World Environment Day 2020: Current Theme, History & Significance

World Environment Day 2020: It is observed on 5 June to raise awareness about protecting the environment and to remind people not to take nature granted. Let us read in detail about World Environment Day, 2020 theme, history and significance.
Jun 4, 2020 20:23 IST
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World Environment Day 2019
World Environment Day 2019

World Environment Day 2020: It is one of the biggest events celebrated in the world every year.  It has been seen that during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the environment gets benefitted slightly, the sky becomes clear, the air is less polluted, etc. 

World Environment Day is celebrated since 1974. It is the "People's Day" to do something to take care of the earth and the environment. It is really important to know ways to protect the environment. 

For healthy living, the environment plays an important role. It provides us with air, food, etc. It is correctly said that ' the difference between animals and humans is that animals change themselves for the environment, but humans change the environment for themselves'. The environment is just like our neighbourhood, its surrounding conditions influence us and modify growth and development.

World Environment Day is promoted by the United Nation and for 2020 Colombia will host the World Environment Day. In 2019, China was the host country. World Environment Day is also known as Environment Day, Eco Day. This day is celebrated to spread awareness about the environment and its effects on the daily life of the people.

The environment is the surrounding or conditions in which a person, animal or plant lives or operates. It is necessary to understand the importance of environment and lots of activities are done by the people to preserve and conserve the unique and life nurturing nature. People are more reluctant today to save the environment for the future and then only it will be possible for us to focus on the developmental activities in the country.

World Environment Day 2020: Theme

The theme for the World Environment Day 2020 is "Biodiversity". 

According to the UN, it is a concern that is both urgent and existential. Biodiversity supports all life on land and below water or we can say it is the foundation that supports all this. Every aspect of human health is affected by it. It provides clean air, water, food, and is a source of medicines, etc. Human actions like deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture, and acceleration of global climate change, have disturbed nature and pushed it beyond its limit. According to the UN, it would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make of nature every year. If this will continue,  it poses a huge biodiversity loss that will have severe implications for humanity as a result of the loss of food and health systems.

What is bio-toilet and how does it work? 

The theme for the World Environment Day 2019 was "Air Pollution".

Air pollution is increasing day by day and it seems complex to control it but nothing is impossible we should come together to combat it. And for this, it is necessary to understand different types of pollution, how it affects our health and environment will help us to steps towards improving the air around us.

We can't stop breathing but we can do something to improve the quality of air that we breathe. From air pollution approximately 7 million people in the world die due to air pollution and out of 7 million, 4 million occur in Asia-Pacific.

Facts related to Air pollution

- Around 92 percent of the people worldwide do not breathe clean air.

- Every year, Air pollution costs the global economy $5 Trillion in welfare costs.

- By 2030, ground-level ozone pollution is expected to reduce the staple crop yields by 26 per cent.

The theme for the World Environment Day 2018 was“Beat Plastic Pollution”.

We know that it is not possible to reuse plastic, they are non-biodegradable. So, it’s better not to use it. Plastics consist of several chemicals which are toxic or disrupt hormones. Plastics can also serve as a magnet for other pollutants, including dioxins, metals and pesticides.

Therefore, it is necessary to call the people from all over the world to come and combat single-use plastic pollution which harms our ecosystem and consequently us.

The slogan is: If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.

World Environment Day: History

Since 1974, World Environment Day has been started celebrating as an annual event on every 5 June to raise the importance of the healthy and green environment in the human lives, to solve the issues of the environment by implementing some positive environmental actions by government, organisations and individual as a whole.

In 1972 the conference was held on Human Environment which began from 5th to 16th June at United Nations. Here, the World Environment Day was first established to be celebrated every year by running some effective campaigns by the United Nations General Assembly and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The first time World Environment Day was celebrated in 1974 with the theme "Only one Earth". 

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Why is World Environment Day celebrated?

Why World Environment Day is celebrated


It is necessary to address the environmental issues like deforestation, increasing global warming, wastage and losses of food, pollution etc. Throughout the world, several campaigns are organised with a particular theme and slogan to bring effectiveness around the world.

This day is celebrated to successfully get carbon neutrality, reducing greenhouse effects, focusing on forest management, planting on degraded lands, energy production through solar sources, promoting coral reefs and mangroves, developing new drainage system etc.

A study conducted by Ellen McArthur Foundation in 2015 says that about 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste has been generated in the world so far, and around 90% of this will not decompose for at least 500 years. Micro-plastic or tiny fragments have been found in soil, tap water, bottled water, beer and even in the air we breathe, according to scientists.

Objectives behind celebrating World Environment Day

- World Environment Day is celebrated to spread awareness among common people about the issues of the environment.

- Encourage common people from different society and communities to actively participate in the celebration as well as become an active agent in developing environmental safety measures.

- Encourage people to make their nearby surroundings safe and clean to enjoy safer, cleaner and more prosperous future.

Some facts about Plastics

Facts about Plastics


- Plastic harms marine life and pose a threat to human health.

- A large part of the population depends upon Plastic for their daily use. Do you know nearly one-third of it is not disposed of properly and ends up clogging drains and choke the environment?

- Plastics can persist in the environment for nearly a thousand years before it fully disintegrates.

- Plastics are non-renewable and its manufacture and destruction expose individuals and environment to many toxins, including carcinogens.

- Plastics make up ten per cent of the total waste generated; half of it is used in a disposable or single-use.

- We use 50 per cent of the plastic in the disposable form or for single-use.

- Plastic is hazardous to both animals and humans. 

- Plastics dumped into oceans move up the food chain causing several health hazards like Cancer, Endocrine problems, etc. in humans.

What Greenpeace report says?

3,300 Indians died every day in 2015, according to a Greenpeace report. In the last five years, the government’s allocation towards the environment has got reduced by 19%.

On World Environment Day, the UN is making an effort to urge governments, industries, communities and also uniting people against plastic and its side effects. Exploring alternatives that are sustainable. It has created a global platform where people can gather and take positive environmental actions. We should participate in the campaigns and join together to eradicate the problems caused due to pollution and make the environment clean. Together we can make a change.

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