Restore Nature Now: The Essential Role of Protest in Nature Restoration & Conservation

On 22nd June 2024, London will host what aims to be the largest gathering for nature and climate that the UK, and much of the world, has ever seen. The Restore Nature Now demonstration is a legal, peaceful, inclusive and family-friendly march, and plays an important part in reaffirming the hopes of the people, ahead of important elections.

In this blog, we share our thoughts on the role of protest in the cycle of environmental stewardship.

While Earthed typically focuses on nature restoration, we recognise that protest is a vital element of climate action. Each of us has the potential to contribute to planetary restoration, but systemic change happens at the governmental level, and moments when our collective voices can truly make an impact are rare.

Our Role as Nature Stewards

As stewards of nature, our roles are rich and diverse, but often stem from grass-roots action. Yet, to ensure we protect nature in as many ways as is possible, we feel it can be useful to consider a balance of the following:

  • Practical engagement with nature – tree planting, habitat restoration, and wildlife conservation. By doing so, we directly contribute to the health of our ecosystems.
  • Highlighting environmental needs, and proposing lifestyle changes to our networks, peers, friends and family. When done in the right way, this can foster a culture of conservation and sustainability
  • Pushing for systemic change through petitions and demonstrations/ protests – policies and regulations that work in favour of the environment, can lead to true systematic change. The impact can be monumental. Protests, like Restore Nature Now, amplify our voices, needs and show unity and determination for systems change.

The Power of Protest

Protests serve as a vital catalyst for change, especially in the realm of environmental conservation. Historically, many significant environmental policies have been enacted following large-scale public demonstrations. These events capture public and media attention, compelling political leaders to address the demands of their constituents. The visibility of such movements can influence public opinion and place pressure on decision-makers to act.

Raising Awareness & Educating the Public

When thousands gather to support a cause, it sends a powerful message to those in power, but it also educates the broader public. Many people may not fully understand the urgency of environmental issues until they see a large, passionate group advocating for change. This public display can spark curiosity and lead to increased knowledge and involvement.

Influencing Policy & Legislation

At the heart of environmental protests is the goal to influence policy and legislation. Demonstrations show policymakers that there is a significant demand for action on climate and environmental issues. In the lead-up to elections, such protests become even more critical. They remind elected officials and candidates that their constituents prioritise the environment and expect meaningful action. This pressure can lead to the adoption of more robust environmental policies and commitments.

Reaffirming Hope & Commitment

In times of environmental crises, it is easy to suffer from climate anxiety, overwhelm and powerlessness. Uniting shoulder to shoulder, with like-minded individuals in a large-scale demonstration can be a powerful antidote to despair. It shows that there is a community of people who care deeply about the planet and are willing to take action. This collective energy can inspire continued efforts in personal and community-based conservation initiatives, and can be healing.

The Restore Nature Now March

The Restore Nature Now demonstration in London is set to be a landmark event in the UK’s environmental movement. As we gather to march for nature, we do so with the understanding that this protest is a crucial part of the broader effort to protect and restore our natural world. The peaceful, inclusive, and family-friendly nature of the event ensures that it is accessible to all who wish to participate, amplifying its impact.

As we approach the demonstration, we encourage everyone to join us in London on 22nd June 2024. Whether you are a seasoned activist or someone attending your first protest, your presence matters. Together, we can send a powerful message that nature restoration and conservation are priorities that cannot be ignored.

Protest plays an essential role in the cycle of environmental restoration and conservation. The Restore Nature Now demonstration is a testament to the power of collective action in driving change. Together, we can be a part of this historic moment for nature and climate action, and be one step closer to helping every river, city, farm and balcony burst with life.