Every year World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5. It is one of the flagship events of United Nations for propagating awareness and action on environmental protection.
The first such event was celebrated on June 5, 1974. Since then, every year this celebration has been held centered around one theme of the year and hosted by different countries all over the world.
‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ is the theme for 2018 and the host country is India.
Significance of the day
World environment day is celebrated to create awareness about environment and increase efforts for it protection to ensure a sustainable world for everyone.
In quest of development, mankind has widely overlooked the well being of its surroundings resulting in a scenario wherein world is continuously under threat from climatic changes, degradation in quality of soil, water and air, ecological imbalance, global warming etc.
Sustenance in such a scenario needs awareness, co-operation and participation from communities and nations all over the world.
Environmental Degradation: What is the root cause behind?
Environmental degradation arises from a combination of problems, the major being global warming, deforestation, excess usage of fossil fuels etc. Population growth and industrial advancements have been made at the cost of nature and now the mankind is slowly awakening to the dangerous reality created. Climate change all over the world is giving rise to frequent natural calamities and loss of biodiversity.
India: A picture not so bright
The current 2018 Global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks India at dismal 177th position among 180 countries, haring its status with countries Nepal, Bangladesh, the Republic of Congo etc. A low rank shows serious challenges in air and water quality, biodiversity threat and green house gas emissions.
Though efforts for improvement are being taken, the ever increasing population in India becomes a perennial deterrent of their success.
Switzerland followed by France and Denmark are the front runners in 2018 Global Environmental Performance Index.
From planning to better execution
The importance of World environment day and its objective goes beyond the one-day celebration. It calls for taking proactive steps and making lifestyle changes from every person at individual and organization level.
The organizations, both civic and government, need to maintain database for various activities and ensure regular monitoring. For eg. lakhs of saplings are planted in the many cities on various occasions but efficient tracking is not done to ensure their survival and growth. Making every day changes like more usage of public transport, use of reusable items like cloth bags for shopping, prudent use of water, plantation near home and office spaces and proper waste disposal can help in slowing down the speedy rate of environmental degradation.
However, the major responsibility still remains with the government of various nations all over the world. The challenge of balancing economic development and environmental well-being is enormous and prudent decisions needs to be taken at policy level to ensure sustainable development.