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Earth Day April 22, 2021: Restoring our Earth

The history of the day started 52 years ago. The first held was in 1969, at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco city.

Peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to be observed for the first time on March 21, 1970.

It was the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

This Balance of Nature Day was later sanctioned by a proclamation drafted by McConnell and signed by UN Secretary General Maha U Thant.

A month later, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the idea of holding a national environmental seminar on April 22, 1970.

He hired a young activist, Denis Hayes, to be the national coordinator.

Nelson and Hayes renamed the event "Earth Day", while Denis and his team spread the event beyond the original idea.

Earth Day April 22, 2021: Restoring our Earth


About Earth day

This year's Earth Day theme is “Restore Our Earth. "

The Earth Day focuses on:

  • Emerging green technologies.
  • Natural processes.
  • Innovative thinking that can restore the planet's ecosystems.

UNESCO's World Heritage belongs to all of us.

It is therefore up to each of us to restore the Earth, not only because we care about the natural world, but also because we live in it.

We all need a healthy Earth for our jobs, our livelihoods, our health, our survival and our happiness.

A healthy planet is not an option - it is a necessity.


Heritage Convention: Way to restore our Earth

It is therefore essential that UNESCO's World Heritage sites are protected because many communities depend on them.

Also, the future generations are counting on us to ensure intergenerational transmission and protection.

The World Heritage Convention is one of the most effective international instruments for recognizing the world's most outstanding natural places.

It is characterized by remarkable biodiversity, ecosystems, geology or natural phenomena.

The Convention has led to the international recognition of approximately 3,500,000 km2 in more than 250 marine and terrestrial sites in over 95 countries.

Although the UNESCO World Heritage List still has some gaps, it currently protects an extremely valuable sample of our natural heritage.

 

Natural sites provide essential habitats for many iconic species and are home to unique natural beauty, stunning landscapes, rare ecological processes and exceptional biodiversity.

They include many iconic places such as Serengeti National Park, the Galapagos Islands, Yellowstone National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.

Which are often the last refuge for endangered species such as the mountain gorilla, giant panda and orangutan.

Two-thirds of the natural sites are critical sources of water, and about half of them help prevent natural disasters such as floods or landslides.

They also play a central role in climate regulation and carbon sequestration, with forests in tropical sites storing an estimated 5.7 billion tons of carbon.

It is a higher average carbon density of forest biomass than the rest of the protected area network.

 Marine sites are also critical to climate mitigation as blue carbon ecosystems.

Millions of people depend directly on the myriad products and services that these sites can provide.

With more than 90% of listed natural sites providing jobs, and income through tourism and recreation.


Restoring our Earth

The term "Mother Earth" is commonly used in many countries and regions to refer to planet Earth.

It illustrates the interdependence that exists between humans, other living species and the planet on which we all live.

Never before has such interdependence been so tangible as it is at this time.

 

Nature is suffering and sending us strong signals that we can no longer ignore.

The oceans are filling up with plastic and becoming more acidic.

Extreme heat, forest fires and floods, as well as a record hurricane season in the Atlantic, have affected millions of people.

Added to all this is the pandemic of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has created a global health crisis, along with one in our ecosystem.

 

Climate change and other environmental disturbances caused by human activities.

Including, those affecting biodiversity such as deforestation, land use change, intensive agriculture and livestock production and illegal wildlife Trade.

All contribute to the risk of transmission of Zoonotic (i.e., animal-to-human) infectious diseases like COVID-19.


Benefits to both humanity and the planet

In fact, 75% of new infectious diseases that emerge in humans every four months come from animals.

That is according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme.

Ecosystems support all life on Earth: The healthier our ecosystems, the healthier the planet and its inhabitants.

Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help end poverty, fight climate change and prevent mass extinction.

The UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration will help us halt and reverse ecosystem degradation on every continent and ocean.

The UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration will be officially launched with World Environment Day on June 5, 2021.

But we will only succeed if everyone does their part.

That is why it is important that on this International Mother Earth Day we emphasize the shift to a more sustainable economy.

That benefits both humanity and the planet.


Earth Biodiversity: Ally in climate change

The Coronavirus epidemic poses not only an enormous risk to public health and the global economy, but also to biodiversity.

Biodiversity also represents an effective solution against epidemics themselves: 

  • The diversity of species makes it more difficult for pathogens to spread rapidly.

The scientific community regularly reminds us of the importance of nature-based solutions as a means of ensuring the well-being of human beings and the Earth.

Biodiversity is one of those solutions.

However, this same community has consistently sounded the alarm about its depletion.

It is now estimated that approximately one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction.

It is therefore imperative to act now.

 

The specific links that exist between our health and biodiversity are undeniable.

In other words, any impact on biodiversity also has an impact on our nutrition, on health research or traditional medicine.

Also, on the emergence of new infectious diseases and on plants distribution, pathogens, animals and even human settlements when affected by climate change.

Currently, humanity must win the battle against the spread of COVID-19 and the consequences of the pandemic.

However, we must not forget another battle to be fought in the long term.

 One that we cannot lose: The battle against the degradation of our planet.

This year and the years that follow represent a turning point for biodiversity and the environment.

 Therefore, our action (or inaction) during this period will now define our fate and that of the Earth.


Participate in Earth Day

More than one billion people worldwide now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic event in the world.

Today, we invite you to participate in Earth Day and continue to help protect our irreplaceable planet Earth.

Every day in the 194 States Parties of the World Heritage Convention.

Ensuring harmony with nature and the Earth is no longer just desirable, but necessary.

Join the global movement to save our planet!


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