World Environment Day 2017

World Environment Day 2017

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Highlights:
  • The World Environment Day is a United Nations venture to put the concern for environment high up on the public and governmental agenda, at both national and international levels.
  • Every year, on 5th June,The World Environment Day is celebrated globally through various campaigns, events, and drives.
  • The 2017 theme-- 'Connecting People to Nature' -hopes to bring us back to nature, away from the fast-paced technology-driven contemporary life.
Nature's gifts are infinite, and it is up to us to love and appreciate it and make sure that we give back at least a little of what we continue to take from it every moment of the day.
World Environment Day 2017

The United Nations initiated World Environment Day (WED) is the biggest worldwide annual phenomenon for positive environmental action. On 5th June each year, the world celebrates the environment we live in, that surrounds us, and to which we owe our lives and well-being to a great extent. Since its inception at the Stockholm Conference in 1972, the World Environment Day has been a global call to preserve the environment, address environmental health, and raise awareness on the numerous ways in which a healthy environment is essential for a healthy us.

The landmark conference that led to the declaration of 5th June as World Environment Day also led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). First celebrated in 1974, WED has gone on to become the largest global platform for worldwide action on environmental issues, ranging from preservation of wildlife and sustainable development to global warming, marine pollution and neighborhood cleanliness. The main goal is to help nations across the world combat a steadily declining environment, and to bring about national and international environmental policies to address these issues.

The World Environment Day 2017: Connecting People to Nature

The 2017 WED host country Canada has chosen as its theme 'Connecting People to Nature', with the tagline 'I'm #WithNature', in a drive to bring people back to the lap of nature, to remind them of the beauties of Mother Earth, and why it is imperative to save her from gradual decay.

The theme aims to draw people out of their homes, away from the incessant tirade of modern technology, and maybe set out on an adventure in their favorite national park. Even the park around the corner of your house is full of nature's wonders. Taking an afternoon off to explore the mysteries of the natural eco-system is worth every bit of it.

The theme this year promises to be exciting and hopes to help people reconnect with the rich natural biodiversity around them like never before.

To participate in the WED 2017 celebrations you can:

  • Share pictures of your most favorite natural spot in the world. Contribute towards building what is sure to be a breathtaking experience, as participants around the world find the one place that makes them happy and share it in the world's biggest global nature album.
  • Plan your own event. Be it a picnic, a hike or a neighborhood cleaning drive, spend the day outdoors, close to Mother Nature. Invite your friends, family, and loved ones, and share your favorite moments of the day with the world.
  • Discover your own natural habitat. Explore the unknown in your everyday world, find out the stories hidden in a blade of grass, or identify a new species of butterfly. Let the world get acquainted with your world.
How is India Celebrating World Environment Day 2017?

India is set to celebrate WED 2017 with a mammoth waste-management program. In the latest 'Mann ki Baat', Prime Minister Narendra Modi's customary Sunday radio address to the nation, PM Modi reminded people of the need to reconnect with nature.

"Whenever you come in contact with a natural condition, a new spirit emerges from within you. So the global campaign of connecting with nature on 5th June should become our individual campaign as well," he said. "If we shall protect the environment, our future generations will reap the benefits."

Mr. Modi announced that color-coded litter bins would soon be installed in 4000 towns across the country. The drive would aim at separating solid waste from compostable waste, which would enable recycling of the waste that is collected, into useful resources like fertilizers. Mr. Modi encouraged citizens to look at waste as more than mere garbage, so as to ensure a more productive system of waste-management in the future. He urged fellow-Indians to think of the future, as that alone can help us leave for our future generations, a clean, healthy and resourceful environment.

The drive would be kicked off on Monday, 5th June, 2017, marking India's nation-wide commitment to the principles of the WED.

PM Modi also referred to Afroz Shah, a lawyer from Mumbai, and the UN 2016 Champion of the Earth, as an inspiration to the entire nation. Shah, since 2015, has been a crusader in a massive clean-up of the filthy Versova Beach in Mumbai. A self-proclaimed ocean lover, Shah went around knocking on doors, intimating neighbors and fisher-folk on the growing perils of marine litter, and single-handedly picked up volunteers, who participated in the colossal project, collecting over 4000 tons of trash from the beach that stretches over 2.5 Kms.

What is meant by Marine Litter?

Marine litter, or debris, is defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as "any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes."Waterbodies all over the world, are filled with debris in the form of plastics, rubber, textiles, metals, paper, and other decaying items that encroach into the marine environment, mostly through human agency. Marine debris is at present one of the deadliest forms of pollution in the world, and, although preventable, is fast becoming a global environmental and human health threat.

The World Environment Day is an opportunity to reach out to our natural surroundings and help nurture the earth that nurtures us every day. It is time to take a moment and appreciate all that nature has to offer. The WED 2017 seeks to bring us back to our roots, and reiterate the need to keep our environment healthy.

References:
  1. World Environment Day - (http://worldenvironmentday.global/)
  2. World Environment Day 5 June - (http://www.un.org/en/events/environmentday/)
Source: Medindia

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