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World Environment Day: A call to global action for environmental protection

World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5th to raise the awareness about the importance of environmental protection and promote action on how to mitigate the devastating impact of human activities on the planet. The united nation-led global event has been observed since 1974 and has become a powerful platform for public outreach, advocacy, and policy change.

World environment day is organized around a specific theme that
highlights pressing environmental concern. We acknowledge the beauty and wonders of nature, and we recognize our responsibility to protect it.

We live in a world where human activity has become the greatest threat to the environment. Climate change, deforestation, pollution, environmental
degradation, and species extinction to mention but a few, are some of the
pressing issues we face.

But we also live in a world where innovation, activism and collective action can drive positive change.

We must recognize that the environment is not a separate entity from us, but an integral part of our existence. Our well-being is deeply connected to the well-being of the planet. The air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat, all rely on a healthy environment. Land is the foundation of life providing us with food, water, shelter and sustenance. Yet, we are facing unprecedented threat to its productivity and resilience.

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day, hosted by Saudi Arabia, is titled ‘‘OUR LAND OUR FUTURE’’ which is focussed on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience, which is also a cardinal pillar of the United Nation (UN).

Desertification and drought are ravaging our planet, affecting over 3.2 billion people and 40% of the world’s land area. Land degradation is accelerating at an alarming rate, with 12 million hectares of land lost to desertification every year. This does not only devastate the ecosystem but exacerbate poverty, migration and conflict.

But there is hope. Land restoration offers a powerful solution to these challenges, by restoring degraded lands and boost agricultural productivity. We can create drought resilient landscape, that support the well-being of both people and the planet.

As we celebrate this remarkable day, we must scale up our efforts to restore one billion hectares of degraded land by 2030. We must adopt sustainable land management practice like Agroforestry and regenerative agriculture.

We must support small-scale farmers and local communities in the quest for land restoration and drought resilience.

Let us celebrate the progress we’ve made in renewable energy, sustainable practices and conservative effort. Let us honor the dedication of our
environmentalists, scientists, and community leaders who work tirelessly to protect our planet. However, there is still much work to be done.

We must reduce our carbon footprint, adopt eco–friendly lifestyle, and hold our leaders accountable for environmental policies.

We must prioritize the
health of our planet and all its inhabitants.

World Environment Day celebrations have been hosted in various cities around the world, including Stockholm, Sweden, new Delhi, India, Nairobi, Kenya,

Mexico City, Mexico and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The importance of World Environment Day cannot be over-emphasized, as it
serves several purposes among which are:

  • Encourages action: This event inspires individuals, communities,Organizations, and governments to take concrete step to reduce their environmental footprint.
  • Fostering global cooperation : These brings together nations, international organizations, and civil society to share knowledge, expertise, and best practices in environmental management.
  • Promote sustainable development : World environmental day [WED] emphasizes the need for sustainable development and the importance of balancing economic growth with environmental protection.
  • Raise awareness: World environmental day [WED] brings attention to critical environmental issues, such as climate change, deforestation, pollution, and wildlife.

World environment day is celebrated with various activities such as tree

planting, concert, exhibitions and film festivals. Community events and rallies, Policy discussions and conferences,

Social media campaign and online activism.

It is a day that has contributed significantly to global environmental effort leading to:

  • Adoption of environmental policies and laws.
  • Increase awareness and public engagement.
  • Enhanced international cooperation and collaboration.
  • Development of sustainable technologies and practices.

In conclusion, World Environment Day is a powerful symbol of global commitment to environmental protection. As the world grapples with the

challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, this day serve as a reminder to our collective responsibility to protect the planet and ensure a
sustainable future for all. Let us join hands to work together towards a
greener, cleaner, and safer world. Let us celebrate our love for the EARTH generally and Nigeria in particular, as we must be committed to preserving it for
future generations to come.

… Igoche is a Professor of Peace Conflict and International Jurisprudence