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World Environment Day 2020: It’s Time for Nature

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap

We are on the verge of a mass extinction unlike anything humankind has ever seen and we rely on nature for our energy, for our food and everything we need. We can fix this problem only if we act now. So Wake Up and It’s time for nature is a campaign launched by United Nation Environment Program (UNEP).  

UN chief António Guterres said in his message addressed that “nature is sending us a clear message. We are harming the natural world, to our own detriment.” He noted that habitat degradation and biodiversity loss were accelerating, “climate disruption is getting worse…To care for humanity, and we must care for nature. It’s time for nature.” David Boyd, the independent UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment said, “At least 70 per cent of emerging infectious diseases” such as COVID-19, are crossing from the wild to people, and “transformative actions are urgently required to protect the environment and human rights.  

World Environment Day started on 5 June 1974 and now celebrated on June 5 every year. The theme of the World Environment Day this year is ‘Biodiversity’, which is described as the variety of life in a particular habitat or ecosystem, where each species has an important role to play and it’s time to act on. 

PM Narendra Modi in "Mann ki Baat" programme on 31 May said, “The theme this year is biodiversity and is especially pertinent in the current circumstances. During lockdown in the last few weeks the pace of life may have slowed down a bit but it has also given us an opportunity to introspect upon the rich diversity of nature or biodiversity around us.” He even asked to Save Water and plant a tree and emphasized on the raising temperature so do not forget to “facilitate water for the birds". He wrote on Twitter that, “On World Environment Day, we reiterate our pledge to preserve our planet’s rich biodiversity. Let us collectively do whatever possible to ensure the flora and fauna with which we share the Earth thrives. May we leave an even better planet for the coming generations.” 

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “On World Environment Day we have announced the Urban Forest scheme to develop 200 ‘Nagar Van’ across the country in next 5 years. It will similar to Western model structure quoting his travel experience to New York, Rio de Janeiro and Nairobi.  This will help revive the age-old tradition of village forest in cities. 

Impact on Twitter  

More than 1.5 lakh tweets with the hashtag #WorldEnvironmentDay is also trending on Twitter.  

Kriti Sanon tweeted, “I admire how beautifully God has created everything around us. How well everything synchronised. Let’s not break the Rhythm of Mother Nature. I believe the sufferings of today are a result of what we chose to do & how we chose to be. So Let’s Be Better. Even Xuxo-Educando Magia, the magician from Spain shared a video asking people it’s time to act for the nation as magic can help in solving the problem if we act smartly.  

Why Concern about it  

As per United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) report has told the number of snow leopard in the wild is unknown but it is estimated that 3,920 to 6,390 individuals are left. The Vanishing Treasures Program of UNEP which is working to make a difference has recorded 15 adult snow leopards have been identified in the mountain range overlooking Ala-Too range in Kyrgyzstan. The report also said these leopards’ lives just 40 km away from Bishkek capital city full of urban lives and due to climate change is pushing the ‘ghost of the mountains’ towards increased conflict with local communities and their livestock. The programme aims to promote peaceful coexistence with wildlife by protecting and restoring natural habitat and creating climate-resilient income sources for locals such as ecotourism, beekeeping and horticulture.  

Apart from these nations also battle the COVID-19 pandemic along with other environmental disasters such as cyclones, earthquakes and floods which are also frequent these days. It is now more than ever that everyone needs to come together to support environmental initiatives even as small as saving water at home or disposing of waste by sorting out wet and dry waste can help a lot. Even when we hear news about the brutal killing of a pregnant wild Indian elephant in Malappuram district of Kerala on June 2, by villagers feeding elephant a pineapple stuffed with crackers. An Indian elephant is National Heritage Animal which is already threatened by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, as well as poaching and is in the endangered list, listing under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India. 

Gandhian Philosophy  

What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another and there is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed has already been said by Mahatma Gandhi. Not only this Indian Constitution but Article 51-A (g) which deals with Fundamental Duties of the citizens also states: “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures” and Article 48-A which deals with Directive Principles of State Policy states that the state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.  

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