Saturday, 17 June 2017

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, more commonly known as WDCDD is annually celebrated on the 17th of June. It is a United Nations observance. It aim at highlighting ways to prevent desertification and recover from drought. There is an urgent need to curb the desertification process. It places importance on promoting public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared (General Assembly Resolution A/RES/49/115) June 17 the "World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought" in order to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

Desertification, according to the UN, “is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations”. “Over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification, and about one billion people in over one hundred countries are at risk”.

Every year it’s celebrated under a different theme. This year the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought looks at the important link between land degradation and migration. Environmental degradation, food insecurity, and poverty are causes of migration and development challenges. “In just 15 years, the number of international migrants worldwide has risen from 173 million in 2000 to 244 million in 2015”. It looks at ways in which local communities can build resilience against current multi-fold development challenges through sustainable land management practices.

For more information on this day, visit:


Friday, 16 June 2017

World Sea Turtle Day

Source: YELP
World Sea Turtle Day is annually celebrated on the 16th of June. It is about honoring and highlighting the importance of sea turtles. It provides ample opportunity to learn more about these fascinating sea creatures and to show your support.
Source: National Aquarium

Expand your turtle knowledge by reading several facts about these wonderful species:
·         There are seven species of sea turtles to marvel at, but all of them are classified as endangered species.
·         Turtles don’t have teeth - their upper and lower jaws have sheaths made of keratin.
·         Turtle shells are made of over 50 bones fused together.
·         Species vary considerably in size. The smallest, Kemp’s ridley, are around 70cm long and up to 40kg in weight whilst the leatherback can reach up to 180cm and 500kg in weight.
·         Female marine turtles return to the same beach they hatched on to nest.
·         Only 1 percent of sea turtles live to reach sexual maturity, which is why female turtles lay hundreds of eggs while nesting.
·         It’s estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 marine turtle eggs will survive to adulthood.
·         They can migrate long distances.

Source: NBS Turtles


Thursday, 8 June 2017

Today is World Oceans Day!

World Oceans Day is annually celebrated every June 8 and is an annual observation. It’s connected with the celebration of the Ocean Conference, held from 5 to 9 June in United Nations headquarters in New York.

Unofficially, it has been celebrated since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada's International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit - UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Brundtland Commission (The World Commission on Environment and Development) provided the incentive for a global oceans day as it noted that the ocean sector lacked a strong voice. In 1992, the objectives were to move the oceans from the side lines to the centre of the intergovernmental and NGO discussions and policy and to strengthen the voice of ocean and coastal constituencies worldwide.

Consequently, World Oceans Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in late 2008. The Ocean Project, working closely with other similar organizations, has been promoting World Oceans Day since 2002. This project has also led a three-year global petition movement to secure official UN recognition.

Purpose of WOD
This day is particularly important for Mother Nature as it honors the world’s oceans. It also highlights the importance of the ocean in our daily lives. Its aim is to raise awareness of the role of the oceans, the importance of protecting our marine environment and its resources, the different impacts of human actions on the ocean. Furthermore, it is about mobilising and uniting the world behind a project of sustainable global ocean management. It raises global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. It’s about celebrating and honouring the bodies of water that links us all. It’s about making a difference in your life, community, and world by taking action to protect our ocean for present and future generations.

Importance of oceans
The oceans cover approximately two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and are the foundation of all life. Oceans provide us with a myriad of resources and services such as oxygen (it is one of the “lungs” of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe), climate regulation, nutrients, and food sources as well as absorb a large quantity of carbon dioxide emissions. It’s also economically important for countries that rely on tourism. They are a critical part of the biosphere. The oceans are vital to food security and the health and survival of all life. It provides an exceptional opportunity to take personal and community action to conserve the ocean.

Why do we celebrate WOD?
·         To remind everyone of the major part the ocean has in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.
·         To inform the public on the impact of the human actions on the ocean.
·         To develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean.
·         To mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world's oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.
·         To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean
·         To inspire younger generations to get involved with oceans’ conservation.

The theme for 2017 is Our Oceans, Our Future. The focus of the conservation action is to encourage solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future.

