Our planet is strong. Its history dates back millions of years and it has sustained the lives of countless species. However, our planet is also vulnerable. We are witnessing how it can be affected by pollution, the unsustainable use of resources, and climate change.
And human activity is largely responsible for this. This is why events such as Earth Day, held on 22 April, seek to raise awareness about our role in caring for the planet, the only home we know.
What is World Earth Day?
Earth Day is a date recognised on the official calendar of the United Nations (UN) and was established in 1970 by US Senator Gaylord Nelson.
Its objective was to create a common awareness of the problems endangering the survival of the planet: overpopulation, conservation of biodiversity, pollution, among other factors.
It is a day to pay tribute to our planet and recognise Earth as our home and our mother, just as various cultures have expressed it throughout history, highlighting the interdependence between its many ecosystems and the living beings that inhabit it.
International Earth Day 2021
Since World Earth Day was first celebrated over half a century ago, environmental awareness has gone from being a marginal issue to becoming a shared concern around the world.
Earth Day 2021 will mark the 51st anniversary of this celebration, and the theme this year is Restore Our Earth. With social distancing still in place for many of us in April, International Earth Day has gone digital.
In fact, one of the most important events, bringing together 40 global heads of government, will be held online. On the last Friday of March, Joe Biden called these leaders to a virtual summit, which will be held on 22 and 23 April and broadcast online. The goal, as well as definitively moving away from Trump's denialist stance, is to strengthen the international alliance of the world's major economies in order to confront the climate crisis.
Climate change is affecting all ecosystems, causing new health problems and affecting the global economy. We have the opportunity to restore Mother Earth and address these problems. And we should do this not only because we care about the natural world, but because we live in it. A healthy planet is not an option, it is a necessity.