2021 World Environment Day June 5

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated annually on June 5 and is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. First held in 1974, it has been a platform for raising awareness on environmental issue such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.

World Environment Day was established in 1972 by the United Nations at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment that had resulted from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. Two years later, in 1974 the first WED was held with the theme “Only One Earth The theme for 2021 is “Ecosystem Restoration”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Environment_Day

Movement for Ecological Learning and Community Action (MELCA-Ethiopia) is a non-governmental, non-profit making local organization founded in 2004. MELCA-Ethiopia has a vision to see healthy and prosperous people, who preserve their bio-cultural diversity, and the mission is focused on working for healthy ecosystems, resilient communities, and critical young generation through developing and institutionalizing innovative approaches and experiences. Its core values include integration of culture and environment, traditional and scientific knowledge system, intergenerational learning and celebrating diversity.

To realize its vision, MELCA-Ethiopia focuses on implementing four core programs Environmental Governance, Agro-ecology, Children and Youth Empowerment, and Eco-friendly Livelihoods Improvement Schemes all of which are employing gender as a cross cutting subject and operates in 7 project offices in 5 regional states (Oromia, SNNPR, Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz and Gembella Peoples Regional States).


Why Is It Important to Care About the Environment?

The ecosystem (all the communities of living organisms found in a specific place, their habitats and their interactions) in which we live provides natural services for humans and all other species that are essential to our health, quality of life and survival. For example, our forests remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air we breathe and also cool our air temperatures, reducing the formation of ground-level ozone, a pollutant that can cause heart and lung problems to worsen; our wetlands store storm water, filter and make harmless storm water pollutants, and recharge our aquifers (where most of us get our drinking water) with these filtered waters; and the dune systems on our beaches form natural barriers to storm waves and provide important habitat and travel ways for wildlife. Source (https://www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov/sustainability/whycare.cfm#)

Right to a healthy environment

The right to a healthy environment or the right to a sustainable and healthy environment is a human right advocated by human rights organizations and environmental organizations to protect the ecological systems that provide human health. The right is interconnected with other health-focused human rights, such as the human right to water and sanitation, right to food and right to health. The right to a healthy environment uses a human rights approach to protect environmental quality as opposed to legal theory developed for the rights of nature which tries to extend the rights created for humans or other legal entities to nature.

The right creates an obligation of the state to regulate and enforce environmental laws, control pollution, and otherwise provide justice and protections for communities harmed by environmental problems. The right to a healthy environment has been an important right for creating environmental legal precedents for climate change litigation and other environmental issues.

The right to a healthy environment is at the core of the international approach to human rights and climate change. International agreements that support this right include the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, the 1992 Rio Declaration, and the more recent Global Pact for the Environment. Over 150 states in the UN have recognized the right in some form via legislation, litigation, constitutional law, treaty law or other legal authority. Source (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_a_healthy_environment#)