Today's Editorial - 20 May 2022
Earth Day 2022
Source: By The Indian Express
Earth Day, celebrated annually on 22 April, is a reminder to protect the environment, restore damaged ecosystems and live a more sustainable life. First celebrated in 1970, this year marks its 52nd anniversary.
What is Earth Day?
Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970. It was first observed in the United States, when some 20 million people took to the streets to protest against the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. Since then, the occasion has played an important role in raising awareness on other environmental issues.
In fact, the landmark Paris Agreement, which was signed by nearly 200 countries to set a common target to reduce global greenhouse emissions, was signed on Earth Day in 2016.
According to earthday.org, the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, the mission is to “diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide”. In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 as ‘International Mother Earth Day’.
According to the UN, International Mother Earth Day is celebrated as a reminder that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance. “The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part,” the UN states.
What is the importance of Earth Day?
We have been seeing a spurt of climate events over the last decade or more that have affected millions of people, from extreme heat to wildfires and floods. The Covid-19 pandemic, the UN says, is also linked the health of our ecosystem.
“Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can accelerate the speed of destruction of the planet,” the UN states.
What is this year’s focus?
This year, earthday.org has selected the theme, ‘Invest In Our Planet’. It explains, “This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must ‘Invest In Our Planet’.” It also warns that time is short.