The Dalai Lama has said, “Conservation is not merely a question of morality, but a question of our own survival.”
The message reflects the importance of conservation of nature. Humans today may consider themselves as superior beings. But in reality, they do not have the capacity to survive without nature. They rely on various resources and biodiversity for their energy and shelter requirements. Despite this, they exploit nature as if they can do without it.
Nature Conservation Day is therefore observed every year on July 28th to recognise that a healthy environment is a foundation for a stable and productive society. The day is celebrated to ensure the well-being of present and future generations.
History of Nature Conservation Day
The history and origin of the World Nature Conservation Day is not known. However, the main aim of celebrating it is to come together and support nature to stop its exploitation.
Nature Conservation Day 2020
World Nature Conservation Day 2020 is to be observed to raise awareness about the significance of natural resources and encourage people about the practices of protecting natural resources. Due to natural imbalance, several problems have arisen such as global warming, various diseases, natural disasters, increased temperature etc. Therefore, it is important to raise awareness among people all over the world to understand the importance of saving resources, recycle it, preserve it and also understand the consequences of damaging it.
Relevance of Nature Conservation Day Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
Conservation of nature and biodiversity is highly relevant in the contemporary world considering the rising number of Zoonoses diseases such as COVID-19, Swine