With World Environment Day approaching we thought this would be a great opportunity to look into the history of the day and what it means to us and our planet.
The UN General assembly designated 5th June as World Environment day back in 1972, which marked the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. It wasn’t until 1974 that World Environment day was celebrated for the first time with the slogan “Only One Earth”.
It is a day for environmental action, with the intention of prompting governments, businesses and citizens to focus on pressing environmental issues. Every year has a different theme and is hosted by a different country. This year the theme is ‘Time for Nature’ and it is hosted by Colombia in partnership with Germany.
Time for Nature
This year the focus is on Nature and its role in supporting life on Earth, calling for urgent action to protect biodiversity.
Biodiversity is the term used to describe the variety of life on this planet, encompassing the 8 million species that live here – from plants and animals to fungi and bacteria; the eco-systems that house them and the genetic diversity among them. We all need each other to live; if just one component is changed or removed, the whole system is affected – we must protect it.
Human demand has pushed nature beyond its limit. With the human population, global economy and global trade growing exponentially, we are asking too much of nature, and at the same time hurting it. The emergence of Covid-19 has emphasised the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity we destroy the system that supports human life. By upsetting the balance of nature we have created ideal circumstances for pathogens including coronaviruses to spread. We must take care of nature in order to take care of ourselves.
The host country, Colombia, has put together a wide-ranging series of events featuring biodiversity issues from across the globe that you can watch and take part in on social media. You can see a list of all events happening this week here.
What can you do?
On Friday June 5th, it’s time to stand with the United Nations and celebrate our home. Take part in the events happening, listen, learn and act. Make your voice heard on social media; tell your friends, family and followers why nature and biodiversity are important to all of us, and why we should all care.