International Mother Earth Day
Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records, and the worst locust invasion in Kenya. Now we face COVID -19, a worldwide health pandemic link to the health of our ecosystem.
Why is International Mother Earth Day important?
While UNESCO’s immediate priority remains the management of the pandemic, we have not lost sight of our underlying goal: to help the Member States establish a harmonious relationship between people and their environment. Temporary improvements in greenhouse gas emissions and air quality, due to the abrupt shutdown of economic activity around the world, have shown us how harmful these emissions can be.
Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversities, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture, and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) like COVID-19.
From one new infection disease that emerges in humans every 4 months, 75% of these emerging diseases come from animals, according to UN Environment. This shows the close relationships between human, animal, and environmental health.
Visible, positive impacts– whether through improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions – are but temporary, because they come on the back of tragic economic slowdown and human distress. 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.
How to observe International Mother Earth Day
The United Nations celebrates this observance through the Harmony with Nature initiative, a platform for global sustainable development that celebrates annually an interactive dialogue on International Mother Earth Day. Topics include methods for promoting a holistic approach to harmony with nature, and an exchange of national experiences regarding criteria and indicators to measure sustainable development in harmony with nature.
Let us, therefore, use this lockdown period to imagine a better relationship between humans and nature, built on harmony rather than opposition.
On this day, environmental organisations from all over the world come together to highlight the urgent need to protect the many ecosystems that make up our environment. These ecosystems are under attack from climate change and the natural disasters caused by rising temperatures: forest fires, floods, and terrible storms. More than a million animal and plant species are in danger of extinction through loss of habitat, mainly due to human activity. This, in turn, is leading to outbreaks of deadly diseases that spread from wildlife to humans. On International Mother Earth Day, environmentalists call for action to reverse this damage.
- UN and other international NGO
- Non-Profits website for the observance
- British Council