International Mother Earth Day is a chance to reflect on how humanity has been treating our planet, and let’s face it: we’ve been poor custodians. And while a steady stream of reports has painted a legitimately worrying picture of the current state of the planet, don’t lose hope: there are more innovative ideas for serious climate action than ever and more and more people around the world are working together on solutions to help repair the damage that’s been done to our fragile home.
The Earth is facing a ‘triple planetary crisis’: climate disruption, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste. The good news is that there is still hope, António Guterres stresses, reminding us that 50 years ago, the world came together in Stockholm for the pivotal UN Conference on the Human Environment, which kickstarted a global movement. So here are 5 ways that we (humans) are working to restore our ailing Earth:
1. Converting coal mines into carbon sinks
In Appalachia, a geographical and cultural region in the eastern United States that includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia and is named after the Appalachian Mountains, the NGO Green Forests Work (GFW) is restoring forests on lands impacted by coal surface mining projects.
2. Restoring ecosystem connectivity
Twenty years ago, a satellite photograph of Australia’s south-western corner showing the vast extent of natural vegetation lost due to human activity since the European settlement inspired a group of activists to form Gondwana Link.
3. Transplanting ‘survivor’ coral fragments
Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth, harbouring 25 per cent of all marine life. They are in danger of disappearing by the end of the century all over the world due to the rising temperature and acidity of our ocean’s consequence of climate change.
4. Restoring watersheds affected by the climate crisis in the Andes
Another example of large-scale restoration and conservation efforts is happening in the Andes mountains in South America where local communities across five different countries are working together to grow and plant native trees and protect their water sources.
5. Restoring carbon absorbing seagrass
Seagrass provides food and shelter for many marine organisms. They are multifunctional ecosystems and are often referred as nursery habitats because they usually harbour young fish, smaller species of fish and invertebrates.
Source: The UN
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