World Environment Day: nature is at stake

World Environment Day is a call to arms to avoid the impending collapse of nature.
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The planet is at a pivotal point where nature is sending us a very clear message: If we want to look after ourselves, if we want to look after the human race, we must first look after nature.

And even though the balance of biodiversity is the key to sustaining life on Earth, humans continue to disregard it. That is why we need to work to defend it. We therefore celebrate Environment Day on 5 June each year.

World Environment Day 2020: Time for nature

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.

It has been held on 5 June every year since 1973, and this year's slogan is "Time for Nature" — a call to arms to prevent its impending collapse. 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.


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.

But in addition, data on biodiversity loss due to climate change, overuse of resources or pollution is becoming more alarming every year:

- 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.

Source: United Nations, World Environment Day