World Environment Day, which is celebrated annually on June 5 across the globe, is one of the biggest events organised by the United Nations (UN) to generate awareness about the significance of nature.
The day is celebrated to tell people that nature should be respected for its values.
In 1972 after discussions on environment-related issues during the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, the United Nations Assembly established World Environment Day. Two years later in1974, it was first observed in the US.
The theme of the first World Environment Day was ‘Only One Earth’.
In 1987, the idea of rotating the centre of these activities started so that different countries can get the opportunity to host the event. Since then, various host countries have been celebrating it, and the idea for rotating the center of these activities started.
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.’, as 2021 marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Pakistan, in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will be the global host for the day to highlight the importance of ecosystem restoration this year. The event has a participation of over 143 countries annually.
The term ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ means to assist in ecosystems’ recovery, which has been degraded by deforestation, pollution, and other human activities. It can also be promoted by taking measures to conserve the ecosystem which is still intact.
Ecosystem restoration can be done in other ways including planting trees, greening cities, changing diets or cleaning up rivers and coasts, and rewilding gardens. Rich biodiversity and green ecosystems yield immense benefits.
The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration following a proposal and resolution for action by over 70 countries around the globe.
The UN Decade runs from 2021 till 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.
The main concept behind observing World Environment Day is to focus on the importance of the environment and to remind everyone that the environment should not be taken for granted. As per the UN, this day gives us an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by communities, enterprises and individuals in preserving and enhancing the environment.
World Environment Day is observed across the world to respect and acknowledge everything that the environment has given mankind and to take the pledge that to protect it.