World Environment Day 2021: Efforts needed to restore ecosystems
Under the theme “Ecosystem Restoration”, the World Environment Day 2021 is viewed as the start of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021 - 2030).
Preventing the poaching and trade of wild animals is one of the solutions to recover the ecosystem (Photo: VietnamPlus)
The UN Environment Programme selected “Ecosystem Restoration” as the theme for the World Environment Day 2021 (June 5) with a view to unite all countries around the world in protecting and reviving ecosystems, for the sake of both humans and nature. The Day also marked the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021 - 2030).Vietnam has been working hard to carry out synchronous nature-based solutions during the building of national, regional, and provincial zoning plans; the establishment and management of nature reserves; and the implementation of models for conservation and sustainable use.Ecosystems - the foundation of lifeAccording to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the ecosystems on the earth - the foundation of life - is deteriorating severely. The consumption of wildlife products and destruction of habitats have been making it easier for infectious diseases to transmit to humans.If humans do not change their behaviours towards the nature, pandemics will occur frequently in the future, harm more people, and cause worse losses to the global economy compared to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IPBES noted.Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said facing the same concern with other countries, Vietnam is witnessing rapid biodiversity degradation.It is the fact that people will suffer from immeasurable consequences if the human - nature relationship loses its balance, he warned, noting that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is also a result of ecological imbalance.The areas with important natural ecosystems in Vietnam have been narrowing. The natural forest area shrank from 12 million hectares in 1945 to 2.8 million hectares in 2017, according to the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Agency at the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE).In terms of marine and coastal ecosystems, hard corals have also been declining. Data showed that up to 63.5 percent of coral reefs are in bad conditions, with the coverage of less than 25 percent. The number of wild species and their populations have also fallen sharply. Many species with high values have even been pushed to the brink of extinction.Facing that fact, the MoNRE held that it is necessary to conduct analyses to serve as the basis for implementing major policies while conservation awareness must be promoted, practical action taken, and an implementation roadmap devised.As the degradation of ecosystems will lead to ecological imbalance which in turn will directly affect humans’ living environment and threaten the country’s sustainable development, Vietnam has been working to expand nature reserves and conserve the natural ecosystems of national and international importance.In particular, it has enhanced the protection of primeval forests to ensure the area of protected primeval forests is kept at 0.57 million hectare, taken measures to prevent deforestation and illegal logging, and carried out plans to recover coastal mangrove forests.Starting with small acts
A poster listing activities encouraged in the action month for the environment, in response to the World Environment Day (Source: MoNRE)
The theme of the World Environment Day 2021, “Ecosystem Restoration”, is closely associated with that of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22), “We’re part of the solution #ForNature”, launched by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.Highly valuing ecosystems’ importance to the life and human’s benefits, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan held that only when ecosystems are healthy can people’s livelihoods be improved, climate change dealt with, and biodiversity collapse prevented.“I believe that with changes in humans’ consciousness, awareness, and behaviour, and truly humane and responsible treatment to the nature, we can limit the collapse of biodiversity,” the official added.On this occasion, he also requested all-level administrations, sectors, organisations, and individuals to work out initiatives and solutions and take concrete actions to restore and protect natural ecosystems in Vietnam./.