Ecosystem Restoration | Stellenbosch Business School Skip to main content

By Dr Lize Barclay, Senior Lecturer in Futures Studies and Systems Thinking at the University of Stellenbosch Business School

The theme of World Environment Day, on Saturday 5 June 2021, is Ecosystem Restoration. It will also launch the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. From 2021 to 2030 the United Nation, along with all of us living and depending on the ecosystems of planet Earth, will aim to prevent more ecosystem degradation, halt the destruction taking place and attempt to reverse the damage that has been done.

We all depend on our ecosystems to stay healthy to provide us with clear water, viable land and fresh air. Each part of the ecosystem is important to ensure a thriving planet, on land or sea. Each insect, grain of soil and plant plays a role in their ecosystem; in deserts, forests, savannahs, coral reefs and even cities.

As the website for World Environment Day puts it, it is time to Reimagine, Recreate and Restore. It is a call to action for each individual, workplace, school, university and organisation on earth to do something restorative, even if it is small. Some of the actions we can do:

  • Know what we are trying to restore and why, because through knowledge comes action. Use libraries and the internet to explore ecosystems, understand their worth, enjoy their beauty and if possible visit local, provincial and national parks.
  • Think circular, understand everything we use has been taken out of a thriving ecosystem and turned into a product, which we must be careful when discarding, as there is no ‘away’.
  • Green our towns and cities by planting indigenous trees and shrubs and rewilding our gardens.
  • Clean up our areas, rivers and beaches, and recycle and compost what we find.
  • Focus on supporting locally made environmentally friendly products and green procurement.
  • If we are really up for the challenge: #gozerowaste and #govegan.

For more information and ideas, please visit the United Nations website