June 5th. World Environment Day
Time for Nature
Our planet has long suffered from the harmful impact of the human race. Deforestation, climate change, pollution, extinction of plant and animal species, plastic oceans... All of these contribute to the destruction of the environment in which we live, and although most people are conscious of the existence of this great problem, few actively act to solve it.
The human race has been endowed with intelligence and the ability to think, and from this have come great discoveries that have made us evolve and many achievements that have been beneficial to all of us. However, we are also the only species on this planet that destroys its own habitat.
When we talk about the importance of taking care of our planet, about the fight to try to stop climate change, about recycling..., we are all aware that something must be done. Many voices say that although what we can contribute on an individual level can help, it is not enough to bring about a great change, and perhaps they are right. The involvement of governments is probably crucial in order to find solutions, but we already know that on many occasions, the possible solution clashes with the economic powers of some countries.
We humans tend to act when the problem is upon us, when it affects us directly, and most of the time that has consequences, or it is too late to avoid the catastrophe.
Be that as it may, anything that can help take care of our planet is welcome, and if declaring a World Environment Day makes us aware that we must act if we are to continue to live on it in good condition, then let's take advantage of it.
World Environment Day objectives
June 5th was chosen as the date for the celebration of the World Environment Day because it coincides with the beginning of the Stockholm Conference in 1972.
This international conference was called by the UN to discuss the state of the environment at a global level and agreed on a Declaration containing 26 principles on environment and development, as well as a series of recommendations contained in an action plan. This influenced environmental policies in Europe.
The main objectives of the celebration of the World Environment Day are the following:
- To educate and raise awareness among the world's population about the need to act to preserve the environment.
- To try to make the population play a leading role and contribute to the solution of environmental problems.
- Promote the involvement and participation of all communities.
- Promote public policies aimed at solving or avoiding environmental problems.
- Promoting cooperation to make the planet a sustainable, safe and prosperous place.
This year, the theme is biodiversity.
Each year a host country and a specific theme are designated to be worked on. This year it is Colombia's turn and the theme is biodiversity, as there are quite a number of issues of concern, such as major forest fires in Brazil and Australia. Also, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic may have been due to the imbalance that is being generated by the destruction of species.
Biodiversity reflects the variety of living organisms that inhabit our planet and the ecosystems in which they are found. Our existence on Earth depends on a balance between using the resources our planet provides and maintaining it to ensure we have what we need, not only now but in the future.
We all know that we have a great challenge ahead of us, that if we do not take care of our environment, we may start to see more natural disasters, we will face new viruses, there will be wars to decide who has clean water. The problem is that we see it far away, that is, our daily life is not affected enough for us to feel the need to act.
Perhaps during these days of confinement, something no one would have even remotely thought would ever happen, some people have begun to realize that our actions have consequences. But let us not delude ourselves, as soon as this is all over, we will return to our habits and no longer remember what happened. We are like that, we want to go to the beach, travel, buy new clothes, have a coffee in a bar or eat in a restaurant.
Money moves everything, and that has its good points, of course, but also its bad points. We have become accustomed to over-consuming and encouraging the new to the detriment of preserving what we have. Nowadays it is more expensive to fix a TV than to buy a new one; we prefer to buy new socks instead of mending the old ones and prolonging their use.
All this involves the use of resources and also the generation of a lot of waste. Of course, since we do not see where everything we throw away goes, we are not directly concerned. In other words, if no one came to collect our rubbish and it was piling up in our house, we would urgently need to solve the problem. We only act when we are forced to.
We are used to having water when we turn on the tap, to having supermarkets full of products and to breathing. However, with the pandemic we have seen some people being left without some products because they had run out.
Therefore, may this World Environment Day contribute to making us aware of the urgent need to preserve our planet, and may it provoke us to make small changes in our behaviour. If we do not do this, Nature itself will take care of putting things in order, and we are already beginning to experience the consequences of this.