Association of City Managers in Nigeria (ACMAN) Celebrates the 2022 Earth Day as part of our mission to promote equitable, lieveable, and sustainable cities.
EARTHDAY.ORG, the global organizer of Earth Day, announced that the theme for Earth Day 2022 will be “Invest in Our Planet.” Earth Day 2022 is focused on accelerating solutions to combat our greatest threat, climate change, and to activate everyone – governments, citizens, and businesses – to do their part. Everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable.
The Earth Day 2022 theme is focused on engaging the more than 1 billion people, governments, institutions, and businesses who participate in Earth Day to recognize our collective responsibility and to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all.
How to Invest in Our Planet
1. Plant a tree
Trees provide food and oxygen. They help save energy, clean the air, and help combat climate change. Trees reduce the amount of storm water runoff, which reduces erosion and pollution in our waterways and may reduce the effects of flooding. Many species of wildlife depend on trees for habitat. Trees provide food, protection, and homes for many birds and mammals
2. Invest in renewables and energy efficiency.
Most of the energy we use is currently generated by fossil fuels, producing roughly 60% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition to contributing to planet-warming emissions, burning fossil fuels causes air pollution that can be damaging for both people and the planet. Using carbon-intensive energy sources to cook food, for example, doesn’t just harm the environment; millions of people die each year as a result of toxic smoke inhalation.
Investing in renewable energy and improving energy efficiency can curb emissions, make energy more accessible, improve air quality, and preserve our planet.
3. Invest in food and agriculture innovation.
The agricultural sector is one of the biggest contributors to GHG emissions, behind only transportation and energy. Industrialized agriculture and factory farms — with their reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and massive methane output — wreak havoc on the planet’s land, air, and water, contributing to both environmental degradation and climate change. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), 80% of the planet’s agricultural land is used to produce livestock feed. Conversely, climate change poses an enormous threat to global food production. Extreme and unpredictable weather is making farming more difficult, forcing people to clear more land and use more chemicals to grow food — a vicious cycle that further degrades the planet. Climate change is also driving fish species further from fishers, potentially disrupting the livelihoods and food security of millions.
Yet agriculture and food production also hold promising solutions to climate change. No-till farming, for example, minimizes the use of conventional plowing and harnesses the soil’s natural ability to store carbon. Solar-powered irrigation, hydroponic — or soilless — growing, and meat alternatives are other innovations that could transform how we grow our food and lead to a more sustainable way of managing our land and water. Eating a more aquatic diet, particularly of seaweed and shellfish, can also reduce our carbon footprint.
4. Invest in nature-based solutions
The immense restorative power of nature itself is one of the most cost-effective ways to tackle climate change. By protecting, sustainably managing, and restoring natural ecosystems, the world can mitigate the effects of global warming while fostering biodiversity. The planet’s bogs, swamps, and marshes — landscapes collectively known as peatlands — for instance, cover just 3% of the Earth’s surface, yet store almost one-third of the world’s carbon.
Planting and protecting mangroves, sea grasses, and salt marshes can absorb up to 10 times as much carbon as forests on land, for instance.
5. Invest in Indigenous communities.
Indigenous people are too often overlooked in public discourse and policy decisions on climate change, along with their unique perspectives and traditional knowledge of land stewardship. By investing more resources in Indigenous communities, the world can elevate and learn from individuals whose roots are tied to our natural resources. In 2014, for example, a Native Hawaiian organization helped establish a marine sanctuary that is managed using traditional ecological knowledge; it later won the UN’s Equator Prize for restoring the area’s biodiversity.
6. Invest in girls and women.
Across the globe, girls and women depend more on — yet have less access to — natural resources. In many regions, they also bear a disproportionate responsibility for securing food, water, and fuel for their families. This makes them uniquely vulnerable to climate change.
But girls and women are not merely the victims of a changing climate. As the primary stewards of their households and communities, they are also effective agents of change and defenders of the environment. Even so, female representation in national and global climate negotiations remains below 30%. When important decisions about our planet are being made, girls and women must be included and represented. It’s the only way to achieve climate justice.
7. Invest in peace.
War doesn’t only cost human lives and cause widespread hunger, poverty, and suffering. It also hurts the planet.
Described by UNEP as a “silent victim of violent conflict,” the environment is often directly damaged during wartime. Scorched-earth tactics often involve destroying infrastructure, targeting industrial sites, poisoning water wells and soils, and torching crops and forestland.
Conflict also makes achieving the global cooperation necessary to tackle climate change even harder. By investing in peace and diplomacy, we can spare future generations from the scourge of violence and protect the planet at the same time.
8. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Cut down on what you throw away. Follow the three “R’s” to conserve natural resources and landfill space.