World Environment Day 2024

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By Tripat Girdhar, An Environment Expert and Founder of Arete Design Studio, Chandigarh

As everyone is aware, the world observes World Environment Day on June 5th of each year. Let’s examine the subject for this year, its importance, awareness, challenges, efforts, and our part in putting it into practice. ‘Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience’ is this year’s theme. We’ll use “Our Land, Our Future” as our tagline. 

Importance:

Uniting global efforts to confront urgent environmental concerns is made possible in large part by World Environment Day. It has developed into a vital forum for promoting environmental awareness and action since the United Nations established it in 1974. This day highlights how everyone is responsible for safeguarding and restoring our world, including corporations, governments, communities, and individuals. To promote sustainable practices and policy reforms, World Environment Day focuses on important concerns such as pollution, climate change, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. It cultivates a sense of care for the Earth by encouraging individuals to think globally and act locally. World Environment Day works to create positive environmental change and encourages a more sustainable, healthy future for all through a range of events, projects, and partnerships.

Awareness:

Under the theme “Restore Our Earth,” this year’s Environment Day seeks to raise awareness and encourage action about urgent environmental issues. This year’s priorities center on quickening restoration activities to counteract climate change, stop the loss of biodiversity, and improve sustainable living. The campaign promotes restoration actions, like clean-up drives, reforestation, and the use of green technologies, among individuals, communities, corporations, and governments. World Environment Day 2024 aims to provide concrete evidence of the advantages of environmental stewardship and encourage worldwide participation by showcasing successful restoration projects and encouraging best practices. This awareness campaign acts as a catalyst for acknowledging the interdependence of humans and the natural world, as well as the pressing need to preserve and restore our planet for coming generations.

Challenges are highlighted here:

  • Global Participation and Engagement: It is still difficult to inspire broad participation from many populations, particularly in isolated or underdeveloped areas. It takes significant outreach efforts to make sure that the message of restoration reaches and resonates with a worldwide audience.
  • Political and Economic Barriers: Environmental initiatives are frequently hampered by a lack of political will and financial interests. It can be challenging to persuade governments and corporations to place restoration initiatives above more immediate financial rewards and to prioritize and invest in them.
  • Public Education and Awareness: Although awareness is increasing, there is still a big knowledge gap regarding the complexity and importance of environmental concerns. Real change requires educating the public about the value of sustainable practices and restoration.
  • Impact of Climate Change: Restoration efforts are becoming increasingly complex and urgent because of the accelerating effects of climate change, such as extreme weather occurrences. It is difficult to strike a balance between long-term restoration objectives and urgent needs for climate adaptation.
  • Collaboration and Coordination: Due to varying agendas and interests, it can be difficult to ensure productive collaboration between local communities, corporations, NGOs, and governments.

To implement World Environment Day effectively, several initiatives can be undertaken:

Community Engagement: To inform the public about environmental challenges and sustainable practices, and plan neighborhood clean-up campaigns, tree-plantation events, and workshops. A recent example is that BCCI & TATA Group will plant 161500 trees for every dot-ball bowled in IPL playoffs 2024. Policy Advocacy: To aid in restoration and conservation efforts, push for stricter environmental laws and policies at the local, state, and federal levels. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs aim to incentivize companies to implement sustainable practices, mitigate their carbon emissions, and provide support to environmental projects. Educational Campaigns: Start awareness-raising initiatives in colleges and schools to inform students about the value of environmental stewardship and motivate them to take action. Joint Projects: Develop and carry out extensive restoration projects, such as reforestation, wetland restoration, and pollution control programs, in collaboration with NGOs, community organizations, and governments. Motivation for Ecological Practices: Offer subsidies, tax rebates, or recognition programs for eco-friendly projects as a means of encouraging people and organizations to adopt sustainable practices.

By implementing these initiatives, World Environment Day can drive significant progress in restoring and protecting our planet.

About the author:

Ar. Tripat Girdhar, Founder of  Arete Design Studio, attempts to capture the essence of his times and engross in the exciting potential that bubbles at the surface of modern India. Ar. Girdhar is also a member of the architecture council and has been awarded the title of CREDAI Destination Punjab 2019’ by Hon’ble Minister of Housing & Urban Development, Punjab – Sukhwinder Singh Sarkaria, for the project Address Boulevard which will be the tallest building in Punjab.

Started in 2009, Arete Design Studio (formerly The Design Studio) is the country’s leading architecture firm. Based in Chandigarh, the studio is a renowned green urban planner for their outstanding efforts to protect the environment and set new standards for beautiful, top-notch architectural design in India.They incorporate international trends to the Indian architectural journey and already have completed a 6.5 lakh square foot township, together with over 20 commercial buildings, seven educational institutions, nine resorts, and over 10,000 families who have moved into their dream homes. Chandigarh’s new landmarks called The Marbella and Address Boulevard designed by The Arete Design Studio.