Nasiru Idris: Importance of celebrating World Environment Day

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The United Nations General Assembly has designated June 5 as World Environment Day since 1972, the result of discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. This day marked the opening of the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Professor Nasiru Idris

It also led to the establishment of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya. The essence of this day is to educate people about the threats to the environment and to encourage them to find a balance between development and the environment.

Therefore, this primary United Nations vehicle for encouraging global environmental awareness and action is a very vital platform for promoting progress on the environmental dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals towards environmental advocacy. by businesses, non-governmental organizations, communities, governments and celebrities from around the world.

The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is “Ecosystem Restoration” and will see the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Restoring ecosystems can take many forms: growing trees, greening cities, rewilding gardens, changing diets, or cleaning up rivers and coastlines. This is the generation that can make peace with nature to restore the ecosystem.

World Environment Day has been a major campaign for environmental issues ranging from marine pollution to human proliferation and raising awareness of global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime, among others. This day can also be celebrated in unique ways, for example through tree planting campaigns, an awareness program in schools and on social media platforms, an awareness program in churches and mosques as well as the distribution leaflets in public places on the importance of the day.

So, I encourage each of us today to accelerate, amplify and engage people, communities and even governments to act on the critical environmental challenges facing the planet so that we can preserve and restore the ecosystem. and in return, the ecosystem provides us with its services which include the availability of food, water supply, fresh air among others.

However, are you aware that current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems are expected to undermine progress towards 80% of the assessed targets of the Sustainable Development Goals related to poverty, hunger, health, sustainable consumption and production, l water, cities, climate, oceans? and the earth? We are therefore in crisis and we must do something very quickly because the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.

And the rate at which human activities are destroying the ecosystem through deforestation, bush burning, construction activities including mining, intensification of agriculture and encroachment of wildlife habitats will continue to destroy the entire universe and/or will exceed the carrying capacity of the Earth, thus, it will be beyond the limits of nature and, consequently, the loss of biodiversity will have serious consequences for humanity, in particular the collapse food and health systems.

Research has shown that approximately 75% of all emerging infectious diseases in humans are transmitted to humans from animals, much like what the world now suspects the COVID-19 pandemic is also through animal contact- human. Therefore, destroying the ecosystem that sustains human life is tantamount to destroying the web of life. Now you can see the importance of celebrating World Environment Day every year to encourage global awareness and action for environmental protection.

So from now on we should all put in our diaries a reminder for the celebration of World Environment Day on June 5 every year and it should also be an important day for us if we take care of the planet Earth. This day has been designated to help raise global awareness of the threats to our environment and to ensure that environmental issues are addressed at the grassroots. Today could be the day to start changing our lifestyle to reduce our carbon footprint.

Therefore, please play your part by planting a tree in your immediate surroundings so that we can all connect with nature, and also, urge everyone in your neighborhood to stay outdoors and enjoy the breath of fresh air. fresh air and to appreciate its beauty and reflect on how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it.

United for the Environment, for a better future!!!

Professor Nasiru Medugu Idris ([email protected]) is Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Nasarawa State University, Keffi

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