June 5 is not just any other day. How can it be? Every year, regardless of whichever part of the world you are in or come from, June 5 signals a red alert of cautiousness about the environment. World Environment Day is the most important and stand-out event that promotes knowledge, awareness, and worldwide concern about various environmental issues that are hampering climate around the world.
While it is absolutely correct to conjecture that without plants and vegetation, the environment will be rendered incomplete, it is the wildlife and its massively diverse canvass that adds naturally to the environment’s equilibrium.
It is believed that the day was designed by the UN General Assembly in the year 1972, on the first day of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere.
World Environment Day 2021 Theme
World Environment Day 2021 calls for urgent action to revive our damaged ecosystems.
From forests to peatlands to coasts, we all depend on healthy ecosystems for our survival. Ecosystems are defined as the interaction between living organisms – plants, animals, people – with their surroundings. This includes nature, but also human-made systems such as cities or farms.
The Call We Must Take….
The year 2021 began with an environmental crisis revealing itself in a disturbing manner. Cyclones and floods washing away trees and buildings.
With one million species facing extinction, there has never been a more important time to focus on biodiversity.
Unity In Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss is depriving the world of carbon sinks such as forests and peatlands at a time we can least afford it: Global greenhouse gas emissions have risen for three consecutive years.
The emergence of COVID-19 has reminded us just how disastrous the consequences of ecosystem loss can be: The destruction of animals’ natural habitats creates ideal conditions for pathogens such as coronaviruses to spread.
So, it is time for this year’s World Environment Day to coincide with the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission running through 2030 to protect and revive billions of hectares of valuable and much-needed natural capital, from forests and farmland to the oceans.
The main positive since June 5th has been identified as World Environment Day has been a spring of encouragement it has created among the general public in relation to taking positive steps toward fighting this threatening problem. It has created a somewhat ‘People’s Day for Action’, where mankind is increasingly weaving activities into a global movement through dispensation of information on the world wide web and social media.
Why Do We Need The Observance?
Citing the recent events taking place in Brazil, the US, Australia, Africa and the global COVID-19 pandemic, it said it all demonstrates the interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist.
A combination of unpredictable weather conditions, directly impacting farmer produce are resulting in major threat to agricultural production and food security, the latter being of more relevance since around 2050, the combined agricultural produce will have to increase by 60 percent in order to meet the future demand for food.
The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature. Each year, marine plants produce more than a half of our atmosphere’s oxygen, and a mature tree cleans our air, absorbing 22 kilos of carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen in exchange. Despite all the benefits that our nature give us, we still mistreat it.That is why we need to work on that. That is why we need this Observance.
World Environment Day…The Timeline
All that said, it may be apt to look at how the fundamental structure and observance of World Environment Day has evolved over the past few years: let’s wind the clocks a bit and come to the present moment in this regard.
1972 This was to be the first time when the UN General Assembly designated June 5 as World Environment Day. The decision was taken at the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment.
1974 This was to be the first time that WED was celebrated with the first slogan, as “Only One Earth”.
1977 The UN took this opportunity to leverage the day to highlight concern about the Ozone layer, citing an important need to generate vital early support for major environmental issues.
1981 The UN drew attention to how toxic chemicals affecting groundwater and food chains.
1992 WED was celebrated at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, during the UN Conference on Environmental Development, better known as Earth Summit. Several nations signed treaties on climate change and desertification.
2000 For the first time ever a website was launched about World Environment Day, making it easy for people around the world to register their environmentally cautious and positive activities, thereby helping mankind build a sense of singular global community.
2006 A decade after the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Algeria hosted an Annual conference on ‘Don’t Desert Drylands’.
2012 Twenty Years after hosting WED for the first time, Brazil hosted WED for the second time, thereby becoming the only country in the history to host this all important event twice, this time on the theme of “Green Economy: Does it include you”. Owing to massive popularity of the event linked to economy and production, the website received a tremendous 4.25 million visits.
2015 Creative themes and interesting ideas; both have been the centre-fold of World Environment Day. Hosted at Milan, Italy, WED became the most popular event on Twitter in more than 20 countries. Social media snowballed into a sensation with several media channels showcasing documentaries, music videos and other informative multimedia snippets.
And therefore in accordance to protect, safeguard and extend life security to wildlife, among earth’s most precious life forms alongside mankind WED 2016 is themed on Illegal Trade in Wildlife.
“Connecting People to Nature”, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implored us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.
What can you and me do about World Environment Day
While we all soak under the exemplary positives and myriad benefits of the environment, the responsibility for its upkeep too lies on our shoulders. It should be the prime focus of our lives as our lives in totality is wavering around a thin compass of environmental corrosion.
We need to not only cautiously adhere to the above but undertake a string of simple everyday measures that can demonstrate diligence and pro-active measure as a step toward protecting the environment:
Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water. It affects every aspect of human health, providing clean air and water, nutritious foods, scientific understanding and medicine sources, natural disease resistance, and climate change mitigation. Changing, or removing one element of this web affects the entire life system and can produce negative consequences.
Human actions, including deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture, and acceleration of climate change, have pushed nature beyond its limit. It would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make of nature each year. If we continue on this path, biodiversity loss will have severe implications for humanity, including the collapse of food and health systems.
The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life.
Fall in love with the environment!