2021 World Environment Day and World Ocean Day

World Environment Day and World Oceans Day: why we need to remember these dates and what we can do about it


The Earth needs help. The climate emergency, the threat to natural environments and global pollution threaten to destroy our home and wipe out many of the millions of species that share this beautiful planet with us.

But this degradation is avoidable.

We have the power to reverse the damage and 'repair' the Earth: if we act now.

World Environment Day (WED) and World Ocean Day are two key moments to remind us to act.

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on 5 June and is the United Nations' main vehicle for encouraging awareness and action to protect the environment. It has been celebrated since 1974 and was created to raise awareness among all governments and citizens about major environmental issues such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Over 143 countries participate each year, and each year a theme and cause is defined to be supported.

2021 must be the year to revive damaged ecosystems.

Ecosystems are defined as the interaction of living organisms - plants, animals, people - with their environment.
This includes nature, but also man-made systems such as cities or farms. 

Restoring ecosystems is a large-scale global undertaking. It means repairing billions of hectares of land - an area larger than China or the United States - so that people have access to food, clean water and jobs. 

It means working to defend and protect animals and plants threatened with extinction, but also working to protect mountains, seas and our cities.

Each of us can take action to help achieve this great goal. We can plant and cultivate trees, replant our cities as well as our gardens or balconies, clean up our rivers, seas and coastlines.

Restoring ecosystems brings substantial benefits to people. For every dollar invested in restoring ecosystems, you can expect at least seven to thirty dollars of return to society. Restoring ecosystems creates jobs in rural areas where they are most needed.

One of the most important ecosystems to protect is the Oceans and our Seas.

World Oceans Day is celebrated on 8 June each year and provides an opportunity to reflect on the benefits that the oceans can provide us and the duty of each of us (as individuals and communities) to interact with the oceans in a sustainable way, so that current needs are met without compromising those of future generations.

This year the goal is to protect at least 30% of our blue planet for a healthy ocean and climate. 

Only in this way will it be possible to protect life support systems, in particular the interconnections of ocean, climate and biodiversity.


Restoring ecosystems can provide one-third of the mitigation needed by 2030 to keep global warming below 2C, while also helping societies and economies adapt to climate change. (Griscom et al., 2017; Kapos et al., 2019)Restoring 15% of converted land in the right places could prevent 60% of projected species extinctions. (Strassburg et al., 2020)

Restoring ecosystems contributes to the achievement of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals by their target date of 2030, including the eradication of poverty and hunger. (IRP, 2019)

Half of the world's GDP depends on nature (Verdone and Seidl, 2017)

Forests provide drinking water for a third of the world's largest cities; they also support 80%, 75% and 68% of all amphibian, bird and mammal species, respectively. (HLPE, 2017; Vié, Hilton-Taylor and Stuart, 2009)

At least 2 billion people depend on the agricultural sector for their livelihoods, particularly the poor and rural populations.(WRI, 2019) 

Every year, the world loses 10 million hectares of forests - an area the size of the Republic of Korea, or twice the size of Costa Rica. (FAO and UNEP, 2020)About 30% of natural freshwater ecosystems have disappeared since 1970.

The ocean is both the source and support of all life on earth. It covers more than 70% of our planet and produces more than 70% of its oxygen, more than any other breath we take. We are all connected to our ocean. As a species, we are inherently oceanic. (Oceanic Global)


Our consumption habits and choices are in our hands, so we can do the right thing and convince, involve our friends and colleagues to participate:

talk to friends, colleagues about how to improve the local environment

arrange our balcony, street, yard or garden by planting trees or composting (which is also an ecosystem)

understand how to start a restoration project in our neighbourhoods

make smart choices, buy sustainable products, change our diet, prefer local and seasonal foodsreduce consumption of single-use plastics and commit to reducing packaging

raise our voices in support of ecosystem conservation and restoration

Ecosystems can be large, like a forest, or small, like a pond. 

Many are crucial to human societies, providing people with water, food, building materials and a range of other essentials. 

They also provide benefits across the planet, such as climate protection and biodiversity conservation. We all depend on healthy ecosystems for our survival.By working together, we can - and will - protect and restore ecosystems and seas. Join two such important days, and together let's make these two days' commitment the commitment of every day!


Related sustainable development goals

Goal 1, No Poverty

Goal 2, Zero Hunger

Goal 6, Clean Water and Sanitation

Goal 7, Affordable and Clean Energy

Goal 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production

Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 14: Life Below Water

Goal 15: Life on Land

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/, https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/, https://ecosystemrestorationcamps.org/, https://unenvironment.widen.net/, https://worldoceanday.org/, https://oceanic.global/, https://www.friendsforfuture.eu/, https://www.unep.org/

#GenerationRestoration, #WorldOceanDay #WeAreOceanic #OnlyOneEarth

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