“Our house is on fire,” Greta Thunberg, Swedish activist, said at the beginning of 2019.With global temperatures hitting a record high and the number of endangered species rising rapidly, she urged leaders worldwide to tackle the runaway global warming. 2020 is gradually shaping up to be a crucial year for the environment.
Everyone believes it: 2020 is the “super year” for biodiversity and the timing is perfect. It is the year for ambition, urgency, and action to address the calamity facing nature. It is also the perfect opportunity to incorporate nature-based solutions fully into climate action globally. While many sectors of the economy continue taking their action to help in protecting the environment, it’s time to tackle issues like climate change and biodiversity.
Inger Anderson, the Executive Director of the UNEP said, “Each year, World Environment Day is a powerful platform to accelerate, amplify and engage people, communities and governments around the world to take action on critical environmental challenges facing the planet.” Pointing out the drivers of biodiversity loss, Inger Andersen further added, “It is industry, it is agriculture, it is overfishing, it is infrastructure, it is overexploitation, invasive species. Each of these are the areas that we need to talk about and get commitments.”
What Is World Environment Day?
June 5 is observed as World Environment Day. It is the United Nation’s major vehicle for encouraging global awareness and action for the environment. Held every year since 1974, it has become an important platform for promoting progress on the environmental dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals. And, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the rudder, more than 150 countries participate every year.
In the UK and throughout the world, the Society for World Environment Day is an initiative by the UN that takes place every year on the 5th of June. The global awareness programme draws attention to particularly pressing environmental theme, thus providing a platform for inspiration and global education, thus creating the legacy of action, including and beyond the 5thof June.
Government bodies, non-governmental organizations, major corporations, and celebrities from various parts of the world adopt the World Environment Day to champion various environmental causes.
Why Is 2020 A Critical Year For Biodiversity?
The United Nations Environment’s global theme for World Environment Day is biodiversity. Environmentalists from various sectors of the world gave insight into what makes biodiversity a key topic at this point in time. It also has a significant impact on the world we currently live in and the huge benefits that come from enhancing biodiversity.
Claire WansburyCEnv, the Associate Director of Ecology: Infrastructure at Atkins says, “The 2020 theme for World Environment Day is very timely. Biodiversity is a term that encompasses the diverse habitats, such as woodlands, wetlands and grasslands, present around the world and the wild plants and animals they support. Many of the rarest species and habitats have special protection, but the commonplace is also important, and collectively biodiversity has a huge value”.
He further added, “Climate change endangers many species, while loss of habitats of high biodiversity value can also compromise our ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change. More positively, at Atkins I have found that we can often create solutions that deliver a ‘win-win’ result, where the right actions in the right places contribute positively to dealing with both the climate and biodiversity emergencies”.
Biodiversity is the focusof World Environment Day 2020. It is indeed a great time to highlight the ecology and take action for the protection of our environment. Time to make a pledge to combat environmental challenges and make a difference!