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World Environment Day 2024

5 June

Theme -  Land restoration, desertification and drought resilience

World Environment Day, celebrated annually on June 5, was initiated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. Over the last 50 years, it has become one of the most significant global platforms for environmental advocacy, with millions of people engaging in various activities both online and in person.

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification highlights that up to 40% of the world's land is degraded, affecting half of the global population and jeopardizing around half of global GDP (US$44 trillion). Since 2000, the frequency and length of droughts have increased by 29%. Without immediate action, droughts could impact over 75% of the global population by 2050.

Land restoration is a crucial component of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), which calls for the protection and revival of ecosystems worldwide, essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Cracked Earth

#GenerationRestoration

We cannot reverse time, but we can cultivate forests, restore water sources, and rejuvenate soils. Ours is the generation that can reconcile with the land.

Globally, ecosystems are under threat. From forests and drylands to farmlands and lakes, the natural areas essential for human survival are approaching a critical threshold. This is why World Environment Day 2024 emphasizes land restoration, combating desertification, and enhancing drought resilience with the slogan "Our land. Our future.

We are #GenerationRestoration.

Key Facts

Soil and Water

  • Nearly 60% of all species reside in soil, making it the planet's most biodiverse habitat.

  • Healthy soils store significant amounts of carbon, preventing a dramatic increase in planetary warming.

Drylands

  • Drylands cover 41% of Earth's land and generate 44% of global crops.

  • These areas support the lives of more than 2 billion people, providing feed for half of the world’s livestock.

Deserts

  • Deserts cover over one-fifth of the Earth's land area and are found on every continent.

  • The Sahara, the largest hot desert, spans 9.4 million square kilometers and is home to diverse species including 500 plant species and numerous animals.

Forests

  • Forests cover 31% of the Earth but are concentrated in only five countries.

  • They are home to more than half of the world’s land-based species of animals, plants, and insects.

Freshwater

  • Lakes, rivers, and wetlands hold 20-30% of global carbon, despite covering only 5-8% of the land surface.

  • Approximately 1.4 billion livelihoods worldwide depend on access to fresh water.

Farmlands

  • Every five seconds, the equivalent of one football pitch of soil is eroded.

  • The world needs to raise food production by 60-70% to feed a projected 9 billion people by 2050.

Cities

  • Cities occupy 3% of the Earth’s land surface but house more than half its population.

  • Urban areas account for 75% of global resource and energy use, producing over half of global waste and at least 60% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Join the campaign to become #GenerationRestoration

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