World Environment Day
World environment day is also known as the Environment Day, Eco Day or short form WED. It has been one of the great annual events for years which is being celebrated worldwide by the people aiming to protect the unique and life nurturing Nature on every 5th June and is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
WED has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Each year, WED has a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.
World environment day [WED] was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972, on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, resulting from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment and has been started celebrating as an annual event on every 5th of June since 1973 in order to raise the global awareness about the importance of the healthy and green environment in the human lives, to solve the environmental issues by implementing some positive environmental actions as well as to make aware common public worldwide that everyone is responsible for saving his environment and not only somebody, government or organizations working for it. In 1974 the first [WED] was held with the theme “Only One Earth”.
Why should we celebrate Environment Day?
World environment day annual celebration campaign was started to address the huge environmental issues like wastage and losses of food, deforestation, increasing global warming and so many. Every year celebration is planned according to the particular theme and slogan of the year to bring effectiveness in the campaign all through the world.
The day is celebrated to raise global awareness about the significance of a healthy environment and to solve various environmental issues by implementing some actions to protect Nature and Earth, leading to a positive and healthy environment for all. In India, the Ministry of Environment along with the Bhamla Foundation has released a song “Thodi Hawa Aane De” emphasizing on the importance of fresh air on World Environment Day. The video for the song includes celebrities from the entertainment and music industries like Akshay Kumar, Kapil Sharma, Shankar Mahadevan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vickey Kaushal etc.
Objectives of World Environment Day
- It is celebrated to make aware of the common public about environmental issues.
- Encourage common people from different society and communities to actively participate in the celebration as well as become active in developing environmental safety measures.
- To let them know that community people are very essential to inhibit negative changes towards the environmental issues.
- Encourage people to make their nearby surroundings safe and clean to enjoy safer, cleaner and more prosperous future.
The Host & The Theme this Year
Every World Environment Day has a different host country where the official celebrations take place. The focus on the host country helps highlight the environmental challenges it faces and supports worldwide efforts to address them. The theme is a call for action to stop air pollution which has become a global crisis now. The host for 2019 is China and the theme for 2019, “Beat Air Pollution,” is a call to action to combat this global crisis. Chosen by this year’s host, China, this year’s topic invites us all to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce, and its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health. The day will also be observed on various social media platforms with the hashtag #BeatAirPollution and #WorldEnvironmentDay.
Year-wise list of the themes and slogans of world environment day are mentioned below –
- The theme of the year 2019 is “Beat Air Pollution”.
- The theme of the year 2018 was “Beat Plastic Pollution”.
- The theme of the year 2017 was “Connecting People to Nature”.
- The theme of the year 2016 was “Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife” (highlights the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife).
- The theme of the year 2015 was “One World, One Environment”.
- The theme of the year 2014 was “small island developing states” or “SIDS” and “Raise your voice, not the sea level”.
- The theme of the year 2013 was “Think. Eat. Save.” And the slogan was “Reduce Your Foodprint”.
- The theme of the year 2012 was “Green Economy: Does it include you?”.
- The theme of the year 2011 was “Forests: Nature at your Service”.
- The theme of the year 2010 was “Many Species. One Planet. One Future”.
- The theme of the year 2009 was “Your Planet Needs You – Unite to Combat Climate Change”.
- The theme and slogan of the year 2008 was “CO2, Kick the Habit – Towards a Low Carbon Economy”.
- The theme of the year 2007 was “Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?”.
- The theme of the year 2006 was “Deserts and Desertification” and the slogan was “Don’t Desert Drylands!.”
- The theme of the year 2005 was “Green Cities” and the slogan was “Plan for the Planet!”.
- The theme of the year 2004 was “Wanted! Seas and Oceans” and the slogan was “Dead or Alive?”.
- The theme of the year 2003 was “Water” and the slogan was “Two Billion People are Dying for It!”.
- The theme of the year 2002 was “Give Earth a Chance”.
- The theme of the year 2001 was “Connect with the World Wide Web of Life”.
- The theme of the year 2000 was “The Environment Millennium” and the slogan was “Time to Act”.
- The theme of the year 1999 was “Our Earth – Our Future” and the slogan was “Just Save It”.
