World Environment Day – celebrated on June 5 – is the UN’s flagship annual campaign that aims to raise awareness of worldwide environmental issues of all kinds – from marine pollution to overpopulation, and global warming.
Environmentalists are focusing on ecosystem restoration in a bid to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide. Healthy ecosystems are fundamental for human existence since they deliver vital services to hum providing food, helping to regulate climate, and filtering our air and water to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters and help protect us against the spread of disease.
The recent unprecedented bushfires in Brazil, the United States and Australia, the swarms of locusts ravaging crops in the Horn of Africa, the destruction of coral reefs in Australia, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic all prove that this year’s theme is all the more pertinent.
The UN’s statistics show that one million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction, and nature’s current rate of decline is unparalleled. But the good news is that we can help to reverse the trends of ecosystem loss by reimagining our relationship with nature and acting now.
There are numerous ways the general people can also help with preventing, halting and reserving the degradation of ecosystems, and sustaining a healthy planet. From educating yourself on the effects of climate change and making small lifestyle changes to increasing the biodiversity in your garden.
The world is not reusable nor can it be made perishable. As the plastic tide spins out of control, World Environment Day, observed yesterday this year with a special focus on plastic pollution, is a requisite to stem it. An alarming amount of plastic — 8m to 10m tonnes — spills into the oceans each year, becoming a devastating rogue wave for the ecosystem. Take the North Pacific Ocean where a mass of litter comprising common trash, belongings and fishing equipment is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. There isn’t much comfort in life above water either.
Invisible “microplastic fragments” is plaguing the highest peaks and the ocean floors, single-use plastics and disposable consumption must drop to half as the next few years are precarious.
The fatal threat of toxic plastic, which makes flora, fauna and humans sick, must emerge as a rebel yell for environmentalists and the media. Also, without a habit revolution, a plastic ban is just the tip of a rapidly dissolving iceberg.
One way to reduce plastic consumption is by using reusable containers, be that for transporting lunch or keeping last night’s dinner fresh to reduce food waste.
We must stop using single-use plastic bags. Instead, invest in a reusable, fold-away shopping bag that you can use time and time again. The great thing about this one is that you’re not just saving four plastic bottles, you will also be supporting WWF – one of the world’s leading conservation charities that helps to transform the future of the world’s wildlife, rivers, forests and seas – as 100 per cent of all proceeds are donated back to the charity.
Our environmental degradation has increased manifold over the last several decades. Vehicular emissions, unplanned rapid industrialization and urbanisation are the main catalysts of air pollution. It creates the excessive presence of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide in the air, which adversely affects the ozone layer, livestock, and agricultural products. Acid rain and climate changes are directly attributable to air pollution. In Bangladesh, there are four main reasons behind air pollution—emissions from old-fashioned brick kilns and unfit vehicles, corruption in the Department of Environment.