Become Part of the #GenerationRestoration

Apr 04, 2022|15Life on Land

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As you probably know, everything we consume today starts its journey to the consumer as a natural resource. Natural resources are raw materials provided by Mother Earth, such as oil, coal, natural gas, metals, stone, and sand. These materials are often used as the base to create the things we use and consume daily. Other natural resources are air, sunlight, soil, and water, which also aid in sustaining the economy, helping us grow and produce food, energy, and clothing. 

All-natural resources are also part of an ecosystem living in balance and harmony. When we interfere with the Earth's natural harmony, we can create an unbalance, which can lead to catastrophic events and, in some cases, the extinction of a species. 

What is an Ecosystem? 

An ecosystem is a community of living and non-living organisms interacting in perfect balance in a particular geographical area. Like communities of people, ecosystems have a structure and a system in which each group member has a job to do.

There are different types of ecosystems, often named after their location. Each ecosystem has a different structure and function. These include:

-Terrestrial ecosystem 

-Forest ecosystem.

-Grassland ecosystem.

-Desert ecosystem.

-Tundra ecosystem.

-Freshwater ecosystem.

-Marine ecosystem

For example, look outside your window. Where do you live? What is the temperature like where you are? What kind of jobs do people have in that area? 

Can you see how the weather and terrain can change how your ecosystem works? For example, suppose you live on the coast, by the sea. Livelihoods will depend on fishing, tourism, and sea-related activities. People's activities will involve surfing, swimming, and fishing. Boating is likely popular, and tourists might visit during the warmer months. However, if you live in the mountain, local jobs, activities, and climate will determine what people do. Likewise, ecosystems are influenced by their climate, terrain, and inhabitants. 

Why are Ecosystems Important? 

Ecosystems support all life on Earth. Therefore, the healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet and its people are. With this in mind, the UN initiated the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Program. Led by El Salvador and working together with over 70 countries, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 2021–2030 as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration on March 1, 2019. The program aims to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. 

The 2022 theme, Only One Earth, highlights restoration's importance, encouraging all nations to work together towards a greener and more sustainable future. But we need your help. By becoming part of #GenerationRestoration, you can be part of the revolution toward a cleaner, happier world. 

So now that you know what an ecosystem is, let's see how we can help protect and restore ecosystems by implementing small changes. 

How can you Help Protect and Restore an Ecosystem?

Be a Conscious Consumer: ask yourself if you really need that new pair of jeans? Those sunglasses? or that new video game? Are there ways to buy second-hand, recycled, or make your own? If the answer is definitely yes to a new product, make sure you do some research beforehand and find out more about the production process for that product. Is it sustainable? is the brand responsible for the environment and the local communities? Become a conscious and responsible consumer; encourage your friends and family to research and evaluate before buying new products. 

Plant Trees: A simple yet effective way to restore the natural environment is to plant trees. You can start small by planting trees in your backyard, local community, or school. Or perhaps by asking your parents to join programs or local charities that plant trees on your behalf. For example, is helping carbon offsetting by planting trees for a monthly subscription fee. Or with Ripple Africa, you can support forest conservation by contributing toward their tree planting project in Malawi and providing a long-term solution to fighting deforestation in Africa. 

Join or organize a beach clean-up or forest trail, or local park. The important part is to help keep natural areas clean. For example, many bird's nests have been found to contain plastics and cigarette buds; this happens because birds will use anything they find to build nests. By making sure our parks, beaches, and forests are clean, we can prevent this from happening. Ask your parents to help you find a local organization and join a beach/park clean. For example, in Barbados, Join a Beach Clean Up is making incredible efforts toward marine life conservation. 

Learn & Share: the best thing you can do is learn and share. Head over to your school or community library or ask your teachers at school where to find more information about ecosystems and biodiversity. Learn about your local ecosystems and the impact human consumption might have on them. Learn how you can help mitigate change and start sharing your knowledge. Knowledge is power.  

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Head over to this website Ecosystem Restoration Playbook. A practical guide to healing the planet | UN Decade on Restoration and download the Ecosystem Restoration Playbook. The 21-page guide describes approaches to restoring eight key types of ecosystems – forests, farmlands, grassland and savannahs, rivers and lakes, oceans and coasts, towns and cities, peatlands, and mountains. Use this playbook as inspiration to find how to become part of #GenerationRestoration. Be part of the global movement to restore ecosystems everywhere for the good of people and nature. Share your actions with us online! We would love to hear more about your ideas. 

Video: Ecosystem Ecology: Links in the Chain - Crash Course Ecology #7