EARTH DAY.... Advocating Environmental Awareness and Protection

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The Earth Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. In 1970, the first Earth Day (founded by Gaylord Nelson) was celebrated in more than 190 countries around the world.  On the very first Earth Day, 20 million people gathered in the streets of the US to protest the industrial revolution which paved way for the environmental movement.  According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a permanent change in national priorities followed after the Earth Day 1970.

The NASA in 2009 planted a "Moon Tree" to celebrate the Earth Day. In the 2012 Earth Day, more than 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel. In 2011, 28 million trees were planted in Afghanistan by the Earth Day Network. In Panama, 100 endangered species of orchids were planted and maintained to prevent their extinction. In the 2016 Earth Day, Paris Agreement was signed by 120 countries.

Brad Plumer and Joseph Stromberg (former Vox writers) have listed seven most troubling, intriguing and encouraging things we learned about Earth since the last Earth Day:

  1. The plastic problem is even worse than we thought
  2.  We lost the last male Northern white Rhino
  3. A few species have bounced back. And we discovered some brand new ones.
  4. Greenland’s ice is melting faster than we realized
  5. Seagrass is regrowing in the Chesapeake Bay. And humans can take credit.
  6. We’re woefully unprepared for disasters. And we aren’t learning enough from them.
  7. We’re getting closer to finding another Earth out there.

Every year a new environmental theme will be announced in preparation for the Earth Day's 50th anniversary in 2020. The theme for the Earth Day 2017 was ‘Environmental and Climate Literacy’, which aimed to increase knowledge amongst voters and work to advocate for climate laws and policies that will accelerate green technology, jobs, and environmental protection. The March for Science was organized on 2017 Earth Day followed by the People's Climate Mobilization on April 29, 2017.

For 2018, the Earth Day theme is 'End Plastic Pollution' dedicated to provide information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics with four major components:

  • Leading a grassroots movement to support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution;
  • Educating, mobilizing and activating citizens across the globe to demand that governments and corporations control and clean up plastic pollution;
  • Educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility for plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics, and
  • Promoting local government regulatory and other efforts to tackle plastic pollution.

Google is celebrating it with a Doodle of conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall’s video: “Do our part for this beautiful planet.”

The aim of Earth Day is to increase the awareness among common public and youngsters in particular. Every year on April 22, men, women and children collect garbage, plant trees, clean up coral reefs, show movies, sign petitions, draw and paint on theme and plan for a better future for our planet. Schools/communities celebrate Earth Day for a whole week to expand the time frame that people focus on the earth and how they can preserve it. Earth Day is now a global event, and more than one billion people in 192 countries take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.

In India, the Earth Day Network has made significant inroads and now has a permanent Indian Programme – EDN India – located in Kolkata.

In 2009, the UN renamed Earth Day officially as the International Mother Earth Day, and is therefore celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.

Authors: EVS Editorial, CSIR-IICT, Hyderabad



Posted By : ScienceIndia Administrator
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