This year’s World Environment Day 2021, June 5, will be all about ecosystem restoration (#GenerationRestoration), which will kick off the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
We had recently celebrated Earth Day (#RestoreOurEarth) and World Biodiversity Day, on May 22, initiatives under the banner of the awareness that we humans are part of the solution to environmental problems, problems that we ourselves have caused: “We’re part of the solution”.
The succession over the years of these days of celebration mark a path, indicate a track to follow, as the awareness of global challenges on the environment spreads and includes institutions and citizens, but also different environments and ecosystems: agricultural, forestry, aquatic, prairie and savanna, high altitude, marine and ocean, coastal and marsh, including urban areas. All of these ecosystems, today, are threatened, and must therefore be protected and recovered.
Thanks to the initiatives financed by AICS, the commitment to the preservation and restoration of natural ecosystems has concerned the wetlands in El Salvador (Humedal Vivo Project) as well as its inland volcanic areas (Coatepeque Lake, Izalco Volcano) rich in biodiversity but threatened by deforestation (CafeyCafe, ViviCafe, RIESCA, Castes, Agua Futura Programs).
In Cuba, the conservation of the high-altitude forest cover with native species within coffee agroforestry systems (Mascafé Project) is integrated with reforestation projects in semi-arid areas of the island.
In Lebanon, AICS collaborates with Shouf Biosphere Reserve for the recovery of agro-ecosystems with high landscape value (STONE initiative). Along the coasts of the Mediterranean Basin, the protection of marine biology is promoted through underwater tourism (Tunisia, Ecorand Sidi Mechreg).
In Burkina Faso, where AICS is engaged in initiatives for the recovery of arid lands (Burkina Faso, P2RPIA-CNS initiative). In Ethiopia, the enhancement of the natural resources of Lake Wenchi goes through responsible and sustainable eco-tourism. In Mozambique, the preservation of biodiversity concerns both coastal areas (Ibo Island, Inhaca Island) and inland areas (Maputo Special Reserve, Gorongosa National Park).
In Pakistan, an initiative to raise awareness of young people regarding the issues of conservation of high altitude ecosystems (Himalayas) (CKNP project) is carried out by our office in Islamabad, while in Southeast Asia, AICS Yangon is working to develop a hydrological monitoring platform for the fragile balance of the Red River ecosystem.
The commitment of the Agency to the environment obviously does not end with the preservation and recovery of ecosystems, but also involves other activities concerning the rural environment, such as in Senegal (PAPSEN program), or in Sudan, through the exploitation of solar energy (solar ovens and solar water systems) and the promotion of environmental campaigns for the collection of plastic.