Featured Picture: Photo by Max Böttinger on Unsplash.
On World Environment Day, 5 June 2021, begins the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.. An ecosystem is the interaction between people, plants, animals, and their surroundings. The UN Environment Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization are the lead UN agencies for this Decade. However, the Decade aims to become a broad-based global movement in which many can play a rôle.
Today, many ecosystems are under stress and facing degradation. There is forest loss, and trees are not replanted. Wetlands are filled by soil carried by water. In some farmlands, there can be excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. There can be over-grazing by pastoralists. Urban growth can take up ever-larger space. Each ecosystem must be studied at the local level. The stress studied and the remedial actions analysed both at the local level and at the level of the broader region.
The former ecosystem are no longer appropriate or possible in the new setting.
In this great effort for ecologically-wise use of land, there is a rôle for many persons as a vast range of actions are needed. Individual actions can have a wider impact by bringing people together in new alliances for action – in planting trees, in creating community gardens, in clearing and disposing of trash.
Working on ecosystem restoration must take into account the movement of people due to changes in the climate, to violence and to different economic factors. When people move, they change their relationship to their setting. Ways of living that were established in the former ecosystem are no longer appropriate or possible in the new setting. It is very likely that the number of people on the move to new areas will increase both within a country and across national frontiers.
As Citizens of the World, we need to develop awareness of the changes under way which announce the creation of a world society. We all face important choices as we move forward with structures of cooperation and integration. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration provides a vital focus for common action.
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.