The Voice of Chandigarh :

Today we stand on the same planet which has been inhabited by human beings since centuries. As generations change, so does our planet.  Earth is our home, which has safeguarded us for decades, don’t we have the responsibility to protect it too? Can’t we keep this home of ours clean, green and happy? As per The UN Reports, Only 11 Years are Left to Prevent Irreversible Damage from Climate Change. As a result of human activity, one million animal and plant species would disappear in the next few decades – the most that have ever been at risk in human history.

Avisha Chaudhry 10A, Strawberry Fields High School

Human activity has “significantly altered” 75% of our planet’s land and 66% of the ocean. As the human population has increased, more than a third of the land surface and 75% of freshwater resources are now used to grow food.

Since 1980, plastic pollution has grown by tenfold and humans now pump 300-400 million tonnes of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes from industrial facilities into our ocean and waterways every year.

The sheer amount of waste we dump in the water has created 400 dead zones in the ocean, areas with so little oxygen where almost no life survives.

The planet stands at a crossroads: the Earth’s ailments are treatable, but not for a lot longer if people don’t make fundamental changes in what they consume, how they create energy, dispose of waste, and generally decrease the human footprint that is degrading air, water, and land.

Overall, the Earth suffers from land degradation; biodiversity loss; air, land and water pollution; and the effects of climate change—and must prevent and manage further risks and disasters. Without changes, the situation looks bleak for all of its inhabitants. A major extinction event is underway, compromising the globe’s “ability to meet human needs,” the report warns.

Intensive industrial agriculture and over-fishing are particular culprits in the natural world’s decline.Dominic Waughray, Head of the Centre for Global Public Goods at the World Economic Forum, once said the report was a wake-up call for governments and businesses.

It is essential that we understand the pace of environmental change that is upon us and that we start to work with nature instead of against it to tackle the array of environmental threats that face us. The assessments, which are based on scientific data and peer reviewed literature, find that there is still time to tackle many of the worst impacts of environmental change, such as the damage to marine ecosystems and the rising level of air pollution, which has become one of the world’s most widespread environmental health risks. Across the world, climate change, the loss of biodiversity, land degradation and water scarcity are growing problems that need to be urgently addressed if the world is to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The science is clear that we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction and we cannot continue with business as usual. The interconnections between the global food system, ecosystems and natural resources, climate change, and people’s health and livelihoods are deeply rooted.

The solution is a wave of innovation across industries, especially within global supply chains.

But time is running out – to develop these innovations and scale them up at the speed required we will need governments, businesses, investors, scientists, and community groups to work together in radical cooperation.

So, we as responsible individuals at least should do something to make a better place to live. Even if half the population of mother earth contributes to save her, we will be able to make a better place for our generations as well as future generations. The situation is critical, and the next few years will determine how far we will go as a civilisation. With modern environmental crises becoming a natural affair, it is difficult to imagine what might happen in the next few years. We cannot change our past, but we can alter our future through our present-day actions. 

There are multiple methods for healing the globe. To cite one, biodiversity loss and land degradation can be stopped, by changes in consumption, agricultural practices, and redistribution of food. Meeting carbon reduction goals also will reduce air pollution, which now prematurely kills between six and seven million people a year. 

Live A Little Greener & Help Save The Planet

The most basic thing that we can do is limit our polluting activities. We must adopt the three steps of ‘Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle’ to limit the amount of waste we produce. We can recycle plastic to prevent it from littering the entire surface of our planet.

For every tree lost, the Earth loses a part of itself. We must plant as many trees as we can in our limited lifetimes, to bring the previous lush green forests back to life. If we can all plant a sapling each, every year then, the Earth will be filled with nearly 7 billion trees in one year.

The Earth sustains life because of the natural resources like sunshine, air water and vegetation available on the planet. We can protect the Earth by not polluting and destroying it. Due to many of man’s activities there has been a continuous degradation of the Earth, and its resources like air, land and water. Air pollution, deforestation, soil erosion and water pollution are some of the environmental problems confronting us. By pollution and environmental degradation, life on Earth is threatened. 

Strengthen intergovernmental coordination at the regional and sub-regional level will improve governance issues that are of regional priority. We should enhance sustainable consumption and production to reduce environmental pressures by addressing drivers associated with manufacturing processes and consumer demand. We must harness natural capital in a way that does not damage ecosystems.

Implementation of measures to reduce pollution and other environmental pressures should be taken. By improving infrastructure and clean transport, we can turn the urban challenge into opportunities for sustainable development. Governments will need to find innovative solutions to allow for the decoupling of economic growth and resource consumption and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and diversify energy sources. Mainly, low-carbon, climate-resilient choices in infrastructure, energy and food production are needed with effective and sustainable natural resource governance to protect the ecological assets that underpin a healthy society.

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