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How can we protect our planet and ensure its sustainability?

World environment day
Thomas Choukroun

Thomas Choukroun

Content Manager @Yousign

Illustration: Léa Coiffey

🌳 On Saturday, June 5th, we will be celebrating World Environment Day. This holiday initiated by the United Nations in 1972 highlights a specific important issue each year. An opportunity for Yousign to look back at the genesis of this historic date.

WED ? 🤔

Wed was promulgated by UNEP.

Alright, let's start again.

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations Environment Programme in 1972. This day has been celebrated for almost 50 years and is centred around 4 overarching battles:

  • The fight against the destruction of the ozone layer ☁
  • The fight against deforestation 🌳
  • The preservation of the quality of water reserves 💧
  • The fight against desertification and drought ☀

Each year, this world day is centred around a particular theme, with one country being the emblematic host. Last year, for example, Colombia hosted a day organised around the theme: "It’s time for Nature.
This year, Pakistan will host a day on the theme: "Ecosystem Restoration".

Okay, let us explain.

An ecosystem is a system (thank you, Sherlock! 🤓) formed by an environment and all the species that live and reproduce in it. 

So why talk about "restoring" ecosystems? Well, quite simply because for a long time now, we have been destroying them.  Every 3 seconds, we destroy a football pitch worth in forest.

The consequences of this mass destruction are disastrous. The loss of ecosystems deprives us of our carbon sinks. And yet, these carbon sinks (forests, peat bogs...) are superb absorbers of...carbon (Thank you Sherlock 🤓). At a time of our existence when greenhouse gas emissions have increased for 3 consecutive years, we can't say that the destruction of our ecosystems is going in the direction of history. 🤷

World Environment Day is a crucial marker in the collective awareness that our planet is everyone's responsibility. Individuals, businesses, professionals, we all have our responsibility and our role to play in the conservation of our planet and its future.

A collective awareness one lockdown at a time

Unless you have been living in an igloo for a good two years, you already know that in response to a global pandemic, France, and many other countries, have put in place harsh and more flexible lockdowns. 

In France in particular, the first lockdown, which began in March 2020, was particularly strict: no one could go outside, stores, shots and restaurants were closed, etc.

Very soon after these initial drastic measures, Chile saw pumas take to the streets, in London, foxes ventured into wealthy neighbourhoods, Brussels and Paris welcomed ducks, while Madrid saw a colony of peacocks swarn into its city centre. 

In short, when mankind is away... the mice will play. 🐭

It's a reality that many had not yet faced. When push comes to shove, nature reasserts itself, and the monopoly of space exercised by humans seems to rest on feet of clay.

Fewer ecosystems = more epidemics?

The topic around which Environment Day is being organised was not chosen at random.  In the aftermath of a global epidemic, the issue of ecosystems and their ability to protect us from outbreaks is beginning to be recognised.

Let's be clear: there are no studies so far that clearly link ecosystem destruction and coronavirus.  

On the other hand, some scientific studies tend to assert that there is a real relationship between deforestation and the Ebola virus epidemic that occurred from 2013 to 2016. 

Many epidemiologists agree that the degradation and even destruction of ecosystems and biodiversity favour the development of infectious diseases of animal origin

And, so what?

I can see you behind your screen, saying "that's great, but I don't see what I can do about it?".

Well, reducing your paper consumption is a great start! 

Now, obviously,  far be it from us to suggest that thanks to Yousign and the electronic signature, epidemics will disappear. 

We wish we had that power, but unfortunately we leave that to science. 

However, digitising your business processes and unshackling yourself from the limitations of paper is already a huge step forward. 

When you consider that an average employee spends 75 kg of paper per year, the ecological savings are substantial!   

This is even truer when you consider that on average 1 in 6 printed pages is useless. That's 1.2 million trees cut down for nothing.

It is really time for all SMEs to get up to speed with the climate emergency by starting a digitisation process and getting rid of the rituals attached to paper.

The entire Yousign team is at your disposal to assist you in this project!

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