World Environmental Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference (June 5) on the Human Environment that resulted in discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment.
World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year to spread awareness, encourage people to take steps to protect the environment across more than 150 countries. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this day will be celebrated via its first-ever online campaign. Even though the day might be subtle in exposure as compared to previous years, digital celebrations will not lessen its significance.
According to the UN, the theme for 2020 is biodiversity and ‘Time for Nature‘.– a concern that is both urgent and existential. “Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist,” the UN said in a statement.
Currently, as many as one million plants and animal species are at the risk of extinction. Most of this is because of human activities. (source: Worldenvironmentday.global). The decisions that people make now will determine the kind of world your future generations will inherit.
The idea is to understand that young people have a role to play in preventing the loss of biodiversity and preserving nature for our future.
This World Environment Day focuses on Nature. “The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature,” it states.
Amidst the global pandemic, it is of crucial importance to realise the importance of nature. “It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices. It’s time to build back better for People and Planet. This World Environment Day, it’s Time for Nature,” the website further reads.
We rely on nature for our health, jobs & so much more.
Reply & tell us why it’s time #ForNature
Why you 💚 nature & what you’re doing to care for it. pic.twitter.com/A2tLS5eDzI
— UN Environment Programme (@UNEP) May 28, 2020
Credits: UN Environment Programme
In 1972, the United Nations General Assembly established the World Environment Day on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.
According to the UN, “The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises, and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment.”
Credits: UN Environment Programme
Due to the change in our lifestyle, the condition of the environment has fast deteriorated. While technology has made our life comfortable, the environment has faced negative consequences. On this World Environment Day 2020, we look at some of the ways in which we can contribute to protecting the environment.
- Planting more trees: Apart from purifying the air, trees also help us humans in many other ways which include climate control. With the increase in greenhouse gases, trees help in maintaining the air quality by emitting oxygen. Trees also act as habitat for wildlife. Forests are home 80% per cent terrestrial biodiversity of the world.
- Avoid using single-use plastic: Plastic has become a part of our life. But it is also a major source of pollution to our environment. And the single-use plastic is mainly to blame for it. The single-use plastic not only chokes our drains, pollutes underground water table but also causes severe damage to marine life like Turtles, seabirds, whales, and other species. Therefore, the need of the hour is shunning the single-use plastic and adopt eco-friendly items like cloth carry bags for our daily use.
- Alternative energy source: Most of the electricity used by us is generated by coal which emits greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) causing pollution in the atmosphere. The use of petroleum products for transportation purposes is also another source of pollution. The harmful gases produced by these two fuels (coal & petroleum) also contribute depletion of the ozone layer. Therefore we must turn to solar, wind, or geothermal energy as they are environment friendly and do not have any aftereffects.
- Adopt public transport: As we all know more and more cars on the roads add up to pollution, it is in our own interest to adopt the use of public transport and shun private vehicles for commute for as much as possible. People nowadays have more cars than the number of family members in the house. Owning a car has now become a status symbol. We need to shed such a mindset to start contributing to our environment by using public transport.
- Rainwater Harvesting: The careless use of precious resources like water has created a huge water crisis in many countries. The need of the hour is to take the issue seriously and avoid ‘Day zero’-the day when a city’s taps turn dry and people stand in line to collect their daily quota of water. We should start saving the water and make arrangements in our houses for rainwater harvesting.