Every 22nd of April since 1970, the International Mother Earth Day is celebrated worldwide. A day to raise awareness globally about the biggest environmental issues. Among them, overpopulation, pollution production or conservation of biodiversity. At the same time, it’s a yearly opportunity to celebrate our planet as our home and mother. This year’s motto is: ‘Restore our Earth‘. Secretary-general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, recently said that “the recovery after COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity for the world to take a cleaner, more ecologic and more sustainable path”.
Events that took place to ‘restore our Earth’
Last Thursday, a world leaders’ summit took place. Forty Heads of Government participated, some of them part of the biggest economies in the world and others coming from countries that have shown a strong environmental activism or from nations that are most vulnerable to suffer climate change effects. The goal of the summit was to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5ºC until 2030. An objective that faces challenges such as CO2 emissions, which have risen up to the numbers produced before the COVID-19 pandemic started. To maintain our planet’s warming under those 1.5ºC, it’s necessary to reduce a 43% of carbon dioxide emissions. US President, Joe Biden, made the compromise to reduce his country’s emissions to a half of the current ones in the next decade.
But, apart from the official events, there were others dedicated to this celebration. In fact, International Mother Earth Day is the annual event that mobilizes most people worldwide (more than 1 billion people participate one way or another in the activities related with this celebration). The organization earthday.org prepared an alternative event to the leaders summit. There, topics like climate alphabetization or the environmental justice and equity. You can rewatch the live event here.
Biodiversity and infectious diseases
Obviously, the pandemic has influenced the 2021 edition. According to the UN’s Program for the Environment, every 4 months another infectious disease is produced. 3 out of 4 of these diseases have their origin in the animal kingdom. The impact of human action in biodiversity are damaging por the prevention of its propagation. Activities like deforestation or the irresponsible management of hybrid resources have consequences for many ecosystems. When the natural order is altered in them, some species are affected while others grow more than they should. Those mismatches create a scenario where propagation becomes easier. Without a doubt, something to think about after a year of pandemic. We have another chance. Our only planet needs us.