On the occasion of World Environment Day (WED) today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his greetings and shared his views on environment conservation, even as he emphasised the need to make the planet greener.
Modi stated that the World Environment Day called for us to “bow to Mother Earth” and reaffirm our pledge to protect the environment and make it cleaner and greener. Welcoming India’s culture, which encouraged living in complete harmony with the environment, the prime minister stated that we were blessed to be part of such culture. He urged everyone to serve as trustees of the country, whereby the citizens could not only utilise the natural resources for present development, but also work towards ensuring happiness for future generations.
The PM further acknowledged people’s participation in creating a cleaner and greener planet, along with Government efforts, and appealed to them to ensure that every step taken in daily lives would focus on conserving the nature and natural resources as well.
The WED was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 on the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began. The first WED was celebrated in 1973. Since then, it is hosted every year by a different city with a different theme. It falls in spring in the northern hemisphere and fall (rainy season) in the southern hemisphere, and midsummer in the tropical regions.
“Stockholm was without a doubt the landmark event in the growth of international environmentalism,” wrote John McCormick in the book Reclaiming Paradise. “It was the first occasion on which the political, social and economic problems of the global environment were discussed at an intergovernmental forum with a view to actually taking corrective action.”
The WED is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.
WED 2014 is being globally hosted by Barbados, a small Caribbean island leading the way in solar energy. In support of the UN designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), WED this year will adopt SIDS in the broader context of climate change as its theme. The objectives are to help build momentum towards the Third International Conference on SIDS in September and encourage a greater understanding of the importance of SIDS and of the urgency to help protect the islands in the face of growing risks and vulnerabilities, particularly as a result of climate change. We believe WED will be an excellent opportunity to raise a call for solidarity with the islands.
Much before Modi became the Prime Minister of India, as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he told the world how modern works of development need not come about at the expense of ecology through his book, Convenient Action: Gujarat′s Response To Challenges Of Climate Change. One may infer from this information that today’s statements from the prime minister are not part of a routine exercise in accordance with a certain occasion.