Protecting Earth from further damage is duty of all: Officials - GulfToday

Protecting Earth from further damage is duty of all: Officials

Greece environment new 6

Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Protecting Mother Earth from further damage is everyone’s task and duty even as everyone has his part in destroying it.

This is the gist of the messages of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) executive director Inger Andersen and Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi acting director Abdullah Ahmed Al Suwaidi for the 46th year of the “World Environment Day” observed today, June 5.

First celebrated on June 5, 1974 in Spokane, Washington, D.C., “World Environment Day” came about after the “1972 Stockholm Conference” wherein member-states of the United Nations agreed on the “Principles of the Stockholm Declaration,” 26 of 27 of which are geared towards protecting more of the world’s biodiversity.

Apart from the principle on the assertion of human rights and the condemnation of apartheid and colonialism, the “Stockholm Declaration” was about countries and a united international community, helping one another in safeguarding natural resources and wildlife; maintaining the earth’s capacity to produce renewable resources; the conservation and sharing of non-renewable energy; prevention of water pollution; the inclusion of environmental policy, management and education in the DNA of governments and governance; and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction.

Ironically, for “World Environment Day 2020” and over two decades later, the theme is “Celebrate Biodiversity-”A Call To Stop The Loss of Specials and the Natural World.”

In 2019 and on the sidelines of the “UN Climate Change Conference” in Madrid, Andersen who stressed that one million plant and animal species had been recorded to go extinct, pointed out that “2020 is a year for urgency, ambition and action to address the crisis facing nature; it is also an opportunity to more fully incorporate nature-based solutions into global climate action.”

On June 3 (Wednesday) Andersen uploaded on her Twitter account a 1:30 video clip, describing “World Environment Day 2020” as “unusual” with each one “in isolation and alone; health, a walk and a breath of fresh air in jeopardy; COVID-19 being the planet’s strongest warning yet that we must change our ways; human activity has virtually altered the land; as we displace the natural world, we are destroying vital ecosystems and biodiversity.”

Andersen called on everyone to protect every animal and plant species for in so doing, climate change retards, life and health flourish, and illnesses are thwarted with lower risks for another period of pandemic.

From Abu Dhabi, Al Suwaidi mentioned the successes of the emirate in significantly improving air quality, decreasing sulphur dioxide emissions from residential communities particularly in Al Ain at 43 per cent, and decreasing nitrogen dioxide emissions from the industrial zones.

He also said: “This day, specifically amidst the current global pandemic, offers an open invitation for all entities, institutions and individuals from the public and private sectors, to discuss the impact economic systems and activities have on the environment, and the solutions that can be taken as a society to proactively mitigate the post-COVID-19 environmental challenges facing our planet.”

“More than that, it calls on them to consider their own actions towards the environment, and to protect it from the negative practices and habits we have adopted as human beings as it is not only the state’s responsibility, but also an individual social responsibility we must all take on,” Al Suwaidi also stated.

Speaking of social responsibility, three-year-old homegrown Ecoway Biopolymers LLC is set to launch this “World Environment Day 2020” and through MYEARTH, the first-ever biodegradable water soluble starchy cassava bags.

The bags are technically termed “bio plastics.” These are manufactured with the combination of the starch of the root crop cassava, sourced from other countries, with vegetable oil derivative and an industrial stabiliser to produce a thick resin formed into thin sheets (bags) by the “blowing” process.

In line with the dumping of the use non-biodegradable plastics from one’s lifestyle, a leader in optimised resource management, Veolia Middle East, not only for this “World Environment Day” but also for the June 8 (Monday) “ World Oceans Day,” is campaigning for the following: preference for reusable straws, bags, containers and bottles;  bamboo toothbrush and beach clean-ups.

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