World Environment Day 2021
Pakistan, host of this year’s World Environment Day, celebrates one billion trees planted
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Published: 5 June 2021
This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod
World Environment Day 2021, hosted by Pakistan in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will carry the theme ‘ecosystem restoration’ and focus on resetting our relation with nature.
It will also mark the formal launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.
World Environment Day, which takes place every year on 05 June, is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment.
Over the years, it has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is celebrated by millions of people across the world.
10 Billion Tree Tsunami
Led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Government of Pakistan plans to expand and restore the country’s forests through a 10 Billion Tree Tsunami spread over five years. This is one of the world’s most ambitious afforestation efforts.
The campaign includes restoring mangroves and forests, as well as planting trees in urban settings such as schools, colleges, public parks and green belts.
Launched in 2019, the project has just reached a new milestone – planting of the billionth tree.
‘The Government of Pakistan is fully committed to playing a leadership role in addressing the issue of climate change, including through the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami initiative, which will restore and enhance over 1 million hectares of forest across the country. We are honoured to host this year’s World Environment Day and lend our support to global restoration efforts.’
Government of Pakistan
Pakistan has launched an Ecosystem Restoration Fund to support nature-based solutions to climate change and facilitate the transition towards environmentally resilient, ecologically targeted initiatives covering afforestation and biodiversity conservation.
Recently, the Prime Minister of Pakistan launched the Protected Area Initiative to develop 15 model protected areas across the country to conserve over 7300 sq km of land area and create over 5,500 green jobs
As host of World Environment Day, Pakistan will highlight environmental issues and showcase the country’s own initiatives and its role in global efforts. The day will be celebrated across the world through various events and activities, in line with latest Covid-19 regulations.
‘2020 was a year of reckoning, facing multiple crises, including a global pandemic and the continued crises of climate, nature and pollution. In 2021, we must take deliberate steps to move from crisis to healing: and in so doing, we must recognize that the restoration of nature is imperative to the survival of our planet and the human race.
‘Pakistan has shown real leadership in efforts to restore the country’s forests; we are grateful for their commitment to host World Environment Day 2021 and lead the charge for all nations to restore our damaged ecosystems through the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.’
Executive director of UNEP
UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
The UN Decade is intended to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems to fight the climate crisis, prevent the loss of a million species and enhance food security water supply and livelihoods.
Reviving natural carbon sinks – such as forests and peatlands – could help close the climate emissions gap by 25% by 2030.
Replanting with native tree species can also help buffer some of the expected devastating effects of a warming planet, such as increased risk of forest fires.
Currently, 3.2 billion people – 40% of the world’s population– suffer from the continued degradation of ecosystems, for example by losing access to fertile soil or safe drinking water.
The UN Decade runs from 2021-2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified critical for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
Will we miss the SDGs?
Despite progress in key environmental areas such as clean water, sanitation, clean energy, forest management and waste, countries are still living unsustainably and are on course to miss the environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to the Measuring Progress: Environment and the SDGs report issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The report found that some environmental areas – such as biodiversity loss and climate change – have continued to deteriorate.
To achieve restoration at the required scale, incentives and financial investments must be made in changing the way lands and oceans are exploited, in research and education, and in inspiring a movement of people, businesses and governments through celebrating success stories.