Sunday, May 19, 2019 | ePaper

World Environment Day: History and significance

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Life Desk :
The world observes World Environment Day promoted by United Nations on June 5 every year and India being the host country for 2018, it has already generated a lot of buzz. The theme for this year's edition is 'Beat Plastic Pollution', and  several government agencies and individuals are coming together for the cause. The world is finally waking up to the issues of climate change and global warming, and massive efforts are being undertaken to protect the environment. But is it enough? That remains to be seen, but before you dismiss it off as something insignificant, let's go through the history and importance of this much-needed day.
This program began in 1972 to spread awareness about the degrading environmental conditions and the unstable ecological footprints. With plastic making up ten per cent of the total waste generated, half of it used is disposable or single-use. This presents a major problem as it is non-renewable and it exposes individuals and environment to many toxins, including carcinogens.
Now it has become a global platform to drive the issue home. Through this day, UN is making an effort to urge governments, industries, communities and people to unite in the fight against plastic and explore alternatives that are sustainable. World Environment Day is a call for awakening of individuals to take charge of protecting their environment and to realise the severity of plastic usage in daily life.
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