Tomorrow, Saturday 5th June, is World Environment Day, so the UN are launching their decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
They are calling it a “rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world.” The decade runs from 2021 to 2030 to coincide with the deadline for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
They are celebrating restoration from 9 key areas.
Farmland covers a third of earths land and is vital to humans all around the world, but our farming practices are exhausting the lands vitality.
We are losing around 4.7 million hectares of tropical forest every year. This deforestation is happening for a variety of reasons for example agricultural, such as palm oil and beef. Remaining forests are at risk of logging, firewood cutting, pollution and invasive pests and trees outside forests are removed for development, whilst wildfires are also devastating forest ecosystems.
Grasslands, Shrublands and Savannahs are among the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, however they are at risk from over-exploitation and poor management.
Freshwater which ranges from mangroves to inland lakes and rivers and wetlands, face pollution from chemicals, plastics and sewage as well as over-fishing and over-extraction of water. According to the UN 87% of wetlands have been lost globally in the last 300 years. Oceans and coasts make up 70% of the Earth, they feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. Yet they are at risk from plastic pollution, untreated wastewater, climate change damaging coral reefs, mangroves removal and over fishing.
Mountains cover a quarter of earths land, harbouring most of the biodiversity hotspots and supplying fresh water to half of humanity, deforestation and agriculture put them at risk of erosion and fresh water pollution. Peatlands only make up 3% of the world’s land, but store nearly 30% of soil carbon. Peatlands are being drained and converted and damaged by fire, overgrazing, nitrogen pollution as well as extraction for fuel. Draining peatlands is responsible for around 5 % of carbon emissions, and a greater amount when burnt.
Urban areas account for less than 1% of land, but more than half of all people live in urban areas. Well managed urban ecosystems can help clean air and water, and cool urban heat islands.
We are excited to be part of #GenerationRestoration, we hope you are too.