Nature at the verge of a breakdown. It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To reimagine our relationship with nature.

It is time for nature! Recognising the contribution for Nature in making our planet habitable.

The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature. Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message. Nature is showing that we are on the verge of a breakdown. It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To reimagine our relationship with nature.

The spread of COVID-19 is making the interdependence of people, livestock, wildlife and ecosystems clearer more than ever before. As humans rely more on nature for food and livelihoods, wildlife and ecosystems are put at risk, further increasing our vulnerabilities. In this period human beings need a robust ecosystem that will support our increased needs for food and livelihoods. The environment day was a time to reflect on the role of human beings in creating a balance between species and the environment upon which their lives are dependent on, as biodiversity conservation is the cornerstone of resilience to climate change.

Vi Agroforestry country offices marked this day in various celebrations. It was not business as usual as the world is grappling with the impact of COVID 19 but still they found a way to senstise communities and raise awareness of this important day.

A million animal and plant species in the world are at a risk of disappearing, half of these species are found in forested areas. Forests are one of the world’s important renewable natural resources for humans. The challenges we face are growing in size and number, which makes both regional and global cooperation absolutely crucial going forwards” Kent Larsson Country Manager Vi Agroforestry Tanzania said during World Environment Day, in Musoma where Vi Agroforestry joined hand with the Nordic Ambassadors in Dar es Salaam and the local government in Mara Region to launch Vi Agroforestry 2020 tree planting campaign that aims to raise awareness on the importance of planting trees and investing in biodiversity. During the event various demonstration on how agroforestry practices and tree planting can conserve nature were conducted at the agroforestry training center in musoma.

In Uganda, Farmers from Masaka District Farmers’ Association and Members of our partner organisation Masaka District Farmers’ Association (MADFA) in Uganda participated in tree planting and cleaning activities at Buwunga sub-county collecting the garbage and biochar production to mark the day while observing social distancing and COVID 19 guidelines. The participants included local leaders I.e. members of parliament, Regional district commissioners and religious leaders.

In Kenya this event was marked in Bomet county by the SEMA (Serengeti Mara Ecosystem) partners and other stakeholders who together planted in schools, water catchment areas and in farmers own farms sentizing the communities to conserve the environment, rehabilitate and protect the degraded areas. Elizabeth Mwiyeria, Vi Agroforestry Kenya Country Manager said “Agroforestry can play a major role in conserving and even enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services from farms to the landscape levels. It has the potential to mitigate climate change and boost resilience of small-holder farmers,”

Vi Agroforestry has been at the heart of reversing degradation of ecosystems; by incorporating women, men and the youth to live in harmony with nature as they improve their livelihoods, by adopting and practising the right actions that enhance nature base. Vi Agroforestry has enabled communities to adopt integrated landscape approaches to increasing biological diversity through the promotion of agroforestry and the adoption of sustainable land management practices. Agroforestry promotes biodiversity and produces a multitude of ecosystem services.

It is time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices. To build back better for People and Planet. What action are you taking today that will positively contribute to an enhanced/thriving biodiversity/ what positive action are you taking today that will contribute to a thriving biodiversity? When we recover, we must be better than we were before!

This year’s World Environmental Day theme was “it is time for nature” recognising the contribution for Nature in making our planet habitable.