For over several decades now, there have been concerns about the environment and nearly 150 countries participate in the World Environment Day every year to raise their voices against the unsustainable manner in which the environment is being treated and the associated consequences. It’s time for another World Environment Day (WED) again! This year 2020 WED focuses on Biodiversity with the theme “Time for Nature”!
We humans must again, remind ourselves of the interdependency of human, animal and plant species and why we must collectively ensure that all creatures continue to survive on this planet earth regardless of our varying interests. This has become more important now that the world is being plagued with several challenges causing irreversible damages.
Nature has indeed been very generous to man; man depends on it for food, clothes, drugs, shelter, water, furniture, electricity etc. Drug has its source from herbs; shelter from wood, electricity from hydropower; clothes from cotton which is cultivated in the soil. The natural resources we all enjoy today are treasures we should value and uphold without which man’s existence here on earth would be threatened. Sadly, human activities have continued to deplete these resources without due regards to all actors in the ecosystem.
The need for sustainable use of natural resources and our survival here in this planet cannot be over emphasized. The earth inhabits several species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, primates etc and they are interdependent.
Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing some species loss as a result of human activities. We can halt the process or reverse the trend if our watch word is “live and let’s live” because should we continue to ignore the call to be fair to Nature, the world might someday wake up to a big surprise.
Environmental Development and Social Justice Initiatives (EDSI) joined the rest of the world, today, 5th June 2020 to call on all, to treat Nature with caution. To this end, EDSI shared information relating to biodiversity and sustainable development; and how emerging public health challenges are affecting biodiversity during the online Biodiversity Awareness Programme that was have arranged to mark the World Environment Day 2020.
While we embark on development, we must continue to recognise the need for informed decision making using the tool of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Government must equip regulators well enough to exercise authority in this regard and also be seen as an example in the application of this tool. Citizens must cooperate and adopt environmentally- friendly options and show deeper interest in various outcomes of development, not just their immediate benefits, but long term, particularly the survival of humans and other inhabitants of this planet, prior and post intervention. Finally, we must note that circumventing this process is tantamount to a collective and huge loss to all biological species, as the outcomes can be unpredictable. Let’s give nature the attention it deserves!