The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth.” To restore means to “return something to its former condition,” thereby rejecting the idea that mitigating or adapting to the effects of climate change are our only options. Instead, scientists, non-governmental organizations, business, and governments worldwide are looking at natural system processes and emerging green technologies to restore the world’s ecosystems and forests, conserve and rebuild soils, restore wildlife populations and rid the world’s oceans of plastics.
This year’s Earth Day is focused on innovative thinking that can help Restore Our Earth. At Arcadis, our mission is to create a more sustainable world now and for the next generation, and while we understand that reducing the negative environmental and social impacts (and maximizing the positive ones) is incredibly important, it is not enough on its own. This is why we are also focusing our efforts on developing new technologies to sustainably restore land and water ecosystems, recover from natural disasters and prepare communities for future ones, and use technology to accelerate our sustainability ambitions.
Over the last few years, from Australia to California and from the Amazon to Portugal, the impacts of wildfires have been felt around the world. Even for people who do not live in areas directly affected by wildfires, images of injured Koalas or deep red skies have left people wondering how they can help. In California, understanding is growing that historic approaches to forest management are no longer working. Last year, Arcadis was hired by California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to manage clean up activities in Southern California following a devastating wildfire season. A team of approximately 200 biologists, archaeologists, geologists, industrial hygienists, arborists and foresters is now hard at work managing the region’s safe restoration and improving resilience against future wildfires.