The first World Environment day was celebrated in 1974 by the United Nations. Since then, the World Environment day is celebrated every year on the same date with a theme by a rotating host country.
This year the theme is “Ecosystem restoration” and the host country is Pakistan. The emphasis would be on assisting in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded by pollution and deforestation. Conservation of ecosystems that are still intact is also very important. There can be restoration of the ecosystem by planting trees in large numbers and protecting the environment. It has been reported that 75% of land on our planet and 66% of oceans have been drastically altered due to human activities. As a result, approximately one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction due to loss of their natural habitat. It is important to restore the lost ecological balance and safeguard the species which are on the verge of extinction. We can restore clean air, unpolluted water, and healthy soil by healing nature and ecosystems.
The global outbreak of coronavirus disease has had significant effects on the environment. Due to restrictions on movement of human beings and slowdown of economic activities, there have been positive and negative impacts on the environment. There has been an improvement in the air quality in various cities across the world, reduction in emission of GHGs, noise and water pollution. All these effects are assisting in the restoration of the ecological system. On the other hand, the environment is endangered by medical waste, disposal of masks and gloves, untreated wastes etc. To benefit from the COVID 19 situation, the negative effects have to be removed by way of proper disposal of medical waste, masks, gloves etc.
So friends it is time to prevent, halt and reverse the damage to our earth. Let us make sincere efforts to stop exploiting nature and instead let us try to heal the environment. Every small step towards restoration of the environment matters. Let us try to revive our forests, wetlands, clean our rivers and seas. Let us work to make a greener future for our future generations. Together we can restore.
With best wishes