On June 5th, we will help to celebrate World Environment Day 2020.
What is World Environment Day 2020, and how can I help? World Environment Day is an internationally recognized day that is celebrated in over 143 countries. This year, the theme is “Biodiversity”. It raises awareness and a call to action to protect biodiversity across the globe. You can help by joining the campaign and spreading the message far and wide on June 5th.
Let’s explore the history of World Environment Day and the importance of its celebration. Why is this year’s theme biodiversity? And how can you get involved? What actions can you take to start mitigating your personal impact on the planet?
The History of World Environment Day
World Environment Day started over five decades ago in 1974. This special day helps to raise awareness about critical environmental issues. The day has been integral in calling on those in power to take action on environmental issues. Such as marine pollution, global warming, and wildlife crime.
In 1972, the General Assembly marked June 5th as World Environment Day. On the same day, this was decided the UN also formed the UN Environment. Over the years, millions of people from the general public, companies, large corporations, and government officials have taken part in World Environment Day.
In 1998, World Environment Day raised awareness of marine pollution for the first time. Using The theme “For Life on Earth – Save our Seas”. This started a new wave of activism and protection rights for our oceans.
In 2007, the day brought worldwide attention to the melting ice caps. It began some of the first real discussions about climate change. The theme helped raise awareness about the impending issue of global warming.
In 2018, the World Environment Day highlighted the issue of plastic pollution. 6,000 people came together on a beach in Mumbai to conduct a beach clean up. 90,000kg of plastic waste was recovered by the people who took part.
In 2019, the theme for World Environment Day was air pollution. Hosted in China, where they have some of the worst air pollution in the world. And hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The president vowed to share their knowledge on how to tackle air pollution. He presented China’s Air Quality Improvement Report. This covered the previous five years to showcase successful air pollution policies.
World Environment Day 2020 Theme – “Biodiversity”
This year, World Environment Day focuses on the importance of protecting biodiversity. The aim is to raise awareness and encourage more action on preserving the intricate natural systems on our planet.
Biodiversity describes the variety of life here on earth. It encompasses all plant and animal life in the world and the complex systems that connect them. Through human action, we are destroying many elements of complex biodiversity systems. We’re interrupting nature on a mass scale.
There are around 8 million different species of plant and animal life on earth. Each time we impact the ecosystems, we negatively affect this complex web of life. There has never been a more critical time to protect biodiversity and call for more action.
As a species, humans depend on nature for all our essentials; water, food, and oxygen. We owe everything we have in life to the planet that provided us. Every time we take from the earth, we must ensure that we give back and conserve.
Biodiversity controls the oxygen that we breathe, the fertility of the soil where we grow our food, and it purifies the water we drink. Without strong biodiversity, our needs as humans will diminish.
Why is Biodiversity an Important Topic Right Now?
Our population of humans is growing rapidly. Our needs and demands are increasing. The more people we have on earth, the more resources required to feed, clothe, and care for them.
In the last 50 years, the human population on earth has doubled. Currently, it would take 1.6 Earths to meet the current demands. Humans have forgotten how intricately we are connected to nature. We need nature to survive, and nature needs us.
The earth can provide everything we need however our lack of robust environmental policies, our obsession with consumerism, and the sheer amount of waste unquestionably have an effect.
We are now taking far more from our planet than giving back. Ancient rainforests are being torn down at record rates. Our oceans are being emptied of life. Entire species of animals and plants continue to go extinct. Our vital soils and grasslands are deteriorating.
We can work with the planet to rebalance these precious ecosystems. We have made those in power aware of what is happening and calling for change. Thankfully, this process has started. UNEP is launching the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030). A global initiative that will help to restore the relationship between humans and nature.
In addition, we need to teach individuals about personal impact on the planet. We need to discuss their waste, how to reduce their plastic, and overconsumption.
The task is no easy feat. But, days like World Environment Day can help change the world for the better. The more people that support and spread awareness, the quicker we can start to resolve environmental issues.
How Can You Get Involved on World Environment Day?
The easiest way to get involved is to simply help spread the message about World Environment Day. In the run-up to June 5th and on an actual day, tell everybody.
Learn about the issues on the World Environment Day website. This will help you to spread awareness to others. Furthermore, like the page on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. Share their posts and let all your friends and family know what’s happening.
As an individual, you have way more power than you think you do. Simply spreading awareness and changing your own lifestyle habits can have a profound effect on others. Humans copy each other, they just need someone to set an example first. Be that example.
But, you can take it even further. Here are some things everyone can do to further help with the fight for the environment:
- Go speak to your local council or government and ask them what they are doing about the environment.
- Join Earth School on TED-Ed and learn from leading experts in environmental science and policy.
- Join the United Nations Act Now campaign.
- Learn about plastic pollution of our oceans with UNEP’s Clean Seas campaign.
How Can I Change My Lifestyle to Help Save the Environment?
“One person not using plastic won’t stop plastic pollution”, said 8 billion people. The power of the individual is mighty, despite what some people will tell you. The issue is social cohesion, not the actions themselves.
When individuals do make positive changes in their own lives, the people around them make changes too. Here are some simple changes to your lifestyle and habits that can have a positive effect on the planet:
- Make Your Commute to Work “Green” – if possible ride a bike, take a bus, or ride the train. Road transport is one of the leading causes of C02 emissions worldwide.
- Cut Down or Eliminate Animal Products – the plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle are proof that you can thrive without the use of animal products that take a heavy toll on the environment.
- Ditch the Plastic – join the zero-waste movement and remove plastic from your life as much as humanly possible.
- Unplug Everything – every time you finish with an electronic device in your home, make sure you unplug it. Phantom electricity wastes energy and your money.
- Green Cleaning – wash your clothes less, wash them on a cold cycle, and use cleaning products that are safe for the environment. Avoid harsh chemicals wherever possible.
- Minimize Waste – humans waste ridiculous amounts of stuff each and every year. Only buy what you need, purchase quality, reduce, reuse, recycle, upcycle, and buy second hand.
- Vote for the Environment – some political parties care more about the environment than others therefore its best to learn about each political party’s environmental policies and consider it when voting for your next leaders.
The fight to protect and save our environment is going to be tough. Doing what is right and not just what is easy is crucial to the future of our species and our precious planet. We must start to act now. Words are not enough, we need to demand and inspire better action.
This World Environment Day, we hope you will get involved and help to spread the important message about protecting biodiversity. We hope with the information above, you can be part of the solution and inspire others within your circle to do the same.
Here at Dolma, we are committed to creating a brighter and more sustainable future for all life on this planet.