World Environment Day 2021

World Environment Day is the most renowned day for environmental action. Since 1974, it has been celebrated every year on June 5th, engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue.

To mark World Environment Day 2021, Elsevier presents a curated list of free access journal articles and book chapters in support of this year's theme - Ecosystem Restoration.

People and the planet are only as healthy as the ecosystems we all depend on. Bringing degraded ecosystems back to life – for example by planting trees, cleaning up riverbanks, or simply giving nature space to recover – increases their benefits to society and biodiversity. Without reviving ecosystems, we cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Climate Agreement. But ecosystems are also complex and highly varied, and their restoration needs careful planning and patient implementation.

World Environment Day 2021 also marks the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems, and restore them to achieve global goals. Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity.

Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 1, 22 November 2019
Over US$60 trillion is predicted to be spent on new infrastructure globally by 2040. Is it possible to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (develop infrastructure networks) without sacrificing goals 14 and 15 (ending biodiversity loss)? We explore the potential role of “no net loss” (NNL) policies in reconciling these SDGs.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 3, 18 December 2020
Earth's ecosystems, upon which all life depends, are in a severe state of degradation. The upcoming UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration aims to “prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.” These Voices articulate why and what action is urgently needed.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 3, 18 December 2020
Rewilding should be central to the massive restoration efforts needed to overcome the global biodiversity crisis and enhancing the biosphere's capacity to mitigate climate change. Key elements include large areas for nature, restoration of functional megafaunas and other natural biodiversity-promoting factors, synergy with major societal dynamics, and careful socio-ecological implementation.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 4, 22 January 2021
Maintaining or restoring connectivity among wildlife populations is a primary strategy to overcome the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation. Yet, current connectivity planning efforts typically assess landscape resistance, the ability of organisms to cross various biophysical elements in a landscape, while overlooking the various ways in which human behaviors influence connectivity. Here, we introduce the concept of “anthropogenic resistance” to capture the impacts of human behaviors on species' movement through a landscape.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 4, 19 February 2021
Despite the importance of tropical forest conservation in achieving global sustainability goals and the key role of forest-risk commodity trade in driving deforestation, consumer country policy options for reducing imported deforestation have received limited scholarly attention. Drawing on gray literature and a European Commission public consultation, we identify 86 policy options for the European Union to address deforestation.
Elsevier, Cities, Volume 113, June 2021
This paper aims to contribute to the limited understanding and recognition of soil ecosystem services (SoES) in spatial planning. In light of its critical role in climate crises and due to its global degradation, soil has drawn considerable attention in the recent global agenda. As one of its vital services, soil serves as a terrestrial carbon pool, which significantly contributes to offset greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere (EEA, 2012).
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 1, 25 October 2019
To conserve the bulk of Earth's ecological heritage across the Anthropocene, setting aside half of Earth's land is just a start. To conserve biodiversity over the long term across an increasingly human planet, conservation must become as integral to the human enterprise around the world as are social and economic development.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 1, 20 September 2019
Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in natural environments requires careful management choices. However, common methods of evaluating the impact of conservation interventions can have contextual shortcomings. Here, we make a call for counterfactual thinking—asking the question “what would have happened in the absence of an intervention?”—with the support of rigorous evaluation approaches and more thoughtful consideration of human dimensions and behavior.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 1, 25 October 2019
Economic development projects are increasingly applying the mitigation hierarchy to achieve No Net Loss, or even a Net Gain, of biodiversity. Because people value biodiversity and ecosystem services, this can affect the well-being of local people; however, these types of social impacts from development receive limited consideration. We present ethical, practical, and regulatory reasons why development projects applying the mitigation hierarchy should consider related social impacts.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 2, 24 January 2020
Is ecology, as a science, doing enough to address big environmental problems? Here, a review of the top 40 ecology journals suggests not. As ecologists, we have the opportunity to reinforce the relevancy of ecology to society through greater promotion and execution of solution-focused science.