WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2022: The environment is our natural surroundings, including plant, animal and non-living objects across the land, water bodies and skies that support life on this planet. Beginning with the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century, human actions have caused widespread environmental damage, such as global warming, pollution of air, water and land and biodiversity loss. World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 annually to highlight these dangers to our natural world and to urge people to protect it.
World Environment Day: History
World Environment Day has its origin in 1972, at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm. The conference began on June 5 and continued till June 16.
The annual event, led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was first observed on June 5, 1973, as noted on the UNEP website. Since 1987, the event, is held in different countries on a rotational basis. This year, World Environment Day will take place in Sweden and marks the 50th anniversary of the UN conference in 1972, referred to as Stockholm+50.
World Environment Day 2022: Theme
The theme for this year’s celebration of World Environment Day is ‘Only One Earth.’ This was also the slogan for the 1972 conference at Stockholm which led to the birth of the annual global event on June 5.
The theme underscores the fact that out of all the galaxies, star systems and planets known, only Earth sustains life. Since human actions are causing irreversible damage to our environment, there is an urgent need to minimise or prevent further damage to our biosphere.
World Environment Day: Significance
Greenhouse gas emissions due to human activity are raising global temperatures to unsafe levels. Extreme weather events are occurring which might displace countless people and devastate our flora and fauna. Pollution from factories, plastic wastes, deforestation is killing animals on land and seas.
World Environment Day highlights the urgent need to take corrective measures to safeguard our planet. The UN conducts several awareness programs on June 5, with participation of civil society, governments, schools, businesses and celebrities, to urge the adoption of such corrective measures.