Celebrated since 1974 every year on 5 June, World Environment Day is the most renowned day for environmental action. It offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. It recognizes that global change requires a global community. It pushes for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models; for farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably; for governments to safeguard wild spaces; for educators to inspire students to live in harmony with the Earth; and for youth to become fierce gatekeepers of a green future. It requires all of us. This year's theme is biodiversity.
WHY BIODIVERSITY MATTERS
Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water. It affects every aspect of human health, providing clean air and water, nutritious foods, scientific understanding and medicine sources, natural disease resistance, and climate change mitigation. Changing or removing one element of this web affects the entire life system and can produce negative consequences. Without nature, life on earth would not be possible.
THE IMPACT OF HUMAN ACTIVITY
Human activities have significantly changed three quarters of land surface and two thirds of ocean area. Between 2010 and 2015 alone, 32 million hectares of forest disappeared; and in the last 150 years, live coral reef cover has been reduced by half. Glacial ice is melting at astonishing rates while ocean acidification grows, threatening the ocean’s productivity. Wildlife species are disappearing tens to hundreds of times faster now than in the past 10 million years; and within the next 10 years, one out of every four known species may have been wiped off the planet. We are on the verge of a mass extinction; and if we continue on this path, biodiversity loss will have severe implications for humanity, including the collapse of food and health systems.
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