This is our moment. We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature. Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid. Join #GenerationRestoration! Join the World Environment Day.
The World Environment Day
World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. Since it began in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach. The theme for 2021 is “Ecosystem Restoration”. Such themes are supposed to draw attention to a pressing environmental issue through various actions and awareness campaigns.
Urgent need for restoration
Climate change impacts and pollution harmed our planet. Loss of nature and biodiversity are only two of many negative consequences which threaten our planet and destroy the home of animals, plants and people. But this degradation is not inevitable: if we act now, we are still able to change this path. Through wise deployment of our knowledge and resources we can reduce and until some extent turn back the degradation of our nature. Therefore, to manifest this call, the UN declared the beginning of a Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, starting on World Environment Day 2021. It is a call for individuals, groups, governments, businesses & organizations of all kinds to form and join a global movement to counter, end and shift the degeneration of our planet and to secure a sustainable future for every inhabitant on our planet.
Why ecosystems are so important
Ecosystems should be used in ways that strengthen their natural resources and processes. Since they are complex and have a high degree of variety, their restoration demands careful planning and patient implementation. Although a decade for tackling this challenge seems a lot in the first view, time is already running. In order to turn back the worst effects not only greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut by almost 50%, but also lots of progress is required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals . The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels .
Whereby the Paris Agreement sets out concrete limits of temperature rise, the Sustainable Development Goals form a collection of 17 interlinked global goals which represent a model for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. They state that ending poverty and other adversities must work together with enhancing health and education standards, minimizing inequality, and leading economic growth – all while addressing climate change and working on safeguarding our oceans and forests . Also, we must stop the loss of biodiversity, a trend which, if not turned around, leads to extinction of more than one million species . Biodiversity loss could severely threaten the stability of the ecosystem services on which humans depend . Ecosystems are defined as community of organisms of different species which live together in their habitat. They constitute the web of life on our earth and comprise all living organisms and interactions among them and their environment. Ecosystems can be found everywhere, they include forests, rivers, wetlands, grasslands, etc. In addition, we profit from them through stable climate conditions, breathable air, water, food, and other materials of different kinds . Since biologically diverse ecosystems have a higher probability to consist of species which provide resilience to that ecosystem, they have a higher chance of entailing characteristics that facilitate the adoption of the ecosystem to a changing environment. This means that such species could protect the system against the loss of other species . Therefore, it can be said that people and planet are only as healthy as the ecosystems we all depend on. But due to (mainly human) intervention, ecosystems are endangered. Deforestation, the pollution of rivers and lakes, overfishing of oceans, etc. are harming them. If we do not act now, we will not only destroy ecosystems and landscapes but also our own basis of living .
But we are already at the beginning of the right track. Movements have started and people engage on an increasing scale in protecting the environment and in restoring our planet.
You can follow this path through your actions, your choices and your voices. Taking action means for instance to change your personal behavior to such as greener diets, less polluting transport modes and general choices and amounts of consumption. But you can also directly take action by starting your own initiative or by joining an already existing one which supports restoration or conservation efforts. Also, raising your voice and making it count in discussions which e.g., deal about how to improve the local environment management. These are all efforts which lead the way on the right track but still, even more change is necessary1.
Getting active as a business
Everyone can join the movement of restoring our earth, not only individuals but also businesses can use their skills and knowledge to contribute to the restoration of our ecosystems. Examples here include the engagement in local restoration projects and working on reducing the overall footprint of your business. Here, DFGE supports you and your company to take action. We help you in becoming more sustainable and being part of the movement to restore our earth. While strictly refusing greenwashing, we provide a variety of different services. Our solutions include support in participation in several sustainability/CSR standards and rankings like CDP, UNGC, EcoVadis or GRI, as well as adapting climate friendly business activities via Science-Based Targets and a Climate Neutrality approach. If you have further questions, you can contact us via or by phone at +49 8192-99733-20.
 UNFCCC (2021). What is the Paris Agreement? https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement. Last access: 26.05.2021
 Cleland, E. E. (2011) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):14