June 3, 2021
This year Pakistan will play a global host of World Environment Day. The event will see the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The initiative is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems, and restore them to achieve global goals. Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity.
The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change. During this period the UN aims to building a strong, broad-based global movement to ramp up restoration and put the world on track for a sustainable future. That will include building political momentum for restoration as well as thousands of initiatives on the ground.
The times we live in are changing. Change needs to be embraced and understood. Standing at the cross roads or sitting on the fence should no longer be a choice when it comes to protecting the environment; the air we breathe, the wilderness, the oceans and everything else making up the natural world.
Closer to home one observes a healthy degree of public mobilization in response to real or perceived environmental deterioration especially on land; far less for the seas which remain largely distant from the public eye. But it is the seas that need most protecting because without healthy seas life on land will vanish. As renowned veteran oceanographer Sylvia Earle duly remarked: “With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea, no matter where on Earth you live”. As an island state our dependence on the sea is even higher. It moderates our well-being, supply us with fresh sea food, lures in countless travelers by its beauty, and sustains our economy. Along the course of history, entire generations depended on this fragile relationship with the seas and future generations will be equally dependent. We have a responsibility to restore.
Together we can be generation restoration.
Daniel Attard is a Senior Consultant at Seed.