World Environment Day 2024. Our Land. Our Future.

By Timothy Albrite

World Environment Day 2024 is on the 5th of June, and it’s time for all of us to come together and take action to restore and safeguard our planet’s land and soil. 

This year’s theme is “Our Land. Our Future. We are #GenerationRestoration.”  It emphasizes the urgent need to address land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience. 

Since 1973, World Environment Day has been a crucial platform for raising awareness about environmental issues, and it is led by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), mobilizing countries across the globe to influence environmental action.

As part of the restoration of the ecosystem, AA Kenya is part of the Greener Future initiative, a conglomerate of various organizations spearheaded by Dr. Manoj Shah, with an aim to grow the forest cover in the country by planting trees. Organizations that are part of this initiative include St.John Ambulance, Kingsway Tyres, Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital, MP Shah Hospital & NTSA.

Dr. Manoj is a strong supporter of environmental conservation. He actively participated in the late Wangari Mathai’s campaign to safeguard the Karura forest. His ongoing efforts to preserve the environment are reflected in the Greener Future initiative.

AA Kenya Group MD, Francis Theuri during a tree planting exercise at Thiba Dam in Kirinyaga County

“The exercise is also an opportunity to secure Kenya’s food sources, ” stated Mr. Francis Theuri, the AA Kenya Group MD, while at a tree planting exercise at Thiba dam in Kirinyaga County.

Elizabeth Mrema, the Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, stressed the urgency of the current situation during the launch of the global campaign, highlighting the need to prevent, halt, and reverse ecosystem degradation. “We are the first generation to fully understand the immense threats to the land and might be the last one with a chance to reverse the course of destruction. Our priority now must be on restoring ecosystems, replanting our forests, rewetting our marshes, and reviving our soils,” she said.

The growing threat of drought, desertification, and land degradation is having a devastating effect on the planet and people. Climate change and a broken food system exacerbate these challenges. However, there has been encouraging progress in recent years in the effort to restore degraded landscapes. 

World Environment Day provides a chance to shine a spotlight on solutions to these critical issues for all of us to take part in the Ecosystem restoration.

Here’s how you can join the action: 

– Register and get involved in restoration activities, events, or actions.

– Highlight your activity on the World Environment Day Activity Map and receive a registration card. 

– Get involved in land and soil restoration work using UNEP’s practical guide. 

– Spread the word and inspire others by sharing how you are helping to revive lands, using the hashtags #GenerationRestoration and #WorldEnvironmentDay.

 – Visit the website to access resources, latest updates, stories, news, and tips. 

– Use communication assets from the campaign and share them among your friends, peers, partners, and networks to highlight solutions and best practices. 

– Share and amplify World Environment Day messages within your community on how to get involved in land restoration efforts in various settings, from office buildings, schools, and gardens to agriculture fields, parks, and even streets.

 – Invite others in your networks to register and join.

Let’s join #GenerationRestoration and work together to restore and safeguard our land and soil for present and future generations. 

Your participation can make a real difference in the fight against environmental degradation and in building a sustainable future for our planet.

#GenerationRestoration: We cannot turn back time, but we can grow forests, revive water sources, and bring back soils. We are the generation that can make peace with land.

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