World Environment Day: It is time to understand our responsibility towards our plant

Ecosystem restoration is of utmost importance and is one of the most effective ways to revive our shrinking biodiversity and reverse the deplorable condition of our environment.
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“Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.”

The theme for this year’s Environment Day instils a sense of hope by encouraging us to remain positive and work towards rehabilitating the environment. Our planet has been a victim of exploitation and destruction for too long now. In fact, over the last century, we have managed to destroy half of our wetlands, and as much as 50 percent of coral reefs have already been lost and up to 90 percent could be lost by 2050.

The loss of ecosystems is depriving the world of carbon sinks at a time when humanity can least afford it. The emergence of COVID-19 has already displayed the consequences of the loss of ecosystems. By encroaching natural habitats and replacing them with skyscrapers, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens to thrive. 

Women plant trees in Uttarakhand

Ecosystem restoration is of utmost importance to go from exploiting nature to healing it. It is one of the most effective ways to revive our shrinking biodiversity and reverse the deplorable condition of our environment. All of us have the right to a healthy, clean, and sustainable environment, provided that we take the necessary steps to achieve the same. Lack of effort towards our environment can be detrimental to us and our future generations. Only a healthy ecosystem can enhance the livelihood of people, counteract climate change, and cease the collapse of biodiversity.

We have already lost vast stretches of greenery to deforestation, without realising that such practices not only wipe out forests but also lead to the migration of birds and animals, and man-animal conflict. If that were not enough, several rural and tribal communities that depend on forests also experience loss of culture, deep-rooted beliefs, and livelihood opportunities. 

Eight percent of all known animal species are extinct and 22 percent are at the risk of extinction. Meanwhile, pollution has deteriorated coastal waters and many fish species are rapidly depleting. According to a report published last year, irreversible decline in the natural environment presents a significant threat to the previous two decades of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

A far more optimistic future is attainable, but only with a drastic change in development policies, incentives, and actions. Reforestation is the restoration of damaged or destroyed forests. We owe our environment millions of trees that can only be recovered through reforestation.

Forests play an important role in the reduction of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere by acting as carbon sinks. Currently, when the world is facing an environmental crisis due to the mass destruction of forests, reforestation is of massive importance to reverse the damage caused to nature and achieve a balanced lifestyle. Depleting forests have damaged our biodiversity to an unthinkable extent; animals that used to live in forests are forced out of their homes as a result of the same.

Forests help in maintaining a balance in the environmental changes that occur throughout the year. With the continuous loss of trees, the ground temperature has started to increase, creating a climate crisis and contributing to the ever-increasing global warming.

Due to rapid deforestation, our land has lost its fertility, which has led to degraded land in several Indian states. In such a situation, reforestation is very important to save ourselves from the hazardous effects of soil erosion. It is also capable of reviving watersheds that play a vital role in maintaining a healthy environmental balance.

One acre of forest is capable of sequestering about six tons of carbon dioxide and releasing four tons of oxygen. It is important to draw our attention to the fact that forests promote human wellness to a great extent by improving air quality, ameliorating climate changes, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife.

Grow-Trees.com believes that almost every Indian state is battling with a distinct environmental issue. While major cities are in dire need of pollution control, the rural sectors are in search of solutions for forest fires, man-animal conflict, and climate change.

In order to establish a platform that is actively working to address and eliminate the most pressing issues in every Indian state, our organization has set up projects across 23 Indian states. We encourage individuals and corporates to contribute to these issues by greeting trees and reducing their carbon footprint. Thus, when you ‘Greet with Trees®️’, you’re building more forest land while creating livelihood opportunities for farmers and villagers.

As the theme for World Environment Day reiterates the urgency and hope for environmental restoration, we need to understand our responsibility towards our planet. Overconsumption of resources, improper waste management, exploitation of forests, and other reckless actions amount to irreparable environmental damage.  

As we prepare ourselves for a post-COVID world, let’s not forget the lessons we have learned from this pandemic. Let’s embrace our environment with positivity so that we can take adequate actions to sustain the environment that supports us.

Edited by Teja Lele