Our environment is at risk

World Environment Day was observed on June 5 in Nepal and across the world. It is one of the sole vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and supports political attention and actions promoted by all nations so as to preserve the environment.

This year’s WED was marked with the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution”, encouraging people to consider: “If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.” An environment is a common place for all living creatures. But human activities are degrading it. The world is getting hotter and hotter by the day due to global warming and climate change. Climatic zones are shifting. Glaciers are melting rapidly. Sea levels are rising.

We are facing some serious environmental issues. Nepal also has been the victim of climate change and global warming. Many years ago our mountains, including Macchapuchhre, looked so resplendent. Nowadays they have turned into masses of black rocks. Around seven years ago, Pokhara residents witnessed one of the major disasters when flooded Seti river claimed several lives. It does not rain well during the monsoon when farmers prepare for paddy plantation.

The international convention of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change held in 2014 in Yokohama, Japan had concluded that the oceans will become more acidic, challenging coral and many species that they harbour.

On land, animals, plants and other species will begin to move towards the higher ground or towards the poles as the mercury rises. It is clear that disadvantaged group will suffer the most and that rising temperatures would become a major setback for the developing countries which are trying to pull people out of poverty.

Many organisations launch clean-up campaigns, plantation programmes, street plays, oratory contests and mass rallies to mark World Environment Day. Such activities are good to raise awareness but they are not sufficient. We have to think about our environment every moment. Every small action of ours can have profound consequences on our environment.

Despite declaring some cities “plastic-free zones”, people have not stopped using plastics. People still conveniently throw garbage into the rivers. Human activities are proving to be detrimental to many other species.

All of us must work round the year to save our environment. Harming our environment means harming ourselves.