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World Environment Day 2021: History, theme, significance and quotes

World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year to remind people about the importance of nature. It is celebrated across the globe to tell people that nature should not be taken for granted and must be respected for its values.

With the coronavirus outbreak and people being confined indoors, the environment and mother earth seem to have benefitted slightly. In the absence of human activities amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, nature is getting time to clean itself and reclaim its space.

History of World Environment Day:

World Environment Day is one of the biggest annual events organised by the United Nations (UN) to generate awareness about the significance of nature and greenery. The United Nations Assembly established World Environment Day in 1972, which was the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the human environment.

In 1974, it was celebrated with the theme ‘Only One Earth’. Since then, various host countries have been celebrating it, and the idea for rotating the center of these activities started. World Environment Day was first observed in 1974 in the US.

The theme for this year:

The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ and Pakistan will be the global host for the big day. This day will also see the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. In 2020, the theme was ‘Celebrate Biodiversity’.

Significance of the Day:

The main idea behind celebrating World Environment Day is to highlight the importance of the environment and to remind people that nature should not be taken for granted. According to the UN, this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by communities, enterprises and individuals in preserving and enhancing the environment.

It is celebrated across the globe to respect and acknowledge everything that the environment has given us and to take the pledge that we will protect it. On this day, governments and normal citizens focus their efforts on a particular environmental issue to generate awareness.

Here are some meaningful quotes on Environment Day:

– ” People blame their environment. There is only one person to blame and only one themselves”. Robert Collier

– “Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” Aldo Leopold

– “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”. – Robert Swan

– “Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty”. – John Ruskin

– “The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” Lady Bird Johnson

– “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and one another”. – Mahatma Gandhi

– “Pleasure is Nature’s test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment”. – Oscar Wilde

– “A nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself”. — Franklin D Roosevelt

– “Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you”. — John Muir

– “Our planet’s alarm is going off, and it is time to wake up and take action!”— Leonardo DiCaprio

How has coronavirus affected the environment?

The global outbreak of the deadly coronavirus has affected human lives and daily activities, but it has improved the air quality and reduced water pollution. With most of the cities under lockdown, there has been a significant reduction in carbon emissions which has restored the ecological system.

But the disposal of medical waste like disinfectants, masks, gloves and the burden of untreated waste has also increased multifold during the pandemic. Furthermore, once the situation bounces back to normal, the environment may start suffering again. Long-term goals and proper implementation of strategies and policies are the need of the hour for global environmental sustainability.