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World Environment Day 2021

04 June 2021

“We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts.” – World Environment Day

In 1974, World Environment Day was initiated by the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) to raise awareness on urgent issues including marine pollution, global warming, sustainable resource consumption and wildlife crimes among other issues.

This year marks 47 years of environmental sustainability efforts to conserve and improve the state of natural habitats and ecosystems on our planet.

Every year a different country plays host to the World Environment Day events. In 2021, Pakistan will host World Environment Day with the theme of “Ecosystem Restoration”.

Let’s take a closer look at the plans for World Environment Day this year:

Ecosystem Restoration

Pakistan is home to more than 210 million people from multi-cultural backgrounds. Pakistan is not only a cultural melting pot, but also boasts a wide variety of natural ecosystems within its borders.

From world-famous mountain ranges like the Himalayas as well as the world’s second-highest mountain, K2, and winding rivers, Pakistan’s passion for nature conservation is matched by the beauty of the country’s rich biodiversity.

Natural ecosystems include 800 species of fish, luscious mangrove forests, 174 reptile species and 188 mammal species including the snow leopard and blue whales – the largest mammals on Earth.

This is why Pakistan plays a large role in nature conservation in the world driving some of the most ambitious afforestation efforts.

Pakistan’s Minister of Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, acknowledged the urgency of preventing, stopping and reversing the degradation of ecosystems worldwide.

Pakistan plans to restore forests across the country through an initiative called the “10 Billion Tree Tsunami” wherein mangrove forests will be restored and trees will be planted in urban areas including schools, parks and colleges.

As the host of this year’s Environmental Day events, Pakistan will highlight pressing environmental issues and showcase its own initiatives in global nature conservation efforts with a specific focus on ecosystem restoration.

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

“There has never been a more urgent need to restore damaged ecosystems than now.” - UN Decade Initiative

The strategy behind the UN Decade initiative is to upscale the restoration efforts of degraded and destroyed ecosystems in order to combat the current climate crises, prevent loss of plant and animals species and enhance the supply of food and fresh water across the globe.

Included in this planned ecosystem restoration is the revival of natural carbon sinks – both terrestrial and aquatic – including forests and peatlands.

A carbon sink refers to any reservoir that accumulates and stores carbon-containing chemical compounds which indefinitely lowers the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

By reviving these carbon sinks, it is estimated that climate emissions can be reduced by up to an impressive 25% by only 2030.

This year’s Environmental Day marks the first as a part of the UN Decade’s initiative and the planned efforts will continue through to 2030 – the year critically identified as the deadline for massively required environmental change to prevent further drastic climate change factors.

To keep up with all the latest news on World Environmental Day and the UN Decade, be sure to follow the #GenerationRestoration hashtag.

Be a Part of #GenerationRestoration

Unfortunately, it is only with the combined efforts of all businesses, organisations and people that environmental change can become a reality. It is for this reason that World Environmental Day encourages people to live a cleaner and greener lifestyle.

Here are some small but significant changes you can make to your lifestyle to help the UN Decade initiative in its mission to eliminate climate change:

1. Choose Renewable Energy

The wind and sun are natural resources that we can use in our homes to become more energy conscious and efficient.

By choosing renewable you are not only cutting back on unreliable or expensive energy providers, but you are also choosing a cleaner source of energy which can help cut back on pollution.

Kestrel offers Off-Grid, Grid-Connected and Hybrid renewable energy solutions that bring wind-powered micro-turbines to your home. Contact us for a quote for your household.

2. Check your Shopping Basket

When doing grocery shopping people often grab the most convenient, brand-trusted or affordable product without much of a second thought. But have you read the packaging or done research on the brands that you support?

Many brands engage in non-eco-friendly practices which, in turn, results in large amounts of pollution that contribute to climate change. As little as recyclable or bio-degradable packaging makes a large difference.

3. Be Energy Conscious

There is a lot more to being energy conscious than just saving some money on your monthly utilities – it is about saving natural resources.

There is only a finite amount of natural resources at our disposal and, without sustainable consumption practices in place, these resources will eventually become depleted. This is why it is our individual responsibility to cut down on energy costs whenever possible.

An easy way to be more energy conscious is to ensure your appliances are energy efficient. This can be as simple as purchasing LED light bulbs or selecting an appliance with a high energy star rating.

And, of course, switching off any lights and electronics that are not currently being used.

4. Cut Down on Water Consumption

Money areas of South Africa are currently experiencing water shortages due to lack of rainfall and this is the case in many arid countries. It takes a large amount of energy and resources to filter and deliver water from our dams to our homes.

By reducing water consumption, natural resources can be spared and there are relatively easy ways to cut down on water usage including:

 

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It is only by standing together that the necessary changes to eliminate the negative impact of climate change can be put into place. World Environment Day has various virtual and physical events that you can partake in on their website.

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