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.
World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. This year’s host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet. World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere.
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.
Beat plastic Pollution
Plastic, which is rampantly polluting our water bodies, harming marine life and posing a threat to human health, has been one of the major concerns of environmental bodies this year. Though a large part of the population depends on plastic for their daily use, nearly one-third of it is not disposed off properly and ends up clogging drains and choking the environment. Plastic can persist in the environment for nearly a thousand years before it fully disintegrates and keeping this in mind, many organisations and governments are always on the lookout for alternatives to tackle this menace.
Through this day, UN is making an effort to urge governments, industries, communities and people to unite in the fight against plastic and explore alternatives that are sustainable.
But just what are the problems that impose a severity of threat on our environment:
With plastic making up ten per cent of the total waste generated, half of it used is disposable or single-use. This presents a major problem as it is non-renewable and its manufacture and destruction exposes individuals and environment to many toxins, including carcinogens.
World Environment Day is a call for awakening of individuals to take charge of protecting their environment and to realise the severity of plastic usage in daily life. 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.
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.
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.
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.