Guest Blog: IUCN participates in Earth Day

Maggie Roth, IUCN

This is a guest blog from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an Earth Day Network partner.

Spring has sprung, flowers are blooming, and just last week we celebrated our planet. For this year’s Earth Day, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) spoke about energy issues and the importance of nature-based solutions on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall.

Nature is the backbone, the essential infrastructure, the very foundation of our lives. Just think about it: How many of the comforts we enjoy and the products we use come courtesy of nature’s warehouse of services? It doesn’t really matter who you are. All of us depend, directly or indirectly, on nature. All of us depend on the ecosystem services provided by healthy biodiversity.

On April 22, Julia spoke to a water-logged crowd about how we need to view nature as a solution, not a problem. She focused on how nature can help us fix some of our greatest challenges, including climate change, food, water, energy security. Although the rain was coming down in sheets, it was a really great experience to be able to convene on the Mall with people who truly care about the Earth and our environment.

 “Today, our connection to nature is not as direct as it was thousands of years ago—yet the services that nature provides create the conditions that enable us to survive and thrive on Planet Earth,” said Julia. “Nature should not be seen as a victim, but rather as part of the solution to some of our greatest challenges, including climate change and food, water and energy security.”

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970; it activated 20 million Americans, and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Now, about a billion people across the planet come together around Earth Day to invoke awareness and appreciation of our natural environment. It is such an amazing experience to be able to join together with like-minded people for a common cause. Let’s keep the momentum going!