World Environment Day celebrates positive environmental action on 5 June every year.

In the lead up to World Environment Day, the UN is featuring updates from United Nations System, from partners and from others helping to call attention to the fact that the future of humanity depends on action now. Tune in for their fascinating series of live and recorded blogs here.

This year’s theme, Ecosystem restoration, calls for action to revive our damaged ecosystems.

Ecosystem restoration is defined as a process of reversing the degradation of ecosystems, such as landscapes, lakes and oceans to regain their ecological functionality; in other words, to improve the productivity and capacity of ecosystems to meet the needs of society. This can be done by allowing the natural regeneration of overexploited ecosystems, for example, or by planting trees and other plants. Ecosystem restoration can take many forms:

  • Growing trees
  • Greening cities
  • Rewilding gardens & increasing backyard biodiversity
  • Changing diets
  • Tackle food waste
  • Cleaning up rivers and coasts

Ecosystem restoration is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, mainly those on climate change, poverty eradication, food security, water and biodiversity conservation.

In March 2019, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2021-2030 the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, aiming to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems as a proven measure to fight the climate crisis and enhance food security, water supply and biodiversity. According to the United Nations, restoration could remove up to 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere1.

All kinds of ecosystems can be restored, including forests, farmlands, cities, coasts, wetlands and oceans. The vitality and diversity of Earth’s ecosystems are the basis of human prosperity and well-being. Restoration initiatives can be launched by almost anyone, from governments and development agencies to businesses, communities, and individuals. That is because the causes of degradation are many and varied and can have an impact at different scales. You can learn about different categories of ecosystem, their main components, current status and major threats, as well as the benefits of restoring them here.

The Ecosystem Restoration Playbook is a practical guide to healing the planet. In the playbook, you can choose your ecosystem and find a way to support Ecosystem Restoration. The playbook also outlines three pathways to join the movement and improve the well-being of people and nature:

  1. Taking action
  2. Making smart choices
  3. Raising your voice for restoration

This is the generation that can make peace with nature. Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid. Click here for 10 actions in the strategy of the UN Decade that can build a #GenerationRestoration.

You can view the 2021 official schedule of events hosted by UNEP and Decade Partners here.

Image credit: Josh Withers from Unsplash




About Having a sustainable exam period

Maintaining your physical and mental health during busy and stressful periods of life is really important. This exam period, UQ Sustainability has worked alongside UQ Life, UQ Wellness, and UQ Student Services to bring you a range of resources and events targeted towards supporting a sustainable study and exam period.

We believe that whilst caring for the planet, we simultaneously nurture ourselves, supporting the synergetic relationship between the overall health of people and the environment.

Take a short break from your studies, and check out our schedule below!