The World Environment Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the first UN Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm on June 5th every year since 1973. The theme this year (2017) was ‘Connecting People to Nature’.
Now more than ever, the issue of environment and sustainable development has to leave the scientific domain and enter into public policy and social discourses.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has clearly indicated that over the next decades, billions of people, particularly those in developing countries, will face shortages of water and food and greater risks to health and life as a result of climate change.
Already the predictions show that Global temperatures could break through the 1.5-degree Celsius barrier negotiated at the Paris conference as early as 2026, and pledges by nations to cut carbon emissions may not be enough.
This will lead to rising industrial pollution, degradation of forests, depletion of ozone layer, resulting greenhouse gases, and adverse impact on environment and human health among others.
It is also a well-established fact that the poor and marginalized communities are most vulnerable to this kind of change which will further perpetuate poverty. Extreme inequality in patterns of consumption of precious natural resources such as water, energy and minerals also exacerbate hardships.
What is your region doing to fight against these looming disasters?
What do you know about the annual World Environment Day?
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The Paris Agreement: USA out, EU, AU Remain Strong
It is already a wide-spread news that President Donald Trump of the United States of America has finally withdrawn his country from the Paris Agreement – an agreement that should deal with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance from 2020. Nonetheless, the European Union and the African Union have continued to spread their commitment campaign to the November 4, 2016 Agreement.
Pledging to work together in finalizing the programme of the agreement ahead of the next COP, (COP23) slated for November 2017, the two unions have reaffirmed their commitments to continue to address the adverse effects of climate change on human and animal health, natural ecosystems and other social and economic impacts that threaten our developmental gains as a global community. In addition, climate change and renewable energy have been included in the agenda of the upcoming Africa-EU Summit in Abidjan on 29/30 November.
With the continued commitment of these two blocs, the Paris Agreement will hopefully remain unbroken.