World Environment Day: UfM supports ecosystem restoration as vital to the future of the Mediterranean
- World Environment Day 2021 focuses on the theme of ecosystem restoration, aiming to prevent, halt and reverse the damage done to natural habitats.
- Restoration and other natural solutions can deliver one third of the mitigation needed by 2030 to keep global warming below 2C, while helping societies and economies adapt to climate change and preventing species extinction.
- The UfM recognises the need for healthy ecosystems in order to enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change and stop biodiversity loss.
4 June 2021. World Environment Day aims to engage governments, businesses and citizens in an effort to address pressing environmental issues, and this year the theme is ecosystem restoration. Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch, and half of the world’s wetlands have been destroyed in the last century.
World Environment Day 2021 also launches the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission to revive as many ecosystems as possible, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea. While a decade may sound like a long time, scientists tell us that these next ten years will be crucial in preventing catastrophic climate change and bending the curve on biodiversity loss.
Ecosystems are defined as the interaction between living organisms – plants, animals, people – with their surroundings. Ecosystems support all life on Earth: the healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet and its people. World Environment Day offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. It pushes for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models; for farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably; for governments to invest in repairing the environment; for educators to inspire students to take actions; and for youth to build a greener future.
UfM Member States are committed to advancing cooperation on environmental issues across the region. The UfM GreenerMed Agenda defines environmental priorities and their contribution to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The Agenda aims to support the transition towards a green, circular and socially inclusive economy; prevent and reduce pollution on land, air and sea; and protect, preserve, manage and restore natural resources in the Mediterranean region within an integrated ecosystem approach, including terrestrial, marine and coastal dimensions. It also takes into account the needs of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, linking recovery plans to environmental conservation and restoration as well as to green economy principles, ensuring that social and environmental aspects are fully taken into account.
Some of the projects supported by the UfM on environmental conservation and restoration include:
- ´Coastal wetlands’, in partnership with MedWet, which aims to restore and reduce threats to coastal ecosystems, encourage sustainable water use, and create new socioeconomic opportunities while using wetlands as nature-based solutions to mitigate climate impacts in the region.
- ‘Scaling up forest and landscape restoration’, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which aims to restore biodiversity and promote joint mitigation and adaptation approaches through regional platforms, technical assistance and pilot activities applying appropriate forest and landscape restoration.
The UfM believes that through cooperation and collaboration, we can restore and protect Mediterranean environments, and ensure peace and prosperity for all who live here.
Together we can be #GENERATIONRESTORATION