Human being and animals or any other living creatures depend upon environment for all basic needs. We are both creature and destructor of our surroundings or environment. Our environment gives us physical sustenance and affords us with the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. We cannot live without nature and hence it is important and essential for us. Right from breathing to drinking water we are dependent on nature or environment. There is no shadow of doubt that there would be no living organism one earth without nature.
People living in the metros or urban areas do pollute the environment and also contribute towards the destruction of environment. On the other hand billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.
The United Nations, aware that the protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world, designated 5 June as the World Environment Day. Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2017, ‘Connecting People to Nature’, urges us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states our resolve “to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources”. In particular, Goals 14 and 15 focus on protecting under water and on land ecosystems, as well as on sustainably using marine and terrestrial resources.
The year 1972 marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics: the first major conference on environmental issues, convened under the auspices of the United Nations, was held from June 5-16 in Stockholm (Sweden). This conference is also known as the Conference on the Human Environment, or the Stockholm Conference, its goal was to forge a basic common outlook on how to address the challenge of preserving and enhancing the human environment.
Later that year, on 15 December, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/2994 (XXVII)) designating June 5 as World Environment Day and urging “Governments and the organizations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment, with a view to deepening environmental awareness and to pursuing the determination expressed at the Conference.” The date coincides with the first day of the landmark Conference.
Also on 15 December, the General Assembly adopted another resolution (A/RES/3000 (XXVII)) that led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the specialized agency on environmental issues. Since the first celebration in 1974, the World Environment Day has helped UNEP to raise awareness and generate political momentum around growing concerns such as the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming.
This day is being observed in different parts of the world with many activities. Schools, colleges, universities, industries, corporate, media houses, faith based institutes, civil society organisations apart from governmental organisation observe this day. This is an opportunity for us to raise our concern for the environment. We are already aware that climate change has bought more question than answers. If we do not act on time we are going to invite more disaster for us. It time to move beyond awareness and take action for our environment. In connection with this year’s theme, I am committed to conserve and preserve nature and I’m with nature, are you?