- The theme of the year 1998 was “For Life on Earth and slogan was “Save Our Seas”.
- The theme of the year 1997 was “For Life on Earth”.
- The theme of the year 1996 was “Our Earth, Our Habitat, Our Home”.
- The theme of the year 1995 was “We the Peoples: United for the Global Environment”.
- The theme of the year 1994 was “One Earth One Family”.
- The theme of the year 1993 was “Poverty and the Environment and slogan was “Breaking the Vicious Circle”.
- The theme of the year 1992 was “Only One Earth, Care and Share”.
- The theme of the year 1991 was “Climate Change. Need for Global Partnership”.
- The theme of the year 1990 was “Children and the Environment”.
- The theme of the year 1989 was “Global Warming; Global Warning”.
- The theme of the year 1988 was “When People Put the Environment First, Development Will Last”.
- The theme of the year 1987 was “Environment and Shelter: More Than A Roof”.
- The theme of the year 1986 was “A Tree for Peace”.
- The theme of the year 1985 was “Youth: Population and the Environment”.
- The theme of the year 1984 was “Desertification”.
- The theme of the year 1983 was “Managing and Disposing Hazardous Waste: Acid Rain and Energy”.
- The theme of the year 1982 was “Ten Years after Stockholm (Renewal of Environmental Concerns)”.
- The theme of the year 1981 was “Ground Water; Toxic Chemicals in Human Food Chains”.
- The theme of the year 1980 was “A New Challenge for the New Decade: Development without Destruction”.
- The theme of the year 1979 was “Only One Future for Our Children and slogan was “Development without Destruction”.
The theme of the year 1978 was “Development without Destruction”.
- The theme of the year 1977 was “Ozone Layer Environmental Concern; Lands Loss and Soil Degradation”.
- The theme of the year 1976 was “Water: Vital Resource for Life”.
- The theme of the year 1975 was “Human Settlements”.
- The theme of the year 1974 was “Only one Earth during Expo ’74”.
- The theme of the year 1973 was “Only one Earth”.
The Consequences of Air Pollution
Since we share everything on Earth with every living thing on the planet, what happens in one area affects everything too, no matter how far away. Pollution or the introduction of different forms of waste materials in our environment has negative effects on the ecosystem we rely on. There are many kinds of pollution, but the ones that have the most impact on us are Air and Water pollution.
World Environment Day 2019 will urge governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world. Air pollution, both outside and inside homes, is a silent and deadly killer responsible for the premature deaths of seven million people each year, including 600,000 children, according to a UN Special Rapporteur on the environment and human rights. Approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific.
Air pollution is a mix of particles and gases that can reach harmful concentrations both outside and indoors. Its effects can range from higher disease risks to rising temperatures. Soot, smoke, mould, pollen, methane, and carbon dioxide are just a few examples of common pollutants.
Air Pollution Effects
We release a variety of chemicals into the atmosphere when we burn the fossil fuels we use every day. We breathe air to live and what we breathe has a direct impact on our health.
- Breathing polluted air puts you at a higher risk for asthma and other respiratory diseases.
When exposed to ground ozone for 6 to 7 hours, scientific evidence shows that healthy people’s lung function decreased and they suffered from respiratory inflammation.
- Air pollutants are mostly carcinogens and living in a polluted area can put people at risk of Cancer.
- Coughing and wheezing are common symptoms observed on city folks.
- Damages the immune system, endocrine and reproductive systems.
- High levels of particle pollution have been associated with higher incidents of heart problems.
- The burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are causing the Earth to become warmer. Read about the effects of Global Warming here.
- The toxic chemicals released into the air settle into plants and water sources. Animals eat contaminated plants and drink water. The poison then travels up the food chain – to us.
Steps we can take to control Air Pollution:
- Replace fossil fuels with alternative energies like solar, wind and geothermal.
- Conserve energy – remember to turn off lights, computers, and electric appliances when not in use
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances
- Participate in your local utility’s energy conservation programs
- Limit driving by carpooling, using public transportation, biking and walking
- Combine errands for fewer trips
- Keep your automobile well-tuned and maintained. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on routine maintenance, such as changing the oil and filters, and checking tire pressure and wheel alignment.