Ocean Threats
Over the last few decades, habitat destruction, pollution, overfishing, destructive fishing, and other forms of exploitation to marine habitats have dramatically occurred.  Even though, there are a myriad of challenges facing the world’s ocean, it’s still possible to achieve a healthy ocean, providing for the billions of humans, plants and animals which depend on it daily. Around 3/4th of our planet is water, but as a result of the occurrence of global warming, there's a threat to even the largest natural resource on earth, namely water. As a result of climate change, ocean acidification has taken place. Accordingly, there's a major hazard to the marine life which thrives in the ocean. This means that it will lead to a loss of equilibrium in the natural order of things.

How it’s celebrated?
World Oceans Day events are celebrated on not only on June the 8th, but all month long. This day entails launching new campaigns and initiatives, outdoor explorations, aquatic and beach clean-ups, educational and conservation action programs, art contests, film festivals, and sustainable seafood events. You can also show your support digitally by using the following hash tags on your social media platforms: #SaveOurOcean, #WorldOceansDay, #WorldOceansDay2017, #WOD2017, #Oceans.


Monday, 5 June 2017

World Environmental Day: Quotes

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods - John Muir

Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans - Evo Morales

Saving our planet, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all - Ban Ki-moon

Climate change is happening, humans are causing it, and I think this is perhaps the most serious environmental issue facing us - Bill Nye

Plant together... let’s make the world greener – unknown

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty - John Ruskin


Today we’re celebrating World Environment Day!


World Environment Day (WED) takes place on the 5th of June every year. This is a very relevant and important environmental day, especially in light of the current environmental situations around the world. The environment is currently in a dire state and is being degraded at a tremendously fast pace.

It is the United Nation's principal vehicle and is the biggest, most globally celebrated environmental days in terms of positive environmental action. WED places an imperative spotlight on protecting the environment and to inspire and motivate individuals, communities, and organisations to reconnect with Mother Nature. The day is all about imploring people to get outdoors and into nature so as to appreciate its stunning beauty as well as nature’s importance. It is a day on which people can reflect on their dependency on nature and how we are part of nature. It’s about ensuring a cleaner and greener future. Essentially it is about deepening public awareness of the need to preserve as well as enhance the environment. It’s about doing something positive for Mother Nature. WED provides an ideal opportunity for people to realize that they have a responsibility to care for the Mother Nature. The day promotes ways to improve the planet's environment as well as taking forward the call to protect the Earth that we share. It’s all about stimulating awareness of the environment as well as enhancing political attention and public action. It calls on people to show their love and affection for our shared natural world. World Environment Day is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere and fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

It is about being engaged in activities that serve to educate and improve people’s environment locally. WED is “the ‘people’s day’ for doing something to take care of the Earth or become an agent of change. That ‘something’ can be focused locally, nationally or globally; it can be a solo action or involve a crowd – everyone is free to choose. Through WED, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) enables everyone to realize not only the responsibility of caring for the Earth, but it also reminds people of their individual power to become agents of change. Every action counts, and when multiplied, it has the potential to become exponential in its impact. This observance provides an ideal opportunity to sign or ratify international environmental conventions.

The main colors featured in many promotions are natural colors (softer shades of green, brown and blue), representative of Mother Nature and its natural resources. WED is for everybody; it doesn’t matter where you live, albeit in cold or sunny areas, in the city or the countryside.

In 1972, World Environment Day was designated by the UN General Assembly on the first day of United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, resulting from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. In 1974 the first WED was held.

Since its inception, citizens from all over the world have organized thousands of events, from neighborhood clean-ups, to replanting forests. Thus, for more than four decades, WED has essentially raised awareness and supported action and change. More than 143 countries participate in this important day. It commenced as a result of efforts of leading environmentalists who recognized the need for there to be a coordinated global focus to begin to make conserving the environment and our natural resources a priority.

The Host
Every year, WED has a different global host country where the official celebrations take place. This is to ensure and highlight the environmental challenges it faces, as well as supports the effort to address them. This year’s host country, Canada, chose the theme and will be at the center of celebrations around the world. 

Theme for 2017
There couldn’t be a more fitting theme for 2017 than ‘Connecting People to Nature - in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator’. For the youth, this theme has particular relevance as children frequently don’t spend enough time in nature anymore. Similarly, adults also, nowadays, don’t seem to spend quality time outdoors. Corporations, NGOs, communities, celebrities, and governments use this theme to adopt to advocate environmental causes and organize events around the specific theme. Also, stakeholders and interested parties are encouraged to add activities related to the environment for saving it and to motivate people for taking initiative to achieve it too. This year, UNEP will strive to make WED epic. In support of the 2017 celebrations, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the #NatureForAll campaign have helped inspire people to get out into nature and record what they see.

