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What is World Environment Day?

On June 5th of this year, the world celebrated “World Environment Day” that has been around since 1974. Each year, World Environment Day comes around to highlight a broad spectrum of issues surrounding sustainability, climate change, conservation and much more. As an initiative of the United Nations General Assembly, World Environment Day commenced the beginning of a new chapter in environmental work, as it is also the day that the United Nations launched their Environmental Programme.

This year, Pakistan was the host country of World Environment Day. The specific call to action this year was to bring attention and action to damaged ecosystems in the world. For this purpose, ecosystems were defined as: “ the interaction between living organisms - plants, animals, people - with their surroundings.” This day was not the only day intended to highlight the conservation crises of ecosystems but launched the UN Decade of Restoration.

United Nations Decade of Restoration

This new initiative out of the United Nations aims to “ prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.” This has now become a worldwide effort to help reverse the effects of ecosystem degradation to ensure a better earth for future generations to come. The UN Decade of Restoration is set to run to 2030, which also coincides with the end of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations decade followed a proposal for Action that over 70 countries from all over the world had proposed to try to bring more ecological restoration to every part of the world. The goal for this decade is that it will connect those who are working in this field, provide projects that are attainable and sustainable, and provide the funding that is needed in order to achieve some of these large goals.

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2021 World Environment Day

The country of Pakistan hosted this year’s World Environment Day. While this is a small country, they have big goals of restoring their forests in their country by planting trees and reviving green belts. They have set out goals for the next five years and will be working towards forest restoration throughout that time period. World Environment Day focuses on countries that may be smaller and may not have the resources to be fully developed. It allows them to shine a light on some of their ecological issues that are impacting their country. It gives a chance for the world to recognize problems beyond just their local contexts and offer support to those who are in need.

While you may not have ever heard of World Environment Day before, the future's looking bright. Major efforts are being made in the areas of ecological restoration and sustainability. Join next year's World Environment Day and begin to make a difference in your area.

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