Every year, the 5th of June is celebrated as World Environment Day (WED) to create worldwide awareness and action for the environment. A specific theme is chosen for each WED and is observed with numerous events to promote positive environmental actions.
This year’s WED theme is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” Resource overuse and exploitation is the grave concern for the state of the planet today. The scientists have developed a framework of “Planetary Boundaries” to define the safe operating space for humanity in the Earth. Once such boundaries are crossed, there is a risk of “irreversible and abrupt environmental change”. Out of the nine earth system processes; climate change, the ate of biodiversity loss and interference with the nitrogen cycle have already crossed their boundaries while the boundaries for global freshwater use, change in land use, ocean acidification and interference with the global phosphorous cycle might soon be transgressed because of the human activity.
According to UNEP, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.
However, the resource use and consumption is uneven among the developed and developing countries. It is the developed countries which continue to fast deplete the earth’s precious natural resources such as water, energy and food. On the contrary, 1.2 billion people in developing countries continue to live in extreme poverty. There is a meteoric rise in wealth inequality with 1% of the population having 48% wealth in 2014. So, sustaining the consumption of the rich and providing decent living conditions to the poor is the major challenge.
Thus, confronting the environmental crisis today requires addressing economic, climate, food and social disruptions.
As Nepal is slowly rising up from the devastation caused by the earthquake on 25 April 2015, discussions abound on how to rebuild the country or on which development path the country should follow. While, the development that reaps the benefit for the masses is imperative
Environment must be in the core of development agenda.