Since 1972, June 5, World Environment Day, has been recognized by the United Nations General Assembly. In the first year, 1974, people around the world celebrated with the slogan, “One Planet Earth”. Several themes have been highlighted denouncing the injustices to our planet over past decades: “One Planet Earth” (1972-1982); “When People Put the Environment First, Development Will Last” (1988); “For life on Earth, Save our Seas” (1998); “Melting Ice? – A Hot Topic” (2007); “Beat Plastic Pollution” (2018) and many others. This year’s theme focuses on ecosystem restoration, “Ecosystem Restoration.”
What you need to know:
Ecosystem Restoration is about preventing, stopping and reversing this damage — moving from exploiting nature to healing it. This World Environment Day will kick off the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from mountain tops to the depths of the sea.
Only with healthy ecosystems can we improve people’s livelihoods, combat climate change and halt the collapse of biodiversity.
Each World Environment Day is hosted by a different country. This year’s host is Pakistan. On May 31, 2021, news broke in the media that Pakistan wants to sign four debt relief agreements with Germany, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom in exchange for investments in environmental conservation efforts.
Pakistan owes $1.42 billion to Germany, $175 million to Italy, $5 million to the United Kingdom and $403 million to Canada.
“We will not repay the debts, but against this part of the loan we will make progress on restoring the natural environment, whether conservation or restoration of biodiversity, or green jobs”, said Zartaj Gul, Minister of State for Climate Change. 
In short, it is thanks in part to Canada that “Pakistan will seek to highlight environmental issues and showcase the country’s initiatives and role in global efforts” when the memoranda of understanding are signed under the ‘debt-for-nature (DFN) swap’ programme June 5.