For over 40 years, people the world over have been celebrating World Environment Day. In the current global situation of lockdown and social distancing, World Environment Day on 5th June looked very different. But the message is still the same and cannot be ignored. Many people have come to realise how important nature has been to them in keeping good mental wellbeing during this time. But here are some stark statistics to bring home our need as a global community to act upon our love of nature:
- Humanity has altered 75 per cent of the Earth’s ice-free surface.
- Since 1990, 420 million hectares of forest, equal to three times the size of South Africa, have been lost.
- Nearly one million species face extinction, while the illegal wildlife trade is the fourth largest illegal trade crime in the world.
For these, and more statistics and information about World Environment Day visit the website.
“During the lockdowns, we saw air pollution clear and nature coming out of hiding – from penguins wandering the streets of Cape Town to kangaroos bouncing through Adelaide. This gives us a glimpse into how much better our lives could be if we lived in harmony with nature.”
Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme