WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2020 (JUNE 5)
Theme: Time For Nature
What is Time?
Time is a measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them.
What is Nature?
This is the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.
The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature. For instance, each year, marine plants produce more than a half of our atmosphere’s oxygen, and a mature tree cleans our air, absorbing 22 kilos of carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen in exchange. Despite all the benefits that our nature give us, we still mistreat it.
Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist and all these events / occurrences beg for notification
This is why there is an urgent need create an awareness on the need to recognize our mode of survival as nature can exist without us but we as humans cannot exist without nature.
Afterall, even the scriptures justifies this claim “unto dust you came and unto dust you shall return”.
I recently took a quiz on biodiversity to find out how much I knew about nature and below are the highlights of what I learnt;
1. While forests occupy less than a third of the Earth’s surface, they are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects; serve as a source of livelihood to more than a quarter of the world’s population; offer sources of medicine; and soak up carbon dioxide.
- Globally, however, deforestation continues at an alarming rate, with 7 million hectares of forest destroyed every year – an area roughly the size of Portugal.
2. Coral reefs are home to 25 per cent of marine life and are a major source of food to more than half a billion people. Every day, drugs derived from coral reefs are dispensed around the world for treating diseases such as cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, and viruses.
- The collective value of coral reefs is estimated at US$365 billion per year; and tourism alone accounts for $36 billion in revenues, as travellers enjoy diving and snorkelling among coral reefs. They also provide physical structures that dissipate wave energy, protecting coastlines from strong currents, storms and extreme weather events.
- However, coral reefs are being damaged by harmful fishing practices, pollution, marine debris, ocean warming and acidification that occurs when oceans absorb great volumes of carbon dioxide that result from burning fossil fuels. In the last 30 years, 50 per cent of corals have died, and it is projected that 90 per cent will die by 2050.
3. There are actually more than 1,100 species of bat. Of these, only three species are vampire bats and, contrary to modern myth, they rarely bite humans.
- In fact, bats are very helpful to humans. Their droppings are high in phosphorous and nitrogen, and serve as a fertilizer in many tropical regions. Every year, bats spread millions of seeds after ripe fruit passes through their digestive tract; and about 95 per cent of reforestation in the tropical rainforest is a result of their seed dispersal.
4. Of the 8 million species on the planet, we have identified no more than about one in ten which if you ask me indicates that we do not know as much as we claim to know about our beloved planet earth.
- Every species draws from and contributes to the ecosystem in which it exists, in ways we may not even see. Whales store carbon from the atmosphere. Species like the helmeted hornbill and many other birds fly thousands of miles and disperse seeds that enable forests to provide myriad food sources.
- Many tree species are germinated through the digestive systems of elephants. Pangolins aerate soils to maintain soil health; and control pests – eating up to 20,000 ants and termites every day, and over 70 million every year. Big cats are apex predators–with no natural predators of their own–that weed out unhealthy individuals to ensure population viability.
- But 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades–more than ever before in human history. In fact, many scientists believe we are entering a sixth mass extinction.
With all these above facts been stated, it is about time we started giving nature the important position it deserves (I don’t even want to delve into environmental pollution and the harmful effects it has caused on man and the environment else you would either be stuck on this write-up or be forced to move on to something else… Smiles.
I am of the opinion that to predict the future, we need to travel down memory lane and study patterns, occurrences and events that happened in history. Mother earth would always find a way to recover from the hurts man has committed to it but the question that lies begging to be answered is “Will or Can man ever recover from the hurt mother earth (NATURE) would cause while trying out its recovery process?”
It is time to get our thinking caps on and treat Nature as it ought to be treated lest we be made the sacrificial lambs for ours and others deeds.
- United. “World Environment Day” . United Nations. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
- ^ a b c “World Environment Day 2020: Theme, History, Quotes, Celebration” . S A NEWS . 3 June 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
- ^ “World Environment Day 2015 :: Our Planet” . web.unep.org . Retrieved 4th June, 2020.
- “World Environment Day 2012: Let’s pledge to make earth a better place” . Times of India : Environment . Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 3rd June, 2020.
- “World Environment Day” https://www.unenvironment.org/events/un-day/world-environment-day. Retrieved 4th June, 2020.
- “Biodiversity” https://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/topic/biodiversity. Retrieved 3rd June, 2020.