Theme: Ecosystem Restoration – Resetting our Relation with Nature
Dear Mother Earth,
Who day by day unfolds rich blessing on our way,
O Praise God! Alleluia!
The fruits and flowers that verdant grow,
Let them his praise abundant show.
O praise God, O praise God, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
– St. Francis
To see more prayers for the environment, please click here.
Blackthorn Blossom in late Spring. Picture by Margaret Twomey
Taking place each year on 5 June, World Environment Day has grown to be the planet’s largest platform for environmental public outreach. Millions of people mark the day each year.
This year the theme is Ecosystem Restoration and it is being hosted by Pakistan in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). It will also mark the formal launch of the United Nations decade on the restoration of ecosystems.
According to the Prime Minister of Pakistan the country will engage in “one of the world’s most ambitious afforestation efforts” by engaging in a 10 Billion Tree Tsunami over the next 5 years. It is hoped that mangroves and forests will be restored as well as trees planted in urban settings such as schools and colleges, public parks and green belts. An Ecosystem Restoration Fund has been launched to facilitate this endeavour.
In the Irish context this theme is very timely as the revised Climate Bill, currently making its way through Parliament, has a clearly stated objective on biodiversity, which ultimately is about the restoration of ecosystems such as boglands, wetlands, and coastal habitats.
Cuckoo Flower in a West Cork field. Picture by Margaret Twomey
According to the Government website a ‘national climate objective’ is now placed on a statutory basis. This ‘commits to pursue and achieve no later than 2050, the transition to a climate resilient, biodiversity-rich, environmentally-sustainable and climate-neutral economy.’
What it means is that the Irish State has now legally bound itself to guaranteeing a biodiversity rich country by the middle of the century. To ensure such richness requires a focus on ecosystem restoration.
Good News Indeed!
Margaret Twomey rsm
South Central Province