A NEW HOPE FOR A BETTER PLANET
(BY ARPIT DHINGRA)
“Glaciers are melting; forests are burning, air quality is depleting all due to the human’s misconduct.”
Our environment is one of the most vital characteristics of our planet. Without it, there is no chance of existence. Nature has existed for millions of years. It has nourished every single organism. It has also protected us against all types of harm and attacks. What we have, has been given to us by nature- the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water, etc. But unfortunately, humans in the name of economic development are polluting and exploiting it.
On the geological time scale, humans appeared just a few minutes ago but dismantled our mother nature. In an ambition to control everything, humans followed the path of destruction and demolished everything which came their way. Overconsumption of fossil fuels, genetic modifications to plants and animals, deforestation are some of the consequences of man’s intervention in nature. But it is high time we have to stop harming mother earth.
Over the last five decades, the whole world has suffered through numerous problems because of climate change. We have been exploiting our ecosystems for quite a long time, which eventually resulted in the loss of forests and wetlands. According to a report by the United Nations, every three seconds, the world is losing forests equivalent to the size of a football ground. Half of the coral reefs have been destroyed by us, and by 2050 ninety percent would be lost. Melting of icebergs due to global warming and this eventually, will take the shape of floods. Oceans have become acidic because of the dumping of waste in them. There are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the waters.
The recent pandemic has proved to us that alterations in nature can be very disastrous. There is an urgent need to spread awareness about the ongoing environmental crisis; that’s why every year, on June 5, we celebrate World Environment Day. In the year 1972, the day was recognized for the first time in The United States of America. The aim was to spread awareness about the recent climate changes. Every year there is a different theme on which the countries have to act. In 2020 the subject matter was “time for nature,” Colombia was the host in partnership with Germany.
World Environment Day is an appreciable step in reviving and recovering the ecosystem; Combined with other programs like EPA, Global pollution prevention, we can heal our nature. It is a part of the United Nations Environmental Programme. An ordinary person can also take part in these campaigns by registering on the UNEP portal. More than 100 countries take part in these programs. Throughout the world, various events and campaigns are organized on the day to restore the ecosystem.
The World Environment Day 2020 was on the concern of biodiversity – to save the endangered species and Oceania. Throughout the globe, saplings were planted, campaigns were started for cleaning oceans, appeals have upheld to protect wildlife, etc. 2020 has seen one of the largest forest fires, the separation of Iceberg a-65 from the Antarctic lands, the deadly covid-19 pandemic, etc. There is a greater need that every one of us should participate in these campaigns. Without ample support, we cannot reverse the present situation. Following some day-to-day practices, we can overturn the existing circumstances:
- One should try to sow at least one plant in a month.
- Try not to waste water, electricity, and food.
- Instead of using a motorbike or car, one should try to use a bicycle. It will not only keep the carbon-emissions low but also maintains the health of the person.
- One should always try to follow the three R’s method – Recycle, reuse and reduce. This method will maintain the equilibrium of nature.
- Try to avoid one-time plastic materials as these will go in nature and pollute it either through land pollution or water pollution.
- Try to eat less meat and opt for fresh foods instead of packaged ones which are usually loaded with synthetic preservatives and colors.
World Environment Day 2021 builds on the theme of “ecosystem restoration.” Ecosystem Restoration refers to the lifting of the degrading ecosystem and conserving the intact portion. This year’s concern was also a part of the United Nations’ decade on ecosystem restoration (2021-2030). The idea was to restore 350 million hectares of the degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem and also to remove 18 to 30 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. It is an initiative for the decade to reinstate all kinds of the ecosystem, including forests, farmlands, cities, wetlands, and Oceania.
Every year the day was hosted by a different country. This year’s host in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan plans to re-establish the country’s forest by organizing a “10 billion tree tsunami” over five years. the initiative also incorporates mangroves and forests as well as plantations in the urban environment including schools, parks, public places, etc. The country has also taken the BONN challenge under which they are trying to complete the task of restoring 350 hectares of terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems before the given time.
We have to understand that environmental protection is the need of the hour. We have to switch to healthier alternatives without compromising economic and technological growth such as solar, wind, or tidal energy for electricity production instead of coal; using electric vehicles instead of petroleum-based cars; switching to non-CFC-based technology. Concluding with a quote by Robert Swan, “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” So, let’s join hands for the noble cause to save our only home or, otherwise, we will end up losing it forever.