Friday, Jun 05, 2020 14:30 [IST]
Last Update: Friday, Jun 05, 2020 08:54 [IST]
Ranjan K Baruah
Recent pandemic situation proved that we need essential services and food for our survival. We may live without luxury but need basic requirements like food. Our nature has sufficient resources for our requirement but the way we are using the resources is brining many question regarding sustainability. The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.
Biodiversity involves 8 million plant and animal species, the ecosystems that house them, and the genetic diversity among them.In the last 150 years, the live coral reef cover has been reduced by half and within the next 10 years, one out of every four known species may have been wiped off the planet.It would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make on nature each year.Biodiversity also underpins economic prosperity as more than half of global GDP–the equivalent of roughly US$44 trillion–is moderately or highly dependent on nature.
The concern is everywhere whether individuals or government for biodiversity and United Nations and member states are working to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG 15 of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development is devoted to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.
One of the global campaigns related to nature or environment is celebration of World Environment day (WED) and it is the most renowned day for environmental action. Since 1974, it has been celebrated every year on 5thJune; engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue.
The year 1972 marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics: the first major conference on environmental issues, convened under the auspices of the United Nations, was held from June 5-16 in Stockholm (Sweden). Known as the Conference on the Human Environment, or the Stockholm Conference, its goal was to forge a basic common outlook on how to address the challenge of preserving and enhancing the human environment.Later that year, on 15 December, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/2994 (XXVII)) designating June 5 as WED. The date coincides with the first day of the landmark Conference.Also on 15 December, the General Assembly adopted another resolution (A/RES/3000 (XXVII)) that led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the specialized agency on environmental issues.
Every year there is a theme for WED and this year’s theme is biodiversity. There is no doubt that WED offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. Every World Environment Day is hosted by a different country, in which official celebrations take place. This year's host is Colombia in partnership with Germany.This year, millions of people will be celebrating digitally, worldwide. It raises awareness and taking action on urgent issues from marine pollution, global warming to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping drive change in our consumption habits as well as in national and international environmental policy.
Though many of us are least bothered about nature or environment but recent pandemic and COVID 19 has made it clear that if we do not live in harmony with nature then we are bringing more trouble for us. The destruction of nature or biodiversity is more caused by educated people who are exploiting resources out of it for own interest and for business. Poor people use the resources for livelihood but not the way that it has been destroyed by the rich or educated people. It’s not only awareness but taking action and we are more active through our words or in social media but in reality actions are mot taken in true spirit.
We must remember that reversing biodiversity loss is the only way to restore and sustain a healthy planet. It is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water. Human actions, including deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture, and acceleration of climate change, have pushed nature beyond its limit. There is no other option but we must make our way towards sustainable consumption and sustainable life style which in return will ensure sustainability for all of us. WED provides us an opportunity to take action and make some positive changes and let us not miss the opportunity and make it time for our nature. Let’s not forget that we do not have any other planet to live so we must protect nature and biodiversity to protect ourselves.
(With direct inputs from UN publication and feedback may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)