This is a day celebrated annually on 5th June to encourage awareness and the need to protect our environment. This year’s theme happens to be Ecosystem Restoration. In a world where there’s rapid economic developments at the expense of our ecosystem, a day of restoration is vital.
Ecosystem restoration can be in various forms i.e. growing trees, greening cities, rewilding gardens, changing diets or cleaning up rivers and beaches. On this day, the world attempts to make peace with mother nature.
Many of the world’s ecosystems and their biodiversity are severely damaged what pose a threat to human livelihoods also. Ecological restoration seeks not only to reverse the ecological damage but also to preserve the human livelihood.
Even if global warming is confined to 1.5°C, 50% of our coral reefs have already been gone, and up to 90% of coral reefs might be destroyed by 2050,” says a report by UNEP.
In Kenya, since 1963, 4% of its forests has been lost to accommodate activities like farming, charcoal burning, urbanisation, unregulated logging, timber production and corruption; attributing to years of unspoken and ignored disaster. Not only does this affect climate change but other aspects like soil erosion, availability of freshwater and uncontrollable floods.
According to UNEP, restoration of 350 million hectares of damaged terrestrial and marine ecosystems might provide $9 trillion in ecosystem services between now and 2030. Restoration might also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13 to 26 gigatons. The economic advantages of such interventions outweigh the cost of investment by a factor of nine, but inactivity is at least three times more expensive than ecosystem restoration.
As Urban Change Lab, one of our main goals is to create a sustainable and fair world. We live in a world where it has become absolutely necessary to question our consumerism culture, from consumption of seafood, beef, the clothes we wear to timber products. By questioning our consumerism culture, we get the opportunity to change our habits and reverse the damage caused to the ecological system.
On this day, we’d like to encourage all Urban Changers to join hands with the rest of the world and try to restore the world by simply planting a tree, cleaning up the beach or even collecting trash in the neighbourhood, it’s the simplest actions that count collectively.