World Environment Day 2024: One day to rethink about the environment

| Updated: 05 June, 2024 5:45 pm IST
World Environment Day (Image: Freepik)

NEW DELHI: World Environment Day is dedicated to raising awareness and motivating people to think and rethink about the environment. Celebrated every year on June 5, numerous awareness programs are held in schools, colleges, workplaces, and other places around the world.

However, this day often ends up being celebrated like Mother’s Day, with people posting pictures on social media and writing posts. The urgency to protect the environment increases as time goes by, but continuous industrialization, technological advancement, waste production, and environmental damage are naively believed to be controlled by dedicating just one day to the environment, often only in name.

Despite warnings about the consequences of climate change, significant global actions have been lacking, resulting in noticeable climate shifts. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) initiated the concept of World Environment Day. On this day, various campaigns, events, and actions inspire communities worldwide to work towards a greener future, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the depletion of natural resources.

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Theme This Year

Each year comes with a theme to highlight different environmental issues. This year’s theme is “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience.” According to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, 40 percent of the Earth’s land is degraded, directly impacting half the global population. Since the year 2000, the number of droughts has increased by 29. Rising temperatures exacerbate this issue, with projections suggesting that droughts could affect over three-quarters of the world’s population by 2025.

The Environment Should Be Protected Every Day, All the Time

It is well known what is happening with the climate and environment; it is not getting better but worsening every year. Summers are getting hotter—in India, temperatures have soared past 55 degrees Celsius, causing widespread distress. Human interference with nature has never brought good news. Small changes in daily life and actions can contribute significantly. Protecting the environment is not a one-day-a-year story; it should be said and heard every day.

Daily Life Changes

Basic education and a small shift in habits are crucial. Do not waste water and switch off all appliances when not in use—these are basic awareness points that everyone grows up with, yet few follow. We all think about going out on vacation or simply for dinner after a long day, and we plan to watch a movie on the weekend to keep our minds fresh and to relax. But have we ever thought of planting a sapling? Have we done it outside of a school event? These are the primary changes that need to happen. Only then will our long posts on the internet mean something; otherwise, they are useless if no one follows through.

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