Across the world, June 5 is celebrated as World Environment Day. Over the years humans have abused the environment without even thinking about it for a split second. As a result, global warming has become a reality now, seas and oceans around us have become much warmer resulting in frequent, massive, life-threatening cyclones, icebergs are melting and rivers are drying up mostly because dams and development projects have been constructed mindlessly. In the race for development and comfort, humans forgot about the need to strike the right balance between environment protection and development. Humans forgot that life without environment is impossible. The dams without water in the rivers would mean nothing.
"Global food production patterns would be fundamentally altered by climate change, causing food insecurity because of small shifts in seasonality and water availability," the World Water Development report released by the United Nations in 2020 said.
The report had further stated that land currently used for "wheat cultivation in India, for example, would get more precipitation between 2020 and 2060, under present trends in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions". [Also Read: World Environment Day: Natural dyes for a wardrobe makeover]
Talking about water, the Composite Water Management Index Report, released by the NITI Aayog in June 2018, highlighted that 600 million people in India are facing high to extreme water stress.
Importance of Environment Day
Recent incidents like the devastating oil well fire in an oil and gas field of Oil India Limited in Baghjan, Assam destroying lives, livelihoods and causing unimaginable proportions of damage to the environment, instances of coal mining inside the forest areas of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Assam are glaring examples of how we are destroying our environment thinking that these are all to our advantage to lead a progressive, comfortable life. But what we are forgetting is that we need our forests with the trees, animals and birds, we need the rivers, seas and oceans with water, fish, algae and the coral reef to breathe, to stay alive.
Origin of World Environment Day: When & Why
The decision to organise World Environment Day was taken at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, 1972. World Environment Day, first held in 1974 by the United Nations has been its main medium to create awareness about the need to protect the environment. Annually, at least 143 countries participated in this global outreach programme.
World Environment Day 2021 Theme
The theme of World Environment Day this year is Ecosystem Restoration. Here is what ecosystem restoration means:
- Assisting in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed,
- Taking steps for the conservation of the ecosystems that are fragile or still intact,
- Planting trees for ecosystem or environment restoration and preservation &
Easing pressure on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and opting for more sustainable means of living life like opting for bio-degradable items, reducing the use of plastic and finding alternate energy sources like harnessing solar and nuclear energy sources.
World Environment Day Host Country
in this year Pakistan will be the global host of World Environment Day. The event will see the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.