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International Earth Day 2021

BY: M Ahmad

In the Covid scenario, this year’s Earth Day shall be celebrated with a difference but, nevertheless, the occasion will be marked by glowing tributes to mother earth for its bountifulness and rich diversity that has been supporting human as well as other creatures besides great flora and fauna. April 22, is also an annual celebration to honour the achievements of the environmental movements and awareness campaigns highlighting the importance of long-term ecological sustainability. The day inspires us to act towards the protection of the environment and focus on the need for conservation.

Earth Day is recognized as the largest civic event in the world. It demands immediate action to be taken to tackle industrial pollution; oil spills, toxic waste disposal and other issues threatening the very existence of life on this planet. Ecosystems support all life on earth and the healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet and its people.

There are thousands of signs which point to the fact that Mother Earth is clearly urging a call on us that “Nature is suffering” at the hands of humans. Oceans are being filled with plastic and the waters turning more acidic besides extreme heat, wildfires and floods, as well as a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season, have affected millions of people and are clearly warning signs for us. Climate change, man-made changes to nature such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade have damaged our ecosystem. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction and accordingly our mother earth shall remain prevented.

Here, we face COVID-19, a worldwide health pandemic link to the health of our ecosystem.April 22, 2021, marks the 51 anniversary of Earth Day, but many utilities have gone silent on the topic due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But we don’t have to choose between the fight against the virus and the climate crisis, and utilities have the platform to create change for both. Now is the time to make or increase environmental commitments, promote the value of energy efficiency, and offer energy upgrades to businesses while their doors are closed. Despite widespread social-distancing and indoor confinements, Earth Day 2021should go virtual. Here are some creative ways to bring Earth Day celebrations into homes during the corona virus pandemic- plant a tree, conserve water, clean up plastic in and around the house, use recycled items, make an art piece on Earth day, speak/ write about the event.

Let’s remind more than ever in 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 by joining the global movement to restore our Earth!

Mahatma Gandhi said “nature has enough resources to fulfill the needs of the human being but it can’t fulfill the greed of the humans”.

The writer is Principal (I/C) Abhedananda Home, Higher Secondary Institution for Specially-abled Children, Solina,  Rambagh, Srinagar, J&K. [email protected])

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