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World Environment Day 2021: Here’s All You Need To Know

June 5 is observed as the World Environment Day every year and the theme for this year is Ecosystem Restoration

Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea
Highlights
  • UNEP has launched the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
  • Over 4.7 million hectares of forests are lost every year
  • 80% of world’s wastewater is discharged into oceans and rivers untreated

New Delhi: Every year on June 5, World Environment Day is observed across the globe with an aim to reinforce and sustain the awareness around environmental action. The Day is celebrated with a unique theme each year which is announced by UN Environment Program (UNEP) and this year’s theme is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’. However, UNEP is taking a step forward to ensure action with the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

As per UNEP, the term ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ means to assist in ecosystems’ recovery, which has been degraded by deforestation, pollution, and other human activities.

Ecosystem restoration can take place in other ways including planting trees, greening cities, changing diets or cleaning up rivers and coasts, and rewilding gardens. Rich biodiversity and green ecosystems yield immense benefits says the organisation.

REIMAGINE. RECREATE. RESTORE. This is our moment. We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature. Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid, urges the UNEP.

Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea.

Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change and stop the collapse of biodiversity, says UNEP.

Also Read: On World Environment Day 2021, Delhi Government To Launch Mega Plantation Drive

Some Important Facts By UNEP

  1. Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch, and over the last century, we have destroyed half of our wetlands.
  2. Over 4.7 million hectares of forests, an area larger than Denmark, are lost every year.
  3. If the temperature warms up beyond 1.5°C, over 70 per cent of coral reefs will die, and at 2°C, all reefs over 99 per cent will be lost. The frequency and intensity of droughts, storms and extreme weather events are increasingly likely above 1.5°C.
  4. To prevent warming beyond 1.5°C, we need to reduce emissions by 7.6 per cent, every year till 2030.
  5. Present in more than 180 countries, peatlands are vital, super-powered ecosystems. Though they cover only 3 per cent of the world’s land, they store nearly 30 per cent of its soil carbon.
  6. Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown for three consecutive years and the planet is at one pace for potentially catastrophic climate change.
  7. Nearly 80 per cent of the world’s wastewater is discharged to oceans and rivers without treatment.
  8. Wetlands are being drained for agriculture, with some 87 per cent lost globally in the last 300 years.
  9. In 2015, nations agreed to a legally binding commitment in Paris to limit global temperature rise to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, but also offered national pledges to cut or curb their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This is known as the Paris Agreement.
  10. Countries are not on track to fulfil the promises they have made. The initial pledges of the Paris Agreement are insufficient to meet the target, and governments are expected to review and increase these pledges as a key objective. The updated Paris Agreement commitments will be reviewed at the climate change conference in November 2021. This conference will be the most important intergovernmental meeting on the climate crisis since the Paris agreement was passed in 2015.

Also Read: Opinion: Responding To Triple Crises Of Environment, COVID-19 Pandemic And Hunger

COVID-19 and Environment

The emergence of COVID-19 has also shown just how disastrous the consequences of ecosystem loss can be. By shrinking the area of natural habitat for animals, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens, including coronaviruses, to spread, says the UNEP.

The importance of caring for the environment we live in has been highlighted by Environment Day through the years.

Environment action is not only necessary for our health but for our survival too, as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been an example of the broken relationship between humans and the environment.

As per a study titled ‘Nature and COVID-19: The pandemic, the environment, and the way ahead’, the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have emerged from wildlife reservoirs linked to environmental disruption. The study decodes that the novel coronavirus was transmitted to humans via the wildlife trade, and its spread was facilitated by economic globalisation. The pandemic arrived at a time when wildfires, high temperatures, floods, and storms amplified human suffering, it explains.

Emerging infectious diseases always have environmental dimensions, the study says.

Furthermore, it adds that climate change influenced the spread of COVID-19 and responses to it.

According to WHO, climate change may indirectly affect the COVID-19 response, as it undermines environmental determinants of health, and places additional stress on health systems.

More generally, most emerging infectious diseases, and almost all recent pandemics, originate in wildlife, and there is evidence that increasing human pressure on the natural environment may drive disease emergence. Strengthening health systems, improved surveillance of infectious disease in wildlife, livestock and humans, and greater protection of biodiversity and the natural environment, should reduce the risks of future outbreaks of other new diseases, says WHO.

Moreover, due to the pandemic, dependence on disposables has been such that the usage of plastic has increased two-fold, according to a report titled ‘Increased plastic pollution due to COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and recommendations.’

Also Read: Opinion: At War With The Ecology- The COVID-19 Pandemic Is The Biggest Environmental Crisis Precipitated By Humans

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. 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 become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,06,78,961Cases
20,23,40,977Active
3,34,39,331Recovered
48,98,653Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,06,78,961 and 48,98,653 have died; 20,23,40,977 are active cases and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 4:17 am.

India

3,40,81,315 13,596Cases
1,89,6946,152Active
3,34,39,331 19,582Recovered
4,52,290 166Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,81,315 confirmed cases including 4,52,290 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,89,694 and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,91,697 1,715

32,230 994

64,19,678 2,680

1,39,789 29

Kerala

48,54,321 7,555

88,186 3,292

47,39,270 10,773

26,865 74

Karnataka

29,83,459 326

9,479 58

29,36,039 380

37,941 4

Tamil Nadu

26,87,092 1,218

14,814 208

26,36,379 1,411

35,899 15

Andhra Pradesh

20,60,472 432

6,034 159

20,40,131 586

14,307 5

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,028 9

119 10

16,87,011 19

22,898

West Bengal

15,80,530 624

7,421 24

15,54,132 634

18,977 14

Delhi

14,39,390 32

320 6

14,13,981 38

25,089

Odisha

10,35,077 443

4,542 68

10,22,250 508

8,285 3

Chhattisgarh

10,05,654 16

183 2

9,91,901 14

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,390 2

42 2

9,45,394 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,290 10

207 6

8,15,997 16

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,684 5

84 12

7,82,077 17

10,523

Haryana

7,71,076 15

123 9

7,60,904 6

10,049

Bihar

7,26,026 5

48 4

7,16,317 1

9,661

Telangana

6,68,955 122

3,924 55

6,61,093 176

3,938 1

Assam

6,06,468 205

3,436 46

5,97,082 245

5,950 6

Punjab

6,02,035 27

227 8

5,85,264 16

16,544 3

Jharkhand

3,48,430 7

122 1

3,43,173 8

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,756 9

178 1

3,36,181 8

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,062 95

843 12

3,25,793 107

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,437 131

1,303 5

2,16,414 125

3,720 1

Goa

1,77,522 60

604 6

1,73,572 62

3,346 4

Puducherry

1,27,396 52

585 13

1,24,961 64

1,850 1

Manipur

1,22,737 104

1,422 0

1,19,418 102

1,897 2

Mizoram

1,12,848 249

11,633 1,143

1,00,829 1,389

386 3

Tripura

84,321 16

104 4

83,401 12

816

Meghalaya

82,953 55

845 32

80,673 86

1,435 1

Chandigarh

65,302 3

25 3

64,457 6

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,987 7

140 30

54,567 37

280

Sikkim

31,749 4

174 8

31,184 12

391

Nagaland

31,611 40

248 12

30,689 28

674

Ladakh

20,878 2

36 10

20,634 12

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,676 1

4 1

10,668

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,641

9 0

7,503

129

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