WED India: Forests: Nature at Your Service
World Environment Day (WED) is observed on June 5 every year to promote awareness on the importance of preserving our biodiversity, the need to identify problems related to the environment and ways to take corrective action.
WED was introduced to bring about positive action regarding preserving and safeguarding the environment. It is celebrated on June 5 every year and is hosted by a different city with a different theme.
India is the Global Host of World Environment Day 2011 and this year's theme is Forests: Nature at Your Service. It was chosen to encourage forest conservation and sustainable consumption for green growth, and in support of the UN International Year of Forests initiative.
It was on this day in the year 1972 that the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was formed. First celebrated in 1973, World Environment Day, also popularly known as Environment Day, is a means to tackle environmental challenges that include climate change, global warming, disasters and conflicts, harmful substances, environmental governance, ecosystem management and resource efficiency.
India is a country with huge biological diversity and forest cover but with increasing population, the pressure on the environment is enormous. Clearing of land for cultivation and grazing of animals has greatly reduced forest cover. Destruction of wildlife habitat and desertification is rampant, leading eventually to loss of flora and fauna.
The Indian government has come up with many projects to mitigate various environmental and it’s accompanying socio-economic problems. India has introduced projects that track the health of the nation's plants, animals, water and other natural resources. It has also introduced systems to combat land-degradation and desertification to protect agricultural land like tree-planting, windbreaks and shelterbelts.
Under the afforestation programme, any diversion of public forests for non-forestry purposes is compensated through afforestation in degraded or non-forested land.
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which has generated three billion working days-worth of employment, benefiting close to 60 million households, underwrites at least 100 days of paid work for rural households to invest in water conservation, irrigation and land development.
WED has received tremendous support from the public, non-profit organizations and governments around the world.
Various awareness programmes are chalked out to observe the global function like beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events etc.
This year, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has selected India as host of World Environment Day 2011. Forests cover 1/3 of the earth’s land mass and play a key role in our battle against climate change, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide – this is what the theme aims to reinforce.