Millions of people around the globe celebrated the World Environment Day 2022 planting millions of trees, cleaning trash and actions to make the earth a better planet. The year 2022 marks the 49th celebration of the day. World Environment Day is celebrated on 5th of June every year since 1973 as part of the United Nations Environment Programme to build awareness to save life on planet Earth. It is celebrated across the globe to raise global awareness to take positive environment action to protect nature and the planet Earth. The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is Only One Earth. This year theme mirrors the theme of the first World Environment Day in 1973 with the aimed for collective transformation action on a global scale to protect and restore the planet Earth.
The day is celebrated annually with a different country hosting it each year. This year celebration of the day was hosted by Sweden and the official celebration was held at its capital Stockholm announcing a ban on issuing new licenses for the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas from 1st July 2022 to protect the people and planet. Minister of Climate and Environment of Sweden, Annika Strandhall while announcing the ban at the official function said that the Swedish government is making top priority in providing green jobs of the future by accelerating the climate transition and actions will be taken against activities that create negative impact on the health and environment. Quoting media reports about the message on World Environment Day, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that fifty years before the leaders of the world came together at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and take the pledged to protect the Earth but it is far from succeeding. People can no longer ignore the alarm bells that ring louder every day. Everyone must take responsibility to prevent the catastrophe being created by triple crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss, he added.
On the occasion of World Environment Day 2022, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi had launched many programmes and initiatives to save the earth. Addressing a programme on Save Soil Movement in New Delhi on 5th of June 2022, Narendra Modi said that India’s efforts to protect the environment have been multifaceted even though the country’s role in climate change is negligible. India has achieved ten percent ethanol blending in petrol, five months ahead of its target. The Prime Minister also said that the developed western countries are not only exploiting more and more resources of the earth but also responsible for the largest carbon emissions. Several government schemes such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Namami Gange and One Sun, One Grid carry the messages of environment conservation.
Prime Minister also launched a global initiative ‘Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) Movement’ virtually on the occasion of World Environment Day. The initiative invites ideas and suggesting from academics, universities and research institutions etc. to influence and persuade individuals, organizations and communities across the globe to adopt an environment conscious lifestyle. The idea of LiFE was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties COP-26 in Glasgow in 2021 which promote ideas on environment conscious lifestyle that focuses on mindful and deliberate utilization instead of mindless and destructive consumption. Mr. Modi said that the vision of LiFE is to live a lifestyle that is in tune with our planet and does not harm it and those who live such a lifestyle are called Pro-Planet People. The challenges of planet earth are well-known and the need of the hour is human-centric, collective efforts and strong action that further bring sustainable development, he added.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched a “Clean and Green” campaign on World Environment Day. Under this campaign States and Union territories and Urban Local Bodies across India hold awareness programmes to free the country from single-use plastic and contribute to improve the environment. The Ministry has instructed to ban single-use plastic by 30th of June. It also directed to ensure that a part of the plastic waste generated is used either as an alternative fuel in cement plants or for road construction purposes. For this, the States and Urban Local Bodies have to enter into Memorandum of Understanding with nearby cement plants or other industrial units.
In a remarkable effort to save the environment, the Kerala Government distributed and 43 lakh saplings on the World Environment Day. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan formally launched the State-wide distribution and observance of the day in Kannuar. The saplings have been prepared by the Forest Department in 832 nurseries in association with various agencies. The task of nurturing the plant for three to five years is estimated to generate 78 lakh job days for workers under the MGNREGS. The scheme is aimed at facilitating 50 percent carbon sequestration, mitigating global warming, climate change and natural calamities.
In Manipur too state government, different NGOs, organizations, clubs, educational institutions celebrated World Environment Day. Plantation of trees, rallies, released of stickers, T-shirts and caps were some of the features of the celebration. In his message to the people of Manipur, on the occasion of World Environment Day, Chief Minister, Nongthombam Biren said that the state government will take strong measures to give new life to the destroyed forest tracts and to prevent further destruction. He urged the people to plant more trees in hills and valleys and to take active role in keeping the rivers and lakes clean. As we the people need the Earth to live in, the Chief Minister appealed the people to save the Earth and calls for collective efforts and transformative action on a global scale to protect and restore the planet, Earth.
It is high time every one of us on this earth should take responsibility to make our Earth a better place by planting more trees, free from pollution, proper disposal and recycling of waste materials and free from single-use plastic. The alarm bell of global warming and climate change needs to be addressed immediately with proper mechanism. Single-use plastic needs to be replaced by other eco-friendly materials such as paper bags and others materials. Before some decades ago, single-use plastics were not widely used. But due to human’s comfort and negligence to carry their own bags while going for marketing and shopping, maximum of the population depend on single-use plastic. As it is non-biodegradable product, it creates environmental degradation which directly or indirectly affects the human beings. Citizens are now encouraged to refrain from using plastic carry bags provided by street vendors, local shopkeepers and vegetable sellers and use alternative options. It is only human beings that can save the only living planet Earth and raise awareness to take positive environment action to protect nature and planet Earth. Though our planet is one but our efforts to save it have to be many. For a better living on this Earth every one of us need to celebrate everyday as Environment day making our Earth a green planet and every one to lead an environment conscious lifestyle.