- The President of the African Tourism Board (ATB) called upon the continent’s people to take time to reflect on the environment of their country and of their continent.
- The planet loses forest the size of a soccer field every 3 seconds.
- Restoration of the Earth must involve prevention as well as reversal of damage already done.
Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football (soccer) field, and over the last century, half of the Earth’s wetlands have been destroyed. For the coral reefs, as much as 50 percent have already been lost and up to 90 percent could be lost by 2050, even if global warming is limited.
World Environment Day kicked off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the tops of mountains to the depths of the sea. Restoration involves everything from preventing, halting, and reversing the damage that has already been done.
Alain St.Ange, President of the African Tourism Board (ATB) and former Tourism Minister of Seychelles, said: “It is a must for each and every person who calls Africa home to take time to reflect on the environment of their country and of their continent.
“Let us give ourselves a pat on the back for all that is good as we commit to do more to be ready for the post-COVID era. Our environment is more important today than ever before.
“Every country of the world is planning the reopening of their tourism. We are all fishing from the same pond for the discerning holidaymakers. Africa needs the edge to be ahead. An improved environment based on sustainability and environment-friendly development is the needed story we must be able to tell.
“Let us all go out and help rewrite our narrative as good custodians of the amazing environment our continent has been blessed with.”
It is only with healthy ecosystems that people’s livelihoods be enhanced and that climate change can be counteracted. To stop the collapse of biodiversity, we humans who are caretakers of the planet must go from exploiting nature to healing it.