World Environment Day (WED) also called Eco Day or Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June across the globe.
- WED is hosted by different countries around the globe. It has a participation of over 143 countries annually.
- This year, Pakistan for the first time is hosting the WED 2021 in partnership with UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
- Pakistan will make some important announcements related to initiatives that it has taken to mitigate the effects of climate change, including the 10 Billion Trees Tsunami Programmed, Clean Green Pakistan, the Electric Vehicle Policy, National Parks, and Green jobs.
Note: In 2018, India hosted WED with a focus on plastic pollution.
- On the occasion of WED, UN kicked off “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030)”, which is a global mission to revive billions of hectares of forests, farmlands, mountains ecosystem and marine ecosystem.
Theme of WED 2021:
The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is ‘Ecosystem Restoration.’
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has proclaimed the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration following a proposal and resolution for action by over 70 countries around the globe.
The UN Decade runs from 2021 till 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.
- World Environment Day offers a global platform for inspiring positive change in the environment.
- It pushes individuals to think about the way they consume the ecosystem and gives them a chance to take action to build a greener future.
- It is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
- First held in 1974, it has been a platform for raising awareness on environmental issue such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.
Significance of WED:
- WED has become more significant amid the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
- The world has been fighting the pandemic for 1.5 years.
- The Pandemic has proved how disastrous ecosystem loss can be.
- As the area of natural habitat for animal is shrinking and pathogens like coronavirus are easily spreading.
- Thus, only healthy ecosystems can enhance livelihoods, counter climate change and stop collapse of biodiversity.
- World Environment Day was established in 1972 by the United Nations at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment (June 5-16, 1972), that had resulted from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment.
- Two years later, in 1974 the first WED was held with the theme “Only One Earth”.
- Even though WED celebrations have been held annually since 1974, in 1987 the idea for rotating the center of these activities through selecting different host countries began.
What does Ecosystem restoration mean?
- Ecosystem restoration means preventing, halting, and reversing the damage caused by human activities and finally healing our nature.
- Healthier ecosystems, with richer biodiversity, yield greater benefits, such as more fertile soils, bigger yields of timber and fish, and larger stores of greenhouse gases.
How can restoration take place?
- Restoration can take place in many ways. For example:
- Saving and using less water
- Buying energy-efficient appliances
- Recycling the e-waste properly
- Actively planting more and more trees
- Getting together with friends and neighbors for a clean-up activity in their areas
- Cleaning up the local beaches