World Environment Day

by Deborah Cater
World Environment Day - working towards ecosystem regeneration

World Environment Day 2021 (5th June) also marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This is a global initiative to prevent, stop and repair damage to degraded ecosystems all over the world.

The United Nations called on countries (3rd June) to restore at least one billion degraded hectares of land in the next decade – an area about the size of China.

Countries also need to add similar commitments for oceans, according to a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO).

The report highlights humanity is using about 1.6 times the amount of services nature can provide sustainably. That means conservation efforts alone are insufficient to prevent large-scale ecosystem collapse and biodiversity loss.

Ecosystems requiring urgent restoration include farmlands, forests, grasslands and savannahs, mountains, peatlands, urban areas, freshwaters, and oceans.

Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition

Spain has introduced a law to tackle climate change and transition to cleaner energy. While some feel it does not go far enough, Spain is taking great strides to move towards cleaner and greener energy production. One such step is the aim to become Europe’s leading green hydrogen producer. In addition, Spain wants to levy a green tax on airline tickets.

Ecosystem restoration

As InSpain has reported this year, across Spain there are many initiatives underway to restore ecosystems. Whilst Spain is making inroads, there is still much more to be done to ensure an environmentally healthy country.

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Coral reef in Tarifa

The gorgonian coral is invaluable to the marine ecosystem. To ensure the conservation of this coral species at the Punta de Tarifa, Spanish scientists will transplant coral colonies on the sea floor. Read more

Iberian wolf numbers on the rise

Spain has banned the hunting of Iberian wolves and reported an increase in pack numbers. However, balance needs to be maintained between livestock farming and the natural habitat.

Removal of disused dams

By removing unused and outdated dams, Spain is allowing the natural river course and habitat to return. This is good news for species biodiversity. Read more

30% increase in forests

Since 1990, forests have increased by 30% in Spain. However, the threat of deforestation is still present all over the world. In the same period, the world has lost a total of 420 million hectares of forest, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). While the figures in Spain are encouraging, experts ask people not to be complacent. Read more

Reforestation programmes

One example of a reforestation programme is in Malaga.  There they want to create both an urban forest and plant 3 million trees on the north and east sides of the city.

Watch the video below about Madrid’s urban forest programme.

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