World Environment Day
On this day every year, the world stands in acknowledgement of the countless blessings that have been bestowed upon the human race, such as the water we drink, the air we breathe, the abundant food we consume and the climate that makes earth a habitable planet. The balance of nature is what makes this possible. However, ecological balance must be maintained to ensure the survival and stability of the environment. Thus, the United Nations declared the 5th of June as World Environment day, observed globally since 1974.
Businesses, celebrities, governments and citizens around the world celebrate this day to shed light on pressing environmental issues. It is important to recognize the link between our environment and human activities. Ocean plants, “phytoplankton” in particular, contribute to more than half of the oxygen in our atmosphere (50-85%), while trees purify the air, absorbing pollutant gases.
Sadly, human activity has led to environmental degradation. It is highly necessary to reevaluate our relationship with nature and drive climate and environmental change. This year's theme is “biological diversity” as biodiversity loss has been ranked as the top 20 global risks according to the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report 2020. With the wildfires in Australia, America and Brazil, the locust swarm invasions in East Africa and the Middle East, or the recent outbreak of the novel covid-19, it has become evident that nature is declining at an unprecedented rate in human history. Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on Earth, it affects every aspect of human life and all other forms of life. Similarly, biodiversity maintains the ecosystems that humans depend on to survive and thrive. However, as human beings continue to contribute to the accelerated growth of the global economy, it has inadvertently contributed to the rapid deterioration of our planet. Therefore, the focus of this year's celebration should be “reconfiguring the relationship between humans and nature.” The Geneva Institute for Human Rights appeals to all countries, organizations and individuals to cooperate in reducing and repairing nature loss through improved ecosystem management. Hence, the Institute urges member states to educate citizens on the importance of preserving the environment and the ways in which they can contribute, and enforce environmental regulations and/or laws that protect the environment from harmful human activities and outline the terms on the usage of natural resources.
The Geneva Institute for Human Rights has previously engaged in the protection of the environment, for instance in Sudan by aiding in putting an end to the spread of unregulated burning, and shall continue to work towards ensuring biodiversity for a sustainable future.