With industries shut down and people locked inside their house, the environment seems to be reviving itself during the lockdown imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Pollution levels have gown down, skies are clearer and rivers are cleaning themselves. That's the power of nature. If we stop interfering with nature and use its resources judiciously, it will benefit us life-long. It was not long back when the news of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas being seen from Jalandhar was all over the internet. This was all possible because the air quality index improved after the vehicular movement reduced and industries stopped emitting pollutants in the air. The constant flurry of human activities has led to the encroachment of spaces reserved for other living beings. With time, we forgot the importance of nature and started taking it for granted. We still do.
World Environment Day 2020 History and Significance
When we complain of scorching heat, we don't remember the trees that have been chopped because of construction. When we complain of air pollution, we don't remember the hazardous gases and particulate matter that our vehicles emit. It's sad but true that the environment is the last thing we care about. Our lifestyle has evolved to be in such a way that we can't live without cars, bikes, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. All these machines invented to make human life easier are ultimately proving to be disastrous for the environment. Most of us using them are unaware of the harmful emissions.
A report in the New York Times said, "As of 2009, nearly 90 percent of American homes have air-conditioners, which account for about 6 percent of all the country’s residential energy use. All that air-conditioning releases about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each year".
Hence, to remind us that nature is a blessing, World Environment Day is celebrated worldwide every year on June 5,
World Environment Day is one of the biggest annual events of the United Nations. The event that is celebrated worldwide aims to raise awareness among the masses. The day was first celebrated in the year 1974 in Spokane, USA, with the theme "Only One Earth". World Environment Day was first established in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.
As per the United Nations, "The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises, and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment."
World Environment Day 2020 Theme
This year World Environment Day celebration will be hosted in Colombia, in partnership with Germany. This year's theme is biodiversity. Biodiversity simply means that humans can't live in isolation, we depend on small and big living beings. We all are a part of this ecosystem and together we form a giant network of diverse life forms on Earth.
United Nations in a statement said, "This year, the theme is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist".
Quotes on Environment
“Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth”. – Henry David Thoreau
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. – Margaret Mead
“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment”. – Ansel Adams
“Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we’ll soon be in trouble”. – Roger Tory Peterson
“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land”. – Aldo Leopold
“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” – Mahatma Gandhi
“The environment is everything that isn’t me”. – Albert Einstein