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Time for Nature — World Environment Day 2020

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  June 05, 2020

Human beings always think that we are at full control of nature. We eliminate plants and animals that deemed useless or harmful to mankind, to spare more spaces for species that we can consume and commercialize. We exploit natural resources recklessly, neglecting the fact these resources often take millions of years to form. While reckoning the costs of businesses, no one would put the cost on nature into calculations. 

 

However, no matter how great humans are, the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature. For instance, each year, marine plants produce more than half of our atmosphere's oxygen, and a mature tree cleans our air, absorbing 22 kilos of carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen in exchange. 

 

Sadly, despite all the benefits that our nature gives us, we still mistreat it. That is why World Environment Day is observed on the 5th of June every year since 1974 to engage governments, businesses, celebrities, and citizens to focus our efforts on a pressing environmental issue. 

 

In 2020, the theme is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist. 

 

Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water. It affects every aspect of human health, providing clean air and water, nutritious foods, scientific understanding and medicine sources, natural disease resistance, and climate change mitigation. Changing, or removing one element of this web affects the entire life system and can produce negative consequences.

 

Human actions, including deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture, and acceleration of climate change, have pushed nature beyond its limit. It would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make of nature each year. If we continue on this path, biodiversity loss will have severe implications for humanity, including the collapse of food and health systems.

 

The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Today, it is estimated that, globally, about one billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from diseases caused by coronaviruses; and about 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic, meaning that they are transmitted to people by animals.

 

Nature is sending us a message.

 

Question is, what can we do? 

 

Well, each one of us has a role to play in ending biodiversity loss and preserving nature for human wellbeing. As individuals, we must rethink what we buy and use and become conscious consumers. 

 

Here are some resources suggested by the World Environment Day for you to learn about how you can protect nature: 


 


 

For more information, let’s visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/environment-day

#TimeForNature

 

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