Earth Day 2021 calls for action to restore damaged ecosystems.
Prevent, stop and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide.
Soil degradation is due to erosion, pollution and depletion of its resources. Already today about 20% of the planet’s vegetated surface shows a decrease in productivity and by 2050 agricultural yields will fall by an average of 10%, with peaks of -50% in certain territories.
On the other hand, there is deforestation, which between 2004 and 2017 ate 43 million hectares, about the surface of Iraq. In 2020 alone, an area of tropical primary humid forests as large as Holland was destroyed.
These two phenomena today have an impact on the well-being of at least 3.2 billion people, contribute to the much feared sixth mass extinction and compromise ecosystem services whose value exceeds 10% of global GDP. With climate change, this is bound to get worse.
The restoration of agricultural ecosystems therefore involves the use of natural fertilizers and pesticides, crop rotation, the introduction of greater agricultural biodiversity, the possibility of grazing livestock after harvest.
Restoring a mountain ecosystem means increasing forest cover, safeguarding waterways, designing infrastructures such as roads and dams respecting habitat balances and securing it from avalanches and floods.
An even more radical approach is the rewilding: reintroducing the animal and plant species that had been expelled from man, creating the right conditions to make them thrive and then simply let nature take back its spaces, without trying to rule it.
Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Oceans are filling with plastic and turning more acidic. Extreme heat, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes have affected millions of people. We continue to face a worldwide health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem. For International Mother Earth Day 22 April, let's be reminded that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. Let’s promote harmony with nature.