Updated: Jun 8, 2022
To celebrate the planet that we call home, the UN is coming together to join forces on World Environment Day on June 5th 2022 with one motto, “We have only one earth. Let's take care of it.”
World Environment Day was created 50 years ago at the 1972 UN human environment conference in Stockholm with the purpose to protect the earth and for us to come together as one community to prevent future environmental catastrophes.
The presence of such a vital day comes at a crucial time, due to the fact that the world's natural resources and habitats are depleting, thus making the planet that we share, ever more difficult to live on. Dr Prof. Sandra Díaz, an ecologist from National University of Córdoba said “Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people are our common heritage and humanity’s most important life-supporting ‘safety net’. But our safety net is stretched almost to breaking point.”
New studies have found that “a total of 13,700km2 of tidal wetlands were lost from 1999 to 2019, largely as a result of human activities, including aquaculture, agriculture and urban expansion. Indirect factors also played a role, the study says, including sea level rise and coastal processes such as erosion.” In order to monitor the changing planet, scientists from around the world are studying the effects of climate change in order to better understand how we are affecting the climate and what we can all unanimously do to change it for the better.
In a latest report, it was found that “Energy consumption is rising in many countries where incomes are rising quickly and the population is growing. But in many countries – particularly richer countries trying to improve energy efficiency – energy consumption is actually falling.”
Yet despite a change in energy consumption in richer countries, the world itself is still falling to the effect of climate change with a recent UN report stating that, “Warmer temperatures over time are changing weather patterns and disrupting the usual balance of nature. This poses many risks to human beings and all other forms of life on Earth….Nearly all land areas are seeing more hot days and heat waves; 2020 was one of the hottest years on record. Higher temperatures increase heat-related illnesses and can make it more difficult to work and move around.”
Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University-Bloomington, Edwardo, S, Brondízio, said in a statement to the UN, “To better understand and, more importantly, to address the main causes of damage to biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people, we need to understand the history and global interconnection of complex demographic and economic indirect drivers of change, as well as the social values that underpin them,...Key indirect drivers include increased population and per capita consumption; technological innovation, which in some cases has lowered and in other cases increased the damage to nature; and, critically, issues of governance and accountability. A pattern that emerges is one of global interconnectivity and ‘telecoupling’ – with resource extraction and production often occurring in one part of the world to satisfy the needs of distant consumers in other regions.”
Yet, despite the copious after effects of climate change, good news governs the way forward for the next generation with a recent international eco activism award ceremony from the Goldman Environmental Foundation which awarded those who take extraordinary actions to protect our planet. This year the international winners ‘helped defund coal, hold big oil to account and launch landmark climate lawsuits”.
Nevertheless, it is through the inherent need for want that brings the unbridled desire for change and as the drivers of change continue to impact the world's climate, nature conservation remains at the top of the agenda, because after all, we only have one earth.