|-Photo by Akil Mazumder
The 2021 World Environment Day theme just happens to be "Ecosystem Restoration" and since it also marks the start of the UN Decade of Restoration, I hope you won't mind if I still keep talking about trees.
There are however, a number of other projects underway from urban gardening in New York to rewilding in Argentina or reinvigorating seagreass beds in the UK and Europe, so check them out here. It's about restoring and recreating our relationship with nature. There is also a message for young people about being #GenerationRestoration, though I do think it's rather unfair that young people are being left to take on this urgent task, while adults continue to clear forests, pollute and burn fossil fuels. Perhaps our young people will show them the way and that a cleaner, healthier and kinder world is possible. That's my hope anyway.
Speaking of hope, I just want to make mention of veteran Tasmanian environmentalist, Christine Milne's message to you young people. It's a bit long to repost in full here, but in short she says,
"Don't ever give up hope, great changes can happen and you never know when the tide will turn."
Christine should know, after losing the fight for Lake Pedder in Tasmania's South West 50 years ago, the world's first Green party came into being and she became instrumental in stopping another dam on Tasmania's last wild river and a multinational pulp mill in Tasmania's North West. The whole state and even whole families were strongly divided, but the importance of the environment and the end of the "Wild West" approach to Tasmania especially with respect to logging were firmly established. Who knows what the state would have looked like if that hadn't been the case - not that clear felling has stopped entirely, and we certainly wouldn't have had a tourist industry which brought in ten times what our wood -chipped forests did.
I'm also thinking we need a special forest of trees - a sacred grove as it were, for our environmental heroes. So many activists have been gaoled, harassed, murdered or 'disappeared' - unarmed foot soldiers sacrificed to profit and greed in the war on nature.