the conversion of coal mines in the United States, the restoration of strategic hotspots in the Amazon rainforest and protection from erosion of agricultural land in Kenya.

After all, with ecosystems healthy, the engine of the biodiversity which is (also) the basis of our well-being. Just think of the crops of commercial interest that depend on pollinating insects like the api. They have been literally decimated in recent years due to the use of pesticidi neonicotinoidi, from the destruction of natural habitats (uncultivated fields with flowers transformed into farms and monocultures) and the crazy climate that alter the natural cycles of seasons. With the restoration of ecosystems, significant ones are also determined economic benefits not to be underestimated: leaving everything as it is, explains the UN, is three times more expensive than intervening, while investments bring revenues ten times higher than the figures spent. “From now until 2030, restoring 350 million hectares of degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems could generate $ 9 trillion in ecosystem services, and remove up to 26 billion tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,” he concluded. the UN.

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