Our environment: Where do we stand?

So many actions have been taken so far by governments, cities, finance, businesses, NGOs, academia, civil society and individuals across climate, nature, chemicals and pollution, however, where do we stand so far in protecting the earth?
World Environment Day, held annually on the 5th of June every year since 1973, is the largest global platform for public environmental awareness.
This day is celebrated by millions of people around the world under the leadership of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

This year’s theme is “Only One Earth”, a slogan that was used at the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm in 1972.
This put sustainable development on the global agenda and led to the creation of World Environment Day. How can we ensure that the Ministry of Water and Environment and its affiliated institutions such as the National Water and Sanitation Corporation (NWSC), the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the National Forest Authority (NFA) play their roles? Can different directorates? The Department of Water Resources, Water Development, and Environmental Affairs are spearheading these initiatives and operations.
The Earth faces many planetary emergencies: the climate is warming too quickly for people and nature to adapt to; Habitat loss and other pressures mean that an estimated one million species are threatened with extinction; Pollution continues to poison our air, land and water.

How can we get around these unfortunate facts? Can the face of the earth be saved with all the greed and selfishness around tackling environmental justice?
Sustainable consumption and production can drive economic development, mitigate climate change, positively impact health and pollution, and help alleviate poverty—as well as potentially increasing incomes. How do we care to participate in the protection and preservation of the earth?

Time is running out and nature is in emergency mode. Without action, exposure to air pollution will increase beyond safe guidelines within a decade and the flow of plastic waste into aquatic ecosystems will triple and certainly increase.
We need urgent action to address these pressing issues, and to make Only One Earth and its focus on living sustainably in harmony with nature, more relevant than ever. Truly transformative choices toward sustainability must be available, affordable, and attractive to people to make better everyday decisions.

Individuals and civil society are pivotal advocates, awareness-raising and supporters. The more we raise our voices, stress what needs to be done, and identify who is responsible, the faster change will come.
As we are aware of all the challenges ahead, the only other way out of this dilemma is to transform our economies and societies to make them inclusive, equitable, and more nature-related. We must shift from harming the planet to healing it. How can we harness the increasingly available solutions and technologies to protect the planet?
The 2022 #OnlyOneEarth campaign calls for collective and transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet. We have #OneEarth. Let’s take care of it.

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