an urgent call for the restoration of ecosystems

an urgent call for the restoration of ecosystems
an urgent call for the restoration of ecosystems

Every year, World Environment Day is a crucial date to raise awareness and act to protect our planet. Established in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly and directed by United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), this day brings together communities, governments and organizations from around the world to address environmental challenges around the world. This 2024, the host of the event is Saudi Arabia, which is preparing to put in the global spotlight a problem that affects millions: the degradation of terrestrial ecosystems.

The planet’s ecosystems are in danger. From forests and arid lands to agricultural lands and lakes, the natural spaces on which humanity depends are reaching a critical point. According to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, up to 40% of the planet’s land areas are degraded, directly affecting half of the world’s population. This alarming fact is aggravated by the 29% increase in the frequency and duration of drought periods since 2000. If urgent measures are not taken, droughts could impact more than three quarters of the world’s population by 2050.

In response to this crisis, the theme for World Environment Day 2024 is “Our lands. Our future. We are the #RestorationGeneration”. This slogan underlines the urgency of restoring lands, stopping desertification and improving resilience to drought. Soil restoration is central to the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), an initiative that seeks to protect and revitalize ecosystems globally and is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

This year’s campaign is a call to action for today’s generations to make peace with the earth, avoid going back in time, regenerate forests, revitalize water sources and restore soils. This global effort is essential to ensure a sustainable and equitable future for all. Restoring ecosystems is not only vital for biodiversity and climate, but also for human well-being and food security.

Saudi Arabia, in its role as host, is committed to leading this global campaign, demonstrating how local action can have a global impact. Through innovative policies and restoration projects, it is hoped that this World Environment Day will inspire other countries to take bold and effective action to save our ecosystems and ensure a sustainable future.

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