World Environment Day, Saturday June 5

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Global change

The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is Ecosystem Restoration and 2021 will see the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

The “UN Decade” will run until 2030 and its launch on World Environment Day follows a proposal for action by more than 70 countries. It is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems across the globe.

Nations are working together to halt the degradation of our ecosystems and restore them to achieve global goals.

The UN says that healthy ecosystems benefit both people and nature and Ecosystem Restoration will “enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity”.

The Decade will provide an international focus on projects, partners, knowledge and funding to support global restoration.

What are the issues?

The United National Environment Programme (UNEP) says the ongoing loss of natural species, including forests, has become a systemic risk for the global economy.

It reports that more than 26 per cent of global tree cover loss has been caused by the production of seven agricultural commodities: cattle, palm oil, soy, cocoa, rubber, coffee and wood fibre.

“Barring major changes, the toll on forests and other wild spaces will continue to mount, ultimately imperiling industries that rely on natural resources,” the UNEP says.

Its report, State of Financing for Nature, urges governments, financial institutions and businesses to place nature at the heart of future economic growth by tripling the financing available for environmentally friendly projects by 2030.

How can schools join in on World Environment Day?

World Environment Day on Saturday 5 June aims to inspire everyone to make their voices heard.

Here are some ways you can take action:

  • Get your students or classmates together to host an event and list it here.
  • Go to Landcare Australia to find a group in your area. Your students might be able to join in local ecosystem restoration activities.
  • Encourage classes to join online celebrations with #GenerationRestoration and #WorldEnvironmentDay

Resources for teachers

  • Teachers can sign up to World Environment Day games for students here.
    Take your students through the choices of what they can restore, and how. Will they select: cities, farmlands, forests, lakes or oceans? They can pledge to “rewild” gardens terraces or balconies in the city, join a beach clean up or pledge to reduce their plastic use?
  • Join Earth School and take part in the 30 lessons on the environment.
  • Discover and Anatomy of Action for sustainable living.
  • Learn how to turn the tide on plastic at Clean Seas.

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