Michele du Plessis
Earth Day is an annual event and was celebrated on April 22nd. Every year, since 1970 and now includes events in more than 193 countries. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection which are coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. The theme this year is “Protect our Species.”
(Earth Day is not to be confused with the electricity switch off called Earth Hour, celebrated in March.)
2020 will mark Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary and the global coordinator of Earth Day, Earth Day Network, is working to make sure that Earth Day 2020 is the most diverse global mobilization in defence of the environment in world history.
“We work year-round with more than 50,000 partner organizations in 190 countries, and our global campaigns and programs bring hundreds of thousands of new voices—representing youth and faculty, the faith community, minority groups, women, teachers, students and others—into the environmental movement.” Earth Day web site.
“Nature’s gifts to our planet are the millions of species that we know and love, and many more that remain to be discovered. Unfortunately, human beings have irrevocably upset the balance of nature and, as a result, the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. But, unlike the fate of the dinosaurs, the rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity.
Over the last few centuries, humans have essentially become the top predator, not only on land, but also across the sea. In doing so, humanity has begun using 25-40% of the planet’s net primary production for its own. As we keep expanding our use of land and resources, the capacity of species to survive is constantly reduced.
The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to causes driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few. The impacts are far reaching.
If we do not act now, extinction may be humanity’s most enduring legacy.”*
Earth Day Network is asking people to join their Protect our Species campaign. Their goals are to:
- Educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.
- Achieve major policy victories that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats.
- Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.
- Encourage individual actions such as adopting plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.
Information from www.Earthday.org.