The celebration of World Environment Day 2012 marks its 40th anniversary since its first inception in 1972 by United Nations General Assembly. Year after year, decade after, a relentless effort have been put by the UNEP to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day unites the much dispersed populace of the world and brings together for a similar understanding, the conflicting developmental dissent for a common environmental cause.
Despite these efforts/endeavours, world is faced with serious ailments to its pristine environment which ultimately leads to the tragedy of commons when drought hit the fields, floods sweep the homes, poverty drains the communities and famine cripples the nations. The major economic crisis for the nations and communal sufferings are but result of adopting weak developmental paradigm that involves the use of natural resources beyond its threshold limits. And when we realize the importance of healthy environment, it is like the same mundane procedure where man deteriorates his health to make money, and uses the money to restore the health back.
So far 39 slogans have been adopted by the UNEP for this important day, so considering the necessity of economic development besides the conservation of environment, the theme this year is “Green Economy:Does it Include You?” In its simplest form, UNEP defines a Green Economy as 'one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.' After all, as Mahatma Gandhi has said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed” so equitable sharing of the limited resources for our needs includes us to be part of the Green Economy.
One of the best ways of adopting green economy is to reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Today, carbon emission is posing a great threat to the world climate. Like the man trapped in the glass enclosure where temperature is high and moisture is low, where fresh air is minimal but the carbon dioxide exhaled expands, mother earth is passing through a critical stage due to global warming. As the trees get chopped for various reasons, the level of CO2 increases, which is again enhanced by the burning of fossil fuels, automobile exhausts, industrial gases and change in farming practices and land use patterns. Addition to it the other greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide, methane, water vapour, CFCs and depletion of ozone absorb the infrared radiations thus increasing the global temperature hampering the two constituents of weather, temperature and rainfall, the most.
A great deal of effort is being put by government of Bhutan in adopting a greener economy. Constitution mandating 60% forest coverage for all time to come to committing to remain carbon neutral all the time during COP 15 meet at Copenhagen; following a Gross National Happiness paradigm for development through sustainability to phasing out Ozone depleting substances. Besides our schools in the country are setting a good example by adopting activities like plastic ban in the school compound and replacing ball pens with fountain pen/inkpens, which are a greener move. The recent declaration of Tuesdays as Pedestrian Day encourages our city dwellers to develop the habit of walking which have many advantages like burning some calories, saving fuel expenses, enjoying the serene environment and in a greater extent, reducing carbon footprints thus going green. So many become a part of going green.
However, thousands of forest areas are also being burnt down every year, which not only threatens the lives of many wild animals, and biodiversity but also pose a deleterious impact to one’s own life. So, the big question of whether we are included in Green Economy needs a critical contemplation before we answer it yes.
Earth has been formed four and half billion years ago, and it has been dwelt by millions of creature one after another but none of the bygone/extinct creatures has caused a devastating impact on the nature of mother earth. Why on hell the so called human beings at this age are so greedy to leave nothing for the future dwellers to come.