By Prisca Sam-Duru
Thousands of individuals and organisations are organising diverse physical and virtual events to commemorate the 2021 World Environment Day.
With theme, “Ecosystem Restoration”, World Environment Day 2021 will specially feature the launch of the United Nation’s ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’ with Parkistan as the global host.
Ecosystem restoration which can take the form of growing trees, encouraging green cities, cleaning up rivers and or beaches, rewilding gardens, are aimed at making inhabitants of earth to be at peace with mother nature.
The United Nations held the first World Environment Day in 1972, with the theme, “Only One Earth”. The celebration was designed to promote global environmental awareness and to specifically teach people the importance of conservation and sustainability. The Day also encourages government officials, businesses, and other organizations to take action for the sake of the planet.
This is the reason each World Environment Day is marked with a different theme, different hosts, performances and more.
In 2020, the World Environment Day theme was “Celebrate Biodiversity,” and according to a Green Matters report, the theme for the 2021 commemoration – Ecosystem Restoration – as announced on the UN’s World Environment Day website, there are a number of reasons for the choice of theme. “This sentiment holds extreme significance, as climate-onset algal blooms are consistently killing off marine life, wildfires are ravaging habitats worldwide, rising water temperatures are decimating coral reefs on a regular basis, and more”, the Green Matters reports.
Prior to official commencement of the events, the UN launched its ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Gala’ on June 4, 2021. The launch features conversations from world leaders, activists and various celebrities such as Finland’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Krista Mikkonen; model Gisele Bundchen; ecologist John D. Liu; and E. ON’s CEO Dr. Leonhard Birnbaum.
A wide range of performances which will include international musician Rocky Dawuni; spoken word poet and climate change activist, Jordan Sanchez; chef and activist Louise Mabulo; Fridays for Future’s Xiye Bastida, DJ Don Diablo; and hip-hop singer, Ty Dolla Sign, will be featured.
In Nigeria, the United States Consulate, Lagos, is all set to mark the day with tree planting and sanitation exercise at select areas on Saturday, June 5, 2021.
According to the Public Affairs Section of the United States Consulate General, Lagos, which made known the plans to commemorate the World Environment Day stated, “this year’s tree planting exercise will take place at a primary school to serve as a learning opportunity to get school kids involved in the environment.”
Acting U.S. Consul General, Brandon Hudspeth, it disclosed, “will lead the tree planting exercise and deliver remarks highlighting the importance of conserving the environment for posterity.” At the event, Hudspeth will be joined by Students and staff of St. Saviour’s School, Yaba; General Manager Lagos Sate Environmental Protection Agency, Ms. Dolapo Fasawe; Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni; Chairman Yaba Local Council Development Area, Omiyale Kayode Adejare; and members of the Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network and members of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association and other volunteers.
Activities for the day which include a waste cleaning exercise at Sabo Yaba, Lagos, by all participants, as part of the YALI Network Clean Up Nigeria Campaign, will take place immediately after the tree planting exercise at St. Saviour’s School, Railway Compound, Ebute-Metta, Lagos.