Mother Earth Day: Making peace with nature

International Mother Earth Day is commemorated on April 22 to raise awareness of the problems caused by overpopulation and pollution, as well as the importance of biodiversity conservation.

 

The United Nations General Assembly designated this date through a resolution adopted in 2009.

 

Taking care of Mother Earth

 

Mother Earth is urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Oceans filling with plastic and turning more acidic. Extreme heat, wildfires and floods, have affected millions of people. Even these days, we are still facing COVID-19, a worldwide health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem.

 

Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can accelerate the speed of destruction of the planet.

 

This is the first Mother Earth Day celebrated within the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Ecosystems support all life on Earth. The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people.

 

A healthy ecosystem helps to protect us from diseases. Biological diversity makes it difficult for pathogens to spread rapidly. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part.

 

Let’s remind ourselves – more than ever – that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. Let’s promote harmony with nature and the Earth.

 

Making peace with nature

 

Every year, the planet loses 10 million hectares of forest; an area similar to Iceland. It is estimated that around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. It is therefore urgent that we reconcile ourselves with nature.

 

In the report “Making Peace with Nature: A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres states:

 

“Making peace with nature is the most important task we will undertake in the coming decades. We must seize the opportunity presented by the COVID-19 crisis to accelerate change. Our main objective is to establish a global coalition for carbon neutrality. If every country, city, financial institution and company in the world joins forces to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, it will still be possible to avoid the most damaging effects of climate change.”

 

Guterres adds: “We have the capacity to transform our impact on the planet. A sustainable economy driven by nature-based solutions and renewable energy will generate new jobs, cleaner infrastructure and greater resilience in the future. An inclusive world living in peace with nature will enable people to enjoy better health, fully exercise their human rights and therefore lead a dignified life on a healthy planet.”

 

According to this report, transforming humanity’s relationship with nature is the key to achieving a sustainable future, focusing on the following goals:

 

1. Human development (from 2020):

  • Sustainable economic and financial systems.
  • Healthy and nutritious food, clean water and clean energy.
  • Healthy lives and well-being for all in safe cities and settlements.

 

2. Disposals of waste matter:

  • Net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
  • Management of chemicals, waste and pollution.

 

3. Use of space and resources:

  • Recycling of resources.
  • Protection and sustainable use of land and oceans.

 

By: Juan Carlos Ugarelli

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