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.
It is no surprise that in the 21st century world, we are living amidst a time where there are serious threats posed directly to our immediate environment. What was once a safe haven here on earth courtesy the purity and sanguine nature of an environment beautified by the green cover of trees and vegetation, mountains, glaciers and oceanic cleanliness is now largely a mothball polluted by both natural environmental degradation and malaise caused by mankind.
The World Environment Day has gradually developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking urgent action on increasing threats posed by a cluster of problems that pose immediate threat to mankind’s existence here on earth.
But just what are these problems that impose a severity of threat on our environment: while there are plenty of problems encircling different geographies of the world as we see today, the most immediate threats can be largely identified as:
- Marine Pollution
- Global Warming
- Wildlife Crime
The main positive since June 5 has been identified as World Environment Day has been a spring of encouragement it has created among 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.
But no discussion about the World Environment Day can be rendered complete without touching upon the evil of ‘Climate Change’:
It is just not an environmental issue, it is far more than that. Speaking in the context of the said problem about India, the Biennial Update Report submitted to the UN Framework Convention On Climate Change suggests that India’s transportation, energy and manufacturing accounts for 71 percent toward greenhouse gas emissions. And that’s not all. Agriculture sector too accounts for a further 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
The way things are at the moment, problems only seem to be compounding further!
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.
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.
The theme for World Environment Day 2017 is ‘Connect with nature’
The theme for World Environment Day 2016
The host country for this year’s WED is Angola, in Africa. Angola has announced a drive against Wildlife Crime in order to safeguard both national heritage and help protect Southern Africa’s rich biodiversity.
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.
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.
And what’s the slogan? Competitive and interesting, WED slogan for 2016 is “Go Wild for Life”.
What is on Angola’s agenda in lines with WED
The Southern African country has pledged to end the trade in illegal wildlife products around the country. The most notorious market in this regard is Angola’s Benfica Market at Luanda, one of the largest markets in the whole of Africa for illegal ivory trade.
Along with 12 other nations, Angola has just signed the Elephant Protection Initiative, whose central focus is to safeguard elephants by closing down domestic markets.
Angola has also pledged to undertake a robust inventory of its ivory stockpile.
The country has also hosted the International Conference of the Africa Prosecutors’ Association.
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.
On many occasions we refuse to recycle everyday products and mankind’s continued reliance on fresh paper has resulted in cutting down of trees excessively. We refuse to adopt simple measures such as ‘car pooling’ so that the total impact of environmental pollution can be reduced.
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:
Let’s all of us take a pledge not to consume plastic, be in bottled or in any other form. Let’s work toward saving our beautiful rainforests around the world for they are a beautiful emblem of god’s own ray of light here on earth. If we work toward it cautiously, then the amount of litter being spread in civic life can be reduced to a great deal which will further eradicate the ‘eye soar’ it causes in our beautiful living spaces.
And finally, let us vow to treat the wild as if they were our own family and not some desolate and shabby creatures lurking to cause a furor.