Our father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi as said “There is enough for everybody’s need and not for everyone’s greed”. The statement means that mother nature has provided us with resources that are enough for everyone. But people because of their selfish nature are trying to maintain a lot more than what is needed for themselves establishing social-economic differences.

The UN General Assembly had established World Environment Day (WED) in 1972 after discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment during the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. And it was after two years that the first WED was held with the theme ‘Only One Earth’. Celebrations were held annually from 1974 to mark the day, and then in 1987, it was decided the center for the activities should be rotated so that different countries can host it.

For too long, we have been exploiting and destroying our planet’s ecosystems. Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch and over the last century we have destroyed half of our wetlands. As much as 50 per cent of our coral reefs have already been lost and up to 90 per cent of coral reefs could be lost by 2050, even if global warming is limited to an increase of 1.5°C.

The day raises awareness about environmental issues like global warming, marine pollution, human over-population, protection of wildlife, and sustainable consumption. It has spread so far and wide, that WED has become a global platform for countries to reach out to the public.

The theme for 2021 World Environment Day is “Ecosystem Restoration”. Ecosystem restoration means preventing, halting and reversing this damage – to go from exploiting nature to healing. This World Environment Day will kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea.

We all know that Jhelum means something more than merely a river and is an identity of Kashmiri Culture. Conservation of these entities is the forefront of all individuals. It’s seen that hundreds of illegal encroachments had come up around sensitive  environmental zones like Dal Lake, Pahalgam, Hokersar Wetland which receives around half a million migratory birds annually. The similar activities also have witnessed in ecologically sensitive Tosa Maidan and Dodapathri. A sustainable effort is required from the local population and civil administration to tackle these environmental issues.

All goods and services used by humanity come directly or indirectly from the earth and its environment. An international scientific study in 2012 estimated that goods and services from ecosystems worldwide were worth $125 trillion per year. However, the value of the environment is more than this monetary worth as it is, so far, the only planet that can support life. Many experts believe some of the harm the planet has suffered can be reversed. The challenge is getting enough people to take drastic enough action to make a difference in a lifetime.

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