World Environment Day is celebrated on 5th June every year since 1974. Convened by UN Environment Programme, it is one of the most renowned events to engage governments, businesses and citizens for environmental actions to address worldwide environmental issues, such as climate change, biodiversity loss. In 2021, the theme is “Ecosystem restoration”.
Habitat loss and degradation are depleting natural resources and their associated ecosystem services. Over the last century, more than half of the wetlands in the world have been destroyed. For wetlands in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, they are not only supporting millions of migratory waterbirds which breed, rest, and feed in their annual journey, but also provide food and natural resources to other wildlife and people, protecting the shorelines, reducing disaster risks, purifying water, and carbon sequestration. In a recent study, the monetary value of both inland and coastal wetlands is more than 2 times the value for all forests1. Despite the huge values wetlands provide, they are the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world.
“The value of the ecosystem services of wetlands and its importance to humans and biodiversity need to be recognized by decision-makers, government officers and the general public. We have to work together between sectors, disciplines and countries, and act quickly! We have lost too many of our wetlands and need to now work on their restoration. On the World Environment Day, I echo the call from the United Nations for the Partners of EAAFP to take action to restore our lost natural habitats and conserve the existing ones” said Mr. Doug Watkins, Chief Executive of EAAFP Secretariat.
On 4th June 2021, 1600 EAT, the United Nations is holding a Virtual Launch Gala of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Watch the virtual event of the launch here:
EAAFP Secretariat also set up an interactive quiz game about the ecosystems around us. Join the quest [here] or click the image.
For more information about World Environment Day 2021, visit [here].
Reference : Davidson NC, van Dam AA, Finlayson CM, McInnes RJ (2019a) The worth of wetlands: revised global monetary values of coastal and inland wetland ecosystem services. Marine and Freshwater Research. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF18391