: Every year on June 5, World Environment Day is observed around the world. With the ever-increasing process of industrialisation and development, planet earth keeps on being more and more vulnerable. The idea is therefore to create awareness among people regarding the protection and preservation of the surrounding environment.
The theme for this year’s edition is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, and several government agencies and individuals are coming together for the cause. The world is finally waking up to the issues of climate change and global warming, and massive efforts are being undertaken to protect the environment. But is it enough? That remains to be seen, but before you dismiss it off as something insignificant, let’s go through the history and importance of this much-needed day.
In the year 1972, the first major conference on environmental issues, convened under the auspices of the United Nations, was held from June 5-16 in Stockholm (Sweden). Known as the Conference on the Human Environment, or the Stockholm Conference, its aim was “encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment”. Since its inception, WED has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action, and it is celebrated in over 100 countries.
Also on 15 December, 1972, the General Assembly adopted another resolution that led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the specialised agency on environmental issues.
Since the first celebration in 1974, the World Environment Day has helped UNEP to raise awareness and generate political momentum around growing concerns such as the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming. The Day has developed into a global platform for taking action on urgent environmental issues. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping drive change in our consumption habits, as well as in national and international environmental policy.
Now it has become a global platform to drive the issue home. Through this day, UN is making an effort to urge governments, industries, communities and people to unite in the fight against plastic and explore alternatives that are sustainable. World Environment Day is a call for awakening of individuals to take charge of protecting their environment and to realise the severity of plastic usage in daily life.