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Earth Day 2016: Trees for the Earth!

Health Watch   - G J E 4
  • Earth Day is celebrated throughout the world on April 22 each year to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
  • It was first celebrated in 1970 by the United States Senator Gaylord Nelson.
  • Many communities around the world celebrate Earth Week- An entire week of activities that focus on environmental issues that affect the planet.
  • Earth Day 2016 marks the 46th year of the movement that continues to motivate, inspire and ignite passion among people throughout the world.
Earth Day Celebration

April 22nd is commemorated as the World Earth Day to highlight the importance of environmental diversity and the need to protect the Earth for future generations. The theme for this year is Earth Day 2016: Trees for the Earth!
Earth Day 2016: Trees for the Earth!
Earth Day 2016: Trees for the Earth!
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It is celebrated by conducting festivals, rallies and outdoor events held in about 200 nations throughout the world, where political leaders and celebrities take part. The day has its own flag created by the US Peace Activist, John McConnell that showcases a picture of the planet on it. It also has anthems composed of lyrics about protecting the world. One of them has been performed to Beethoven's tune of Ode to Joy.

‘The 50th year of Earth Day will be observed in another five years. So, let’s start now to plant 7.8 billion trees to make the earth a cleaner, healthier and a more sustainable planet for all!’
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It is now coordinated on a global level by the Non-profit Organization "Earth Day Network" which calls itself as 'The largest secular holiday in the world'!

Earth Day Network (EDN): It aims to diversify and broaden the environmental movement throughout the world and mobilize it as the most effective means to develop a healthy, sustainable environment that addresses climate change and protects the planet for future generations. The network has grown to be the world's largest recruiter of the environmental movement with more than 50000 working partners working from 196 different countries. They aim to build an environmental democracy by working through a combination of public policy, education and consumer campaigns.

This year, on Earth day, the landmark Paris Agreement has been scheduled to be signed by 120 countries throughout the world including the United States and China. The signing of the agreement satisfies an important requirement for the entry into force of the historical draft Climate Protection Treaty adopted by the consensus of the 195 countries that took part in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last year.

What is the Paris Agreement?

It is an agreement that lies within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It deals with mitigation of greenhouse gases emissions, adaptation & finance of the year 2020. France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the Head of the Paris Conference has announced that it is an ambitious and balanced plan that will be a historic turning point with the aim to reduce global warming. It will be open for signing until one year from now, and is scheduled to come into force in the year 2020.

Aim of This Convention
  • To hold the rise in global average temperature to less than 20 C higher than pre-industrial levels.
  • To take efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.50C higher than pre-industrial levels (These might significantly lower the impacts and risks of climate change).
  • To increase the ability to adapt to the climate change's adverse impacts.
  • To foster climate resilience and development of reduced greenhouse gas emissions such a way that it does not threaten food production.
  • To make consistent finance flows towards reduced greenhouse gas emissions at the earliest.
The process of signing the agreement requires formal approval by a minimum of 55 nations representing 55% of emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human beings.

Theme of the Earth Day 2016: Trees for the Earth

Currently, the planet is losing more than 15 billion trees every year due to deforestation, bad forest management and land development. The Earth day network has announced "Trees for the Earth" as a plan to plant 7.8 billion trees by 2020's Earth Day. This is approximately one tree per person living on the planet!

This mission will focus on regions of the planet that are most affected by deforestation. For achieving this goal, all the people should work with partners from every level of the society to integrate trees into all of our existing campaigns, collaborating with national & sub-national governments, leaders, civilians and businesses throughout the world.

Goals for the Mission
  • To fight climate change & pollution
  • To support communities and their local economies
  • To protect biodiversity
  • To inspire millions of people to join us in environmental citizenship
Importance of Trees

Trees help combat climate change as they absorb harmful and excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They absorb pollutant gases like ammonia, sulphur dioxide, ozone and nitrogen oxides and filter the air by trapping them on their bark and leaves. Thus, they help us breathe pure air. They help the communities achieve their economic sustainability by providing food, energy and income.

This earth day, let us get together to join the movement that channels human energy towards environmental issues. We are entering the 46th year and today, it is more than just a single day's event. It is taking a stand!

Here is how you can celebrate the Earth Day and become an environmental steward!
  • Take a pledge at school or work and attend an Earth Day Fair - Work together to boost accountability!
  • Plant trees- The planet needs 7.8 billion trees.
  • Divest from fossil fuels. Find a carpool service- It is the best way to combat climate change.
  • Go paperless- Stop using papers by switching on to electronic mode. This might help prevent cutting down trees for it.
  • Make cities 100% renewable by creating a recycling plan and Work as a team - Gather as a group to clean up your locality.
  • Take the momentum from the Paris Climate Summit and start building on it.
We are currently experiencing a critical moment in the fight to defend the planet's health and we need to do it before it is too late!

References:
  1. http://www.earthday.org/about/
  2. http://www.earthday.org/2016/01/19/earth-day-2016-trees-earth/
  3. https:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day
Source: Medindia
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