Ranjan K Baruah
We are all worried as the virus is causing more issues. People have become more concerned as it has hit once again. There is no doubt that all of us are worried but at the same time Mother Nature and the planet are also under pressure. The planet is losing 4.7 million hectares of forests every year–an area larger than Denmark. It is estimated that around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. We are aware that a healthy ecosystem helps to protect us from these diseases. Biological diversity makes it difficult for pathogens to spread rapidly.
Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) like COVID-19. From one new infection disease that emerges in humans every 4 months, 75% of these emerging diseases come from animals, according to the UN Environment. This shows the close relationships between human, animal and environmental health.
Ecosystems support all life on Earth. The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet-and its people. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which will officially launch with World Environment Day 2021 (5 June), will help us stop, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and every ocean. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part.
Coronavirus outbreak not only poses huge public health and puts global economy at risk, but biological diversity as well. However, biodiversity can be part of the solution since this diversity of species would make difficult to pathogens to spread rapidly. Let’s remind more than ever on this International Mother Earth Day that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. Let’s promote harmony with nature and the Earth. Join the global movement to restore our world !
The United Nations General Assembly designated 22nd April as International Mother Earth Day through a resolution adopted in 2009.The original roots go back to the 1970s when environmental protection was not yet a priority of the National political agendas. On International Mother Earth Day, let us all commit to the hard work of restoring our planet and making peace with nature as the planet is clearly urging a call to action. Let us come forward and protect nature, let us not fill oceans with plastic and turn more acidic.
All of us can make a difference and it is possible to take action. We need commitments for mother earth on an urgent basis. Even small steps contribute towards sustainability but we need will to do it. Governments, international agencies, corporate, media, civil society and every individual have to play a positive role when it comes to conservation and safeguarding our mother earth. Let us not forget that we do not have any other planet to live in. We must take action for the planet. (With direct inputs from UN publication and feedback may be sent to [email protected]