World Environment Day 2024

Posted by Pia Abrahams on

Native Australian vegetation showing new buds and growth.

Every year on 5th June, the United Nations leads global efforts to celebrate World Environment Day.

This annual event raises awareness and encourages action to protect our environment. The theme for 2024 is “Restoring Land, Life and Livelihoods” and shines a light on the critical issues of land degradation, desertification and drought.

Importance of land restoration

Healthy land is vital for sustaining life.

Fertile soils provide the foundation for growing nutritious food, supporting biodiversity and acting as a carbon sink to mitigate climate change. But unsustainable agricultural practices, deforestation and urbanisation have resulted in widespread land degradation worldwide.

According to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), up to 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil are lost annually, impacting food security and livelihoods for millions of people. Australia is particularly susceptible to desertification and drought because of climate, landscape and dependency on natural resources.

Land restoration aims to reverse these trends by rehabilitating degraded landscapes, improving soil health and enhancing ecosystem resilience.

Individual actions and lifestyle changes

While large-scale initiatives are crucial, individual actions and lifestyle changes can also contribute to land restoration and conservation efforts.

Simple steps like reducing food waste, supporting sustainable agriculture, and minimising water consumption can have a significant cumulative impact.

Businesses and individuals can support organisations and initiatives working towards land restoration, desertification control and drought resilience through donations, volunteering or advocacy efforts.

Photograph of a Brenniston National Standard Complete Workplace First Aid Kit where $1 from every sale is donated to Greenfleet to mitigate carbon outputs through the organisation’s native reforestation efforts.

Carbon offset with Brenniston

Since 2021, Brenniston has partnered with Greenfleet to offset carbon emissions through the organisation’s native reforestation program.

Greenfleet is a leading not-for-profit environmental organisation committed to protecting our climate by planting native, biodiverse forests that capture carbon emissions and help fight the impacts of climate change.

Under our Workplace First Aid Kit Offset Program, we donate $1 from the sale of every Brenniston National Standard Workplace First Aid Kit to Greenfleet. Learn more here.

Greenfleet case study

Greenfleet recently highlighted Brenniston’s support and commitment to climate action and restoring more biodiverse forests.

Brenniston’s support demonstrates how any business can incorporate climate action and reduce their environmental impact by offsetting the carbon emissions they cannot avoid from vehicles, flights, office emissions, freight and more.

Since 2021, Brenniston has contributed almost $50,000 to Greenfleet, offsetting more than 2,700 tonnes of CO2-e. Brenniston has directly supported native reforestation projects in Queensland and Victoria.   

Learn more here.

Sustainable land practices produce thriving native Australian forests.

Sustainable land management practices

Addressing land degradation, desertification and drought requires a multifaceted approach involving sustainable land management practices. These practices include:

  • Conservation agriculture - Minimising soil disturbance, maintaining permanent soil cover and implementing crop rotations to improve soil health and water retention.
  • Agroforestry - Integrating trees and shrubs into agricultural systems, providing shade, erosion control and diversified income sources.
  • Land management - Implementing rotational grazing, reseeding and controlling invasive species to maintain productivity and biodiversity.
  • Irrigation efficiency - Adopting water-saving techniques such as drip irrigation, mulching and rainwater harvesting to optimise water use in agriculture.
Engaging local and indigenous communities protects biodiversity and ensures native Australian forests bloom.

Community involvement and indigenous knowledge

Effective land restoration efforts must involve local communities and leverage traditional indigenous knowledge.

Indigenous communities have developed sustainable land management practices over centuries, tailored to their specific environments. Incorporating this knowledge into modern conservation efforts can enhance the success and long-term viability of land restoration projects.

In Australia, organisations like the Indigenous Desert Alliance work closely with Traditional Owners to revive traditional fire management practices, protect biodiversity and combat desertification in arid regions.

Threats of desertification and drought

Desertification, the process by which fertile land becomes desert, affects over one-third of the global land surface and threatens the livelihoods of over one billion people.

Climate change exacerbates this issue, increasing the frequency and severity of droughts, which can lead to crop failures, water scarcity, and economic instability.

Australia is particularly vulnerable to desertification and drought. The Millennium Drought, which lasted from 1997 to 2009, was one of the worst droughts in Australia’s history, causing widespread agricultural losses and water shortages.

Global initiatives and partnerships

Addressing land degradation, desertification, and drought requires global cooperation and partnerships.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is a key international agreement that aims to mitigate the effects of drought and desertification through national action programs and international partnerships.

Initiatives like the Great Green Wall in Africa aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land across the Sahel region.

Such initiatives showcase the potential of large-scale land restoration efforts to combat desertification and improve livelihoods.


World Environment Day 2024 serves as a reminder of the urgent need to address land degradation, desertification and drought.

By implementing sustainable land management practices, involving local communities, and fostering global partnerships, we can restore degraded landscapes, enhance ecosystem resilience, and secure livelihoods for generations to come.

Every business and individual has a role to play in a collective effort to protect and restore our precious land resources.


United Nations - World Environment Day

United Nations - Convention to Combat Desertification

Indigenous Desert Alliance