World Environment Day is observed on 5 June every year to celebrate and remind people that nature should not be taken for granted. Let’s dive deep into the history behind this special day:
History of World Environment Day
Started in 1972 by the United Nations at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment this day was first celebrated on 5 June 1974 with the theme “Only one Earth” hosted by Spokane, United States. The host countries were mainly United States, Bangladesh, Canada, and Pakistan till the year 1986 but after 13 years of this celebration the idea came to rotate this event with several other countries and they started hosting it. An anthem penned by poet Abhay K was launched in June 2013 and is sung to celebrate World Environment Day.
On 5 June 2021, the whole world will witness the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This year the event is hosted by Pakistan with the theme “Ecosystem Restoration”. Saving nature must be on the priority list of every individual on this planet. Our ecosystem is getting destroyed due to reckless human activities and expanding urbanisation therefore restoring and recovering our ecosystems is the main aim of “World Environment Day”2021. The smooth functioning of the ecosystem is affected by the loss of biodiversity, by affecting not only wildlife but also humans. At least 34000 plant and 5200 animal species face extinction today and this will increase dramatically if current trends continue. The study reveals that around 4.7 million hectares of tropical forest we lose each day.
Today apart from planting trees and rewilding gardens we should also focus on cleaning up rivers and coasts. Studies reveal that 380 million tons of plastic, half of this designed for single-use is produced annually. Every day almost 8 million plastic waste is dumped into our oceans.
What is a green economy?
An economy that focuses to reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcities are known as the Green economy. It also aims for sustainable development without harming the environment. There are six pillars of a green economy namely; ecosystem protection and recovery, circular economy, resource-saving and management, natural disaster prevention, climate change water conservation and environmental protection. Every individual must gear up and support sustainable consumption and production.
Learn how to restore our ecosystem:
- Trees provide us with many things, so plant more trees and don’t destroy forests.
- Adopt modern farming practices like planting monocultures, over-grazing, clearing trees, and intensive ploughing and cultivation.
- Stop polluting our freshwater ecosystem by managing fishing and mining more effectively, improve dams.
- Grasslands, Shrublands, and Savannahs are some of the most diverse ecosystems on our planet. Clearing invasive vegetation and re-seeding native grasses, re-introducing native flora and fauna are some of the measures to restore it.
- Oceans and sear cover over 70 per cent of the earth’s surface; we unnecessarily put pressure on them. Restore them by sustainable fishing practices, treating pollutants, properly recycling plastic.
We celebrate “World Environment Day” every year and when the day is gone we forget our responsibility towards nature. Due to our negligence, the communities and organisations that are working day and night to restore our environment are struggling.
Now, it’s time to think about our environment and help in restoring it.
Written By: Harshita Sinha