New Delhi: UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the earth is facing a “triple planetary crisis” of climate disruption, nature and biodiversity loss, pollution and waste, and expressed hope that together we can tackle “monumental challenges”.
“This triple crisis is threatening the well-being and survival of millions of people around the world. The building blocks of happy, healthy lives—clean water, fresh air, and a stable and predictable climate—are in disarray, putting the Sustainable Development Goal in jeopardy” the UN Secretary General warns in a video message on the 52nd Earth Day, 2022.
“The good news is that there is still hope, “Antonio Guterres stressed,” and said that 50 years ago, the world came together in Stockholm for the pivotal UN conference on the human environment, which kick-started a global movement.
“Since then, we have seen what is possible when we act as one. We have shrunk the ozone hole. We have expanded protections for wildlife and ecosystems. We have ended the use of leaded fuel, preventing millions of premature deaths. And just last month, we launched a landmark global effort to prevent and end plastic pollution”. he said.
“We have proven that together, we can tackle monumental challenges,” Guterres added.
The secretary General also suggested five ways to tackle the immediate crisis in front of mankind due to climate change, which include: converting coal mines into carbon sinks, restoring ecosystem connectivity, transplanting survivor coral fragments, restoring watersheds affected by the climate crisis in the Andes, and restoring the carbon-adsorbing seagrass.
These solutions are just some of the founding initiatives of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global rallying cry launched last year to heal our planet. It aims to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and ocean.
The secretary general said, “These are just five examples of the more than 50 projects registered with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.”
There are thousands of people and organizations already on the ground and making a difference in protecting our Earth.
“Bringing back ecosystems from the brink of degradation and loss is possible – and people around the world are already making it happen. Because we have only one Mother Earth. We must do everything we can to protect her, “the UN chief said.
This year the theme of Earth Day is “Invest In Our Planet” and the United Nations designated April 22 as International Mother Earth Day in 2009.
Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970. It was first observed in the United States, when people took to the streets to protest against the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, which killed thousands of sea birds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions.
Earth Day celebrations have played an important role in raising awareness of environmental issues ever since.
According to earthday.org, the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, the Earth Day mission is to “diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide”.
The landmark Paris Agreement was signed on Earth Day in 2016.