As the countries open up after the corona lockdown and governments come up with several packages to support job creation, poverty reduction, economic growth and development, the United Nations has called for “building back better” a sustainable nature and to nurture it.
With habitat degradation and biodiversity loss accelerating, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said that “nature is sending us a clear message. We are harming the natural world, to our own detriment.” He said this in his message on World Environment day that falls on June 5.
“Climate disruption is getting worse…To care for humanity, we must care for nature,” he said.
The theme of the 2020 edition of World Environment day is “Time for Nature”. The theme is biodiversity protection, at a time when one million animal and plant species are believed to be on the brink of extinction.
The United Nations Environment Programme said that the delicate balance of nature has been disrupted with population doubling over the past 50 years and global economy growing fourfold over the same period. All this has created an ideal atmosphere for pathogens, such as COVID-19, to spread.
In a message, independent UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment David Boyd said that about 70 per cent of emerging infectious diseases like Coronavirus are crossing from the wild to people. The countries should take urgent action to protect the environment and stop climate disruption, toxic pollution, biodiversity loss and diseases that transmit from animals to humans, he added.
For “building back better” a sustainable nature, the UN said that it involved capturing opportunities for green investment. This included renewable energy, green public procurement, public transport and smart housing. The global body warned that a failure to do so will see inequalities rising even further and a worsening of the degradation of planet, at a time when one million animal and plant species are on the brink of extinction.