World environment day : priority to the ecosystem restauration

Celebrated every June 5th, World Environment Day 2021, in partnership with UNEP ( United Nations Environment Programme), focuses this year on the need to make peace with nature and restore ecosystems with a call to youth to become the #GenerationRestoration.

Informations on World Environment Day

Join the #GenerationRestauration

Our ecosystems have been severely affected by human activity and overexploitation of resources over the past century. More than 4.7 million hectares of forest, an area larger than Denmark, are lost every year.
These ecosystems are essential to fight against global warming by absorbing carbon emissions or to guarantee water resources and ensure food security for all on our planet.
"The degradation of the natural world is already compromising the well-being of 3.2 billion people, or 40% of humanity. While the Earth is fortunately resilient, it needs our help" said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also shown how the disastrous consequences of ecosystem degradation can be, especially for the most vulnerable populations. By reducing the amount of natural habitat for animals, we have created ideal conditions for the spread of pathogens, including coronaviruses.

In the face of these challenges, this year’s World Environment Day alerts us to the need to restore ecosystems with a credo: "Re-imagine. Recreate. Restore."

UN call for the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

This day is the occasion to announce the launch of the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration. The UN calls for the restoration of one billion hectares of degraded land, an area larger than China. A total of 115 states have already expressed their willingness to restore land, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Central America.
Pakistan, the host country of this world day, has planned to plant more than 10 billion trees in 5 years and to restore wetlands in the Baluchistan region

More informations on Pakistan’s actions

In a report entitled #GenerationRestoration presented in conjunction with this call to action, UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) identify eight priority ecosystems: agricultural land, forests, freshwater, grasslands, shrublands and savannahs, mountains, oceans and coastal areas, peatlands and urban areas.

To encourage the rebirth of ecosystems around the world, UNEP has published a practical guide to ecosystem restoration. Published at the beginning of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), the Practical Guide to Ecosystem Restoration outlines the range of actions that can slow and halt ecosystem degradation and promote ecosystem recovery.
To know more

Every year, the world loses "ecosystem services that account for more than 10% of global economic output," the two organizations warn.

Degradation of agricultural land, on which 2 billion people depend, reduces crop and livestock yields. About 80 percent of arable land is affected, which could lead to a 12 percent decline in the productivity of the global food system by 2040.

Forests-which play an active role in regulating the climate by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and provide habitat for 80% of amphibian species or 68% of mammal species-are being affected by human activity. Since 1990, more than 400 million hectares have been converted to other uses.
According to the United Nations, it would be necessary to invest 200 billion dollars (more than 164 billion euros) per year for ten years, to restore these ecosystems. The expected benefits in return are multiple. "Repairing" 15% of the planet’s land could prevent up to 60% of the expected extinctions of animal or plant species. "Restoring" productive ecosystems would increase food security for 1.3 billion people.
"Restoring, repairing and preserving" ecosystems would also contribute up to 30% of the expected climate change mitigation efforts by 2030.

Major environmental deadlines in 2021

2021 will mark an important milestone for the preservation of the environment and biodiversity. Two major events are on France’s diplomatic agenda.

France will host the IUCN World Conservation Congress, originally scheduled for June 2020, but postponed to September 3-11, 2021 in Marseille due to the pandemic. A major international event in the field of biodiversity bringing together researchers, politicians, international organizations, the private sector and civil society, the World Conservation Congress will be a crucial step in supporting the negotiations that will convey one month later at the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

The COP15 on biodiversity conservation will be held in Kunming, China, from October 11 to 24, 2021. It will raise global ambitions for the next 10 years by adopting a renewed international framework to halt the erosion of biodiversity by 2030.

Significant progress has been made: protected areas are increasing in size and now cover at least 17% of terrestrial areas. Much remains to be done. A coalition of states is calling for the adoption of the principle of protecting 30% of the Earth’s surface by 2030.

More informations on the IUCN congress

The Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations and International Organizations and the Permanent Mission of France to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva - which share the same premises in the Villa des Ormeaux - have been committed to the environment since April 2019 as part of the "Green Embassy" project.
In May 2020, we welcomed beehives that will allow bees to contribute to the pollination of the mission’s green spaces. We have also created a collaborative vegetable garden, provided electric bicycles for our agents, encouraged water and energy savings and recycling.

Le projet Ambassade Verte à la Villa des Ormeaux

Last updated on: 4 June 2021