Richie Bags and Fashions (P) Ltd, renowned manufacturer and exporter of biodegradable jute/canvas carry bags, as also a leading conservationist observes 49th Annual Earth Day 2019 on Monday (April 22) with a pledge to conserve and revive the fast vanishing flora and fauna of our lonely planet. “For the first time since the dinosaurs disappeared, Homo sapiens are driving animals and plants to extinction faster than new species are allowed to emerge”, laments one of the experts in world biodiversity.
British conservation experts that include Sir David Attenborough have forewarned that the world is already in the grip of Sixth Great Extinction of species, caused by destruction of habitats; wanton shooting of animals by poachers, mass scale urbanization and climate change.
What Is The Significance of Earth Day?
Earth Day is a global event observed each year (on April 22) when more than one billion people from 192 countries participate in what is considered as the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.
It is a day of opinionated action, along with civic participation. People parade, draw and sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures taken up by them. Also, religious leaders connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.
Earth Day Network Chosen Theme For 2019
Earth Day 2019 theme calls for protection of species, especially the endangered species, at the apex of which is the tiger, which is also the national animal of India. Various measures have been taken in India to protect this fast diminishing species regally called the Royal Bengal Tiger. However, to save this riyal regal animal from extinction, Project Tiger, a tiger conservation program was launched in India in 1973.
The project aims at ensuring the safety and security of Royal Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the tiger’s distribution in the country. The project’s task force visualized these tiger reserves as breeding nuclei, from which surplus animals could be migrated to adjacent forests. Funds and commitment were mastered to support the intensive program of habitat protection and rehabilitation under the project, originally aided by WWF, leading organization in the conservation of wildlife. The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers as also to restrict a new form of commerce that deals in animal products.
However, darkness often lurks right under the lamp, as the proverb goes. According to several NGOs that work side-by-side with forces provided by Project Tiger personnel, most wildlife crimes are committed by poachers and other wildlife criminals with active support received from villagers living in the fringe areas bordering National Parks and Tiger Reserves under Project Tiger scheme. It should now be the duty of every right thinking person to take a pledge on World Earth Day to disarm these simple villagers not to support or help poachers that kill animals like tigers and take away their body parts that are much prized in certain South East Asian countries.
The same is applicable to those who support ivory hunters that kill elephants and take away their tusks. While these activities are mostly centered round South Indian states, the former are spread all over India.
Earth Day 2019 observers in India will be shocked to see the following news item that appeared in a Kolkata based newspaper sometime ago.
Govt Teachers Held With Four Tokay Geckos: West Bengal; 28 April 2018: The forest department’s Wildlife Crime Control Bureau arrested two primary government school teachers in Sonarpur for allegedly trying to sell four Tokay geckos. A Tokay gecko is a species of Asian lizard characterized by orange spots on the skin and a shrill croak. The reptile is found in rain forests, particularly in the Northeast, apart from Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Phillipines and New Guinea. It is protected under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972.