From that atman (Supreme soul), space came into being from space wind, from wind fire, from fire water, from water earth, from earth plants, from plants food, from food man came into being.Yajur Vedah
Our ancestors said, Panchabhuta is the origin and lifeline for human beings to survive. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the light we get from the sun and the food we eat are sourced from the environment. It must be realised, respected, and the value is understood. Nature has been sending us a message and conveying its anger seen in the fury, be it natural disasters like cyclones, hurricanes, bushfires in Brazil, the US, Australia, or the locust infestations across East Africa (it is threatening parts of north India currently). Despite the imminent danger, humanity is looking somewhere else, with a goal of presumptuous prosperity. To care for ourselves, we must care for nature. Is it not time to wake up, raise our voices to ensure the planet’s survival, and continue to be habitable for our future generations?
Every year on June 5, the world celebrates World Environment Day to remind people not to take nature for granted. It has its origin in the deliberations in the UN Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 held in Stockholm. June 5 was the first day of the conference. It was celebrated for the first time in 1974 and since then being celebrated every year going to different parts of the globe and has a theme. The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is Ecosystem Restoration. Pakistan will act as the global host of the day. World Environment Day 2021 will see the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
“Our health is tied to the health of nature. We are losing species faster than at any other time in history, and we have already altered three-quarters of the planet’s land surface. Integrating biodiversity into the development of cities is an urgent measure,” said Leo Heileman, UNEP Director of Latin America and the Caribbean region. Planets’ ecosystems are being exploited and being destroyed. Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch, and over the last century, we have destroyed half of our wetlands and as much as 50 per cent of our coral reefs.
With the coronavirus outbreak and people being confined indoors, the environment and mother earth seem to have benefitted slightly. In the absence of human activities amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, nature is getting time to clean itself and reclaim its space. With most of the cities under lockdown, there has been a significant reduction in carbon emissions, restoring the ecological system. But the disposal of medical waste like disinfectants, masks, gloves, and the burden of untreated waste has also increased multi-fold during the pandemic.
Long-term goals and proper implementation of strategies and policies are the need of the hour for global environmental sustainability. Ecosystem restoration can take many forms: Growing trees, greening cities, rewilding gardens, changing diets or cleaning up rivers and coasts. Need to make peace with nature.
If we contemplate, it all started with our quest for enhancing the quality of life. The Industrial Revolution was the significant transition humanity has seen. The use of fossil fuels which was thought to be beneficial, resulted in global warming. With increasing demand for the workforce, migration emerged. From villages to towns and cities. Towns have become cities and evolved into megacities. The growth led to the emergence of newer problems. Homes have been reduced to houses as someone called them as “a machine for living”. With the explosion of population, uneven distribution of people has resulted in problems of different nature. Rampant use of natural resources and ignoring the time that is required to restore has started impacting wellbeing. Not long ago, we would go to a pond and drink the water without hesitation. Today it may appear unhygienic practices, but the question is who made it. The use of mineral water contributes to the degradation of the environment, with so much plastic waste being generated.
What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and one another.Mahatma Gandhi
“To come in terms to coexist and respect the diversity and right to live” is the call we must give to humanity. The world belongs to every creature, and the sooner we realise, the better placed we all would be. Every living thing is connected to another living thing, and together it forms a network of diverse life forms on the planet.
As Oscar Wilde said, Pleasure is Nature’s test, her sign of approval. When humans are happy, they are in harmony with themselves and the environment.
Reimagine. Recreate. Restore
A Toonlog on the topic was written in the year 2020