In our modern world few of us take enough time away from our daily lives to appreciate and engage with our natural world. By celebrating this day surrounded by nature, we'll be able to rediscover the importance for caring for the environment so that it can care for us. 

Why is World Environment Day so important?
There's a closing window of opportunity to safeguard Earth’s capacity to support future generations. Meeting the immediate needs of growing human populations is threatening the equilibrium and viability of local and global ecosystems. Without public awareness of the importance of the environment on a global scale, politics won’t pay attention to changing legislation to govern practices that may be hurting the environment. When you create a group for World Environment Day, it’s a year round commitment to advocacy and action in your local area, and on a global scale to promote and encourage environmental responsibility and the conservation of natural resources.

The value of nature
The value of nature is truly expansive. As the official World Environment Day website notes: “Scientific advances and growing environmental problems (for example global warming) are helping us to understand the countless ways in which natural systems support our own prosperity and well-being”. It further explains that “the world’s oceans, forests and soils act as vast stores for greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane; farmers and fisher-folk harness nature on land and under water to provide us with food”. Rural communities from all over the world are well connected to nature as they spend every working day conscious of the fact of their dependency on natural water supplies and are appreciative of the fact that nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. As a result of this dependency, they are the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened and degraded due to factors such as pollution, climate change, and over-exploitation. Furthermore, nature’s value cannot only be measured in monetary value only. Just like clean air, it’s often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce. Nature is a wonderful setting for fun and adventure, it promotes health and well-being, it acts as a laboratory for limitless scientific exploration, and connects young and old generations to cultural roots. 

Up close with nature

When people forge personal connections with nature, the benefits to individual and societal health are endless and lay a foundation for lifelong support of nature conservation. Connecting to nature doesn’t have to involve only one of your physical senses. Take off your shoes and get your feet (and hands) dirty; take a night hike at night; and rely on your ears and nose to experience nature. Luckily, for people in cities, major parks can be seen as a green lung and a hub of biodiversity. In this manner, people can still feel connected to nature. You can green your urban environment too, by greening your street or a derelict site, or planting a window box. Nature is there to be enjoyed all-year round.

So, how can you be part of this memorable day?
There are a myriad of different WED activities in which all people can participate in. Here are just some ideas:
·         By reconnecting with our beautiful planet!
·         Go outside! Enjoy some of your country’s national parks.
·         Head to the beach
·         The WED website suggest that while you’re there to set a challenge for yourself by seeking out a rare mammal, identifying different butterfly species, and reaching the remotest corner of the park. It will be worth your while.
·         Join a growing number of citizen scientists: Today, more than ever, smartphone apps help you log your sightings and connect with others who can identify the species. These records feed into conservation strategies and assist in mapping the effects of climate change on biodiversity.
·         Weed and fertilize public trees and gardens.
·         Eat organic food and make meals from locally grown products.
·         Collect trash in your vicinity.
·         Think about how you can help save energy and reduce your monthly electricity bill.
·         Instead of driving with your car, why not drive a bicycle instead?
·         Hold a local educational forum about global environmental issues and invite in speakers.
·         By investing time in green spaces, Mother Nature will become more important for people. So, thus, get out into a local green space.
·         Think about what you can do reduce your carbon footprint as well as to be environmentally friendly as possible.
·         Be green – literally! Wear green clothes to show Mother Nature that you truly care for her and her wellbeing.
·         Learn more about environmental issues by conducting researching on these issues. Why not go a step further by coming up with your own ideas on how you can control them.
·         Buy items that are made up from recycled products. Look out for recycle symbol on the packaged goods).
·         Organise clean-up campaigns, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, and concerts, recycling drives, and social media campaigns.
·         Do one thing differently to increase how you benefit the environment.
·         Show that you’re #WithNature 

·         Use other hashtags such as: #WED #WorldEnvironmentDay #WED2017 #ILoveNature #ProtectMotherNature 

You don’t have to only partake in celebrations on the 5th of June only – make every day a #Nature day! Mother Nature (and your health) will infinitely be happy! It’s so important to remember that “by keeping our planet healthy, we keep ourselves healthy too”. Evidently, we need harmony between humanity and nature in order for both to thrive.

What will YOU do to make this day count?