New Delhi: Actor, producer, and UN Secretary-General’s Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals, Dia Mirza, decided to use the platform provided by the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards 2023 to once again bring the world’s attention to the environmental crisis and climate change. Speaking at the award ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Saturday (May 27), Dia Mirza addressed as a “mother” and talked about the triple planetary crisis of climate change, air pollution and biodiversity loss affecting all being on the planet earth. Highlighting the issue, Dia Mirza said,
Our climate is heating up too quickly for people and nature to adapt. An estimated 1 million species are threatened with extinction. And pollution continues to poison our air, land, and water.
The climate crisis and its impact has been reiterated by the United Nations time and again. According to the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022, 3 billion to 3.6 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change. By 2030, an estimated 700 million people will be at risk of displacement by drought alone.
10 million hectares of forest (an area the size of Iceland) are being destroyed each year, and more than half of key biodiversity areas remain unprotected.
So yes, this planet, our only legacy to our children, is undeniably in crisis and I, like so many of you, feel overwhelmed.
As big as the problem is, the solution also lies with us – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dia believes that the world could still course correct with the help of SDGs or the World’s to-do list. She said,
The SDGs offer a comprehensive roadmap to protect the planet, combat poverty, achieve gender equality, and enhance the well-being of people worldwide. If every citizen, leader, policymaker, and stakeholder plays an active role in championing at least one goal, transformational progress can be made.
Urging people to take an active part in championing at least one goal to make a difference, Dia said:
– when organisations passionately advocate for gender equitable education;
– when individuals turn plastic waste into a reusable products;
– when businesses innovate to drive change;
“Change is possible”.
Dia made a clarion call to refuse and reduce the consumption of single-use plastic. The theme for World Environment Day 2023 is to beat plastic pollution. She said,
In the end, climate action is not an obscure, inaccessible idea. It is about understanding that our individual choices matter. And that when we refuse single-use plastics, segregate our waste, carry our own shopping bags and water bottles, ask for greener products, consume and waste less, we have a profound impact on our planet, and on the lives of children, who make up half of the world’s population and are already affected by climate change in some form or the other.
It’s to leave a healthier and greener planet for our future generation.
United Nations in India and IIFA have joined hands to commemorate a transformative collaboration. Dia Mirza believes this partnership could create awareness and inspire collective action on the SDGs.
Echoing United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres’ words, “Humanity has a choice, cooperate or perish”, Dia underscored the need for immediate action on the SDGs and concluded,
It is time to envision and create a sustainable, safe, harmonious and happy planet for all our children. And we must act now because as I read somewhere, the future would either be green or not exist at all.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.