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  • Raghav Sand

World Earth Day

We should stop taking life for granted on our planet, now. Earth is the only known planet in the universe which sustains life as we know it. Air, water, and its soil have been conducive to life after centuries of evolution. Most importantly, the ambient temperature on Earth makes it a cradle for organisms and vegetation of all shapes and kinds. In the pursuit of economic progress, we have exploited natural resources beyond tolerable limits. Realistic socio-economic advocates argue that we are still far from sustainable development for all, and in the near term our planet will witness more abuse than conservation.

SOS from Mother Earth

Nature is suffering. Our water bodies are getting filled with plastics and are turning acidic. Now we face COVID-19, a worldwide health pandemic which has direct links to the health of our ecosystem. Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans.

The close relationships between human, animal and environmental health can be seen from the fact that three out of the four new infections found among humans come from animals. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part. In the past decade there has been an environmental policy deadlock in the world. Rich nations blame poor nations for not doing enough, whereas the latter believes the former needs to do much more, given the spending capacity and prolonged unchecked abuse of the planet.

Importance of Biodiversity

Coronavirus outbreak puts public health and global economy at risk, but biological diversity as well. However, biodiversity can be part of the solution since this diversity of species would make it difficult for the viruses to spread rapidly.

Biodiversity changes affect ecosystem functioning and significant disruptions of ecosystems. Specific linkages between health and biodiversity include impact in nutrition, health research and traditional medicine. Climate change affects new infectious diseases and shifts in the distribution of plants, pathogens, animals, and even human settlements.

Earth Day: The Origins

The United Nations General Assembly designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day through a resolution adopted in 2009. The original roots go back to the 1970s when environmental protection was not yet a priority of the national political agendas. The United Nations (UN) celebrates this observance through the ‘Harmony with Nature’ initiative, a platform for global sustainable development that celebrates annually an interactive dialogue on International Mother Earth Day. Topics include methods for promoting a holistic approach to harmony with nature, and an exchange of national experiences regarding criteria and indicators to measure sustainable development in harmony with nature.

UN Secretary-General’s Message

“As we mark International Mother Earth Day, our planet is at a tipping point. Humanity continues to abuse the natural world. We heedlessly plunder the Earth’s resources, deplete its wildlife and treat air, land and seas as dumping grounds. Crucial ecosystems and food chains are being pushed to the brink of collapse. This is suicidal.”

“We must end our war on nature and nurse it back to health. That means bold climate action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius and adapt to the changes to come. It means stronger steps to protect biodiversity. And it means reducing pollution by building circular economies that drive down waste. These steps will safeguard our only home and create millions of new jobs. Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance to set the world on a cleaner, greener, more sustainable path. On International Mother Earth Day, let us all commit to the hard work of restoring our planet and making peace with nature.”

Importance of International Days

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the UN, but it has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.

Earth Day Quizzes (Opens in New Tab)


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