N. Munal Meitei, Environmentalist
Nobody knows how old the earth is. But our only livable planet, the Earth is facing with numerous acute environmental crisis such as the climate change, pollution, population explosion, biodiversity lost, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pesticides, human health, pandemics and many more environmental challenges.
These challenges have threatened our earth itself. It’s our responsibilities to protect it for the future generation. Thus, World Earth Day is celebrated on the 22nd April every year since 1970 with this year’s theme of “Invest in our Planet”. Fifty two years ago today, the first Earth Day was marked in United States as a peaceful call for environment reform, following a massive oil spill off the coast of California. Half a century later, this annual day unites billions across the globe, drawing attention to the huge challenges facing by our planet. Now more than ever, this day offers us an opportunity to reflect upon our relationship with the planet, amid the most devastating consequences that nature can revenge back us at any moment. It is a time when the health of the planet and its people are in a tipping point.
Our earth is an amazing place, but it needs our help to thrive. Businesses, governments and individuals are the three pillars for the theme “invest in our planet”. These pillars can be used to engage billions of people to recognize our responsibility toward our mother earth and to help the world into a transition for an equitable, prosperous and a beautiful place to live. Here the investment will not mean only for funds but our precious time, energy, effort, knowledge and dedication for the planet. As an effective part, we can use the corporate social responsibility (CSR) for reducing carbon footprints, saving the biodiversity and other environmental targets like reduce, reuse and recycling of materials and products for a circular economy.
Earth Day is just like the Birth Day celebration of the mother earth. Earth Hour initiated by WWF with the electricity switch off from 8.30 to 9.30 pm on the last Saturday of March every year is different from the Earth Day.
Everything the humans need to survive and thrive are provided by the natural world around us: food, water, medicines, material for shelter and even natural cycles such as climate and nutrients. To replenish the used up resources, the earth also need sufficient time but our human consumption is much more exceeding and hence to meet our present demand, we will require two earths by 2030. Together, we win and divided we fall. Climate change being the greatest challenge to all the living being, the future of humanity and other life-support systems that make our world habitable will depend on how we together can take care of the mother earth today.
While climate change presents considerable risks, countries across the world are starting to demonstrate that efforts to confront it could help to launch new engines for sustainable development. To a large extent, we are looking at the climate problem through the wrong lens by talking about the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as a cost rather than an economic opportunity. Climate action is not just about reducing emissions but choosing a new development path creating jobs for the future development.
By COVID-19, the world is knockdown and reversed back from our civilization. But in-spite of all such challenges, it’s our responsibility to save the blue planet alive. We all should be connected and take part the Earth Day celebration by way of planting trees, organizing awareness, seeing the nature, reading the nature books, go green and organic, going for green power, avoid from food & water waste and doing all eco-friendly activities irrespective of our national boundaries.
We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now will only make the planet a livable future. For that, government and policy makers need to implement more aggressive steps, regulations and market instruments to hunt down and eliminate the excessive carbon emissions and otherwise, we are almost digging our own graves.
Under the Paris Agreement, each country is required to establish Nationally Determined Contribution, NDC and update it for every five years. So far no country has committed to teaching children on the critical climate literacy so far.
As carbon capture and extraction is clearly crucial, the only way for successfully stimulate the climate change is by setting a price for carbon. Carbon pricing is an effective mechanism to achieve climate stabilisation, encourage deep emissions reductions and stimulate technology innovation.
Having adequate access to food is one of the most basic and important human rights and yet, hundreds of millions of people suffer from starvation, with approximately 25,000 succumbing to hunger every day. Hunger kills more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined, which mainly are in developing countries. It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C and without the immediate and concrete steps right now, it will be impossible.
The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to unhealthy planet. The impacts are not far reaching and if we ignore, extinction is humanity’s most enduring legacy.
Nature gifts to our planet with various species. All living things have an intrinsic value, and each one plays a unique role in the complex web of life. The good news is that if we can destroy, we should be able to build them up again and many of our declining, threatened and endangered species can still recover if we work together. Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values such as adopting plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.
The IUCN defines for nature-based solutions to protect human well-being and restoring and conserving our environment to enhance the resilience to reduce the devastating natural consequences including human life and economic development. A failure to do so, could roll back years of progress and make it near impossible to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth avoiding exacerbating existing ones or inadvertently creating new problems.
Therefore, we all should know the importance of mother earth in our live. Without earth, we cannot even imagine living. Life is possible on the earth only with its resources. Thus changing the way we live today means we will be able to prosper for tomorrow. Since we are born, one day we will day from this lovely world. Let’s make the mother earth, a green and beautiful planet for the humanity and the future generations.