The planet is at an unusual moment, and nature is sending us a very clear message: we must urgently move from damaging our planet to taking care of it, because there are billions of galaxies, billions of planets, but there’s only one Earth to inhabit.
Despite the fact that the balance of biodiversity is the key to sustaining life on our planet, humans continue to mistreat it. We live in the midst of three planetary crises: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and waste. That’s why we need to put our efforts into defending it. We need to celebrate Environment Day every 5 June.
What you will learn about in this article:
- World Environment Day 2022, there’s only one Earth
- 50 years since the Stockholm Summit
- Biodiversity and pandemics
- What can each of us do for the environment?
World Environment Day 2022, there is only one Earth
World Environment Day is one of the most important dates in the official United Nations calendar for raising awareness among governments, businesses and civil society about the importance of doing everything we can and using all our available resources to promote climate and environmental action.
This date has been celebrated every 5 June since 1973, when it was established as World Environment Day at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, also known as the Stockholm Summit.
"One Earth' was the motto of that conference and in 2022, 50 years later, it still carries the same, if not more, sense of urgency and commitment for those of us who threaten it. Without the diverse range of food that sustains us, the clean air we breathe, the water we drink or the climate that makes life possible, humanity could not survive. Without nature's balance and produce, we would not exist.
“The Sockholm Summit was the first UN conference with the term "environment in its title.”
50 years since the Stockholm Summit
The 1972 United Nations Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden, will be 50 years old on 8 June. It was the first UN conference with the term "environment" in its title.
One of its achievements was the creation of UNEP, a body whose main objective was to become the environmental conscience of the United Nations and the world. It also designated 5 June as World Environment Day. This date reminds us that politicians, administrations, businesses and the civilian population must change their attitudes and start living in a genuinely sustainable manner once and for all.
Biodiversity and pandemics
Some of the recent natural disasters, such as forest fires in Brazil, Australia and California, or the locust plague in Africa, clearly show the inextricable relationship between humans and our natural surroundings.
In fact, the emergence of the COVID-19 coronavirus has shown that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that sustains human life. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning that they can be transmitted between people and animals, and research shows that such diseases are on the rise. According to scientists, zoonoses infect around a billion people each year, with millions dying as a result, and 60 % of all known infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic.
- In the last 150 years, the surface area of living coral reefs has halved.
- Within the next decade, one in four known species could become extinct.
- We would need the resources of 1.6 planet Earths to satisfy humans each year.
What can each of us do for the environment?
For World Environment Day, the United Nations has prepared a guide to remind us that, through our behaviour, we are each responsible for stopping biodiversity loss and protecting nature. The guide proposes many initiatives — some of which are only small changes — where we can get involved to put this into practice.
Will you be celebrating World Environment Day on Friday? Tell us about it on our social media channels. We look forward to hearing from you.