Since 1974, World Environment Day has been celebrated every year on 5 June, engaging governments, businesses, and citizens in an effort to address pressing environmental issues. 143 different countries Worldwide take part in this important initiative and 2021 sees Pakistan as the host country of the event.
World Environment Day has been a platform for raising awareness on environmental issues such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption, and wildlife crime.
The theme of World Environment Day wants to underline how humans, for too long, have been exploiting and destroying the Planet’s ecosystems. According to studies from the UN every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch and over the last century, we have destroyed over half of our wetlands. Freshwater ecosystems are incredibly important as they supply food, water, and energy to billions of people, protect from drought and floods and represent a unique habitat for many plants and animals. However, unfortunately, they are particularly degraded, as they face pollution from chemicals, plastics, sewage, over-fishing, and over-extraction of water to irrigate crops and supply home drinking water. The freshwater ecosystem comprises mangroves, inland lakes, rivers, and wetlands. These last being drained for agriculture, with about 87% lost globally over the last 300 years and more than 50% just since 1900. Unfortunately, one in three freshwater species is threatened with extinction. The importance of protecting and restoring freshwater systems is vital for our future.
Alongside the issue related to freshwater, as much as 50 percent of our coral reef has been lost and up to 90 percent could be lost by 2050, also because of global warming.
Loss of habitat on land can also represent a threat to the creation, development, and spread of new pathogens (diseases).
vFocusing on recovering ecosystems is the solution for our future. Without a healthy environment, we will not have a future. Each of us can make a difference, independently of where we live. By choosing km zero products, driving less, paying attention to the heating systems of our homes, using natural resources only when necessary, not wasting, buying only what is really needed, choosing second hands products over new ones, and reducing to the minimum the use of plastic and fossil fuels can really make a difference. Each of us has the duty to think about our planet as without nature, we can’t survive!
World Environment Day – Hope for the future:
This World Environment Day will kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission to revive millions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea.
This ten-year plan also includes encouraging people to take small actions accessible to everyone, every day, such as growing trees, greening our cities, rewilding our gardens, or cleaning up trash from river sides and coasts.
There has never been a more urgent need to restore our planet’s ecosystems, whose main cause of destruction is the over-exploitation of resources and human overpopulation and expansion.
World Environment Day, Every Day.
For more info on this topic, please visit: www.worldenvironmentday.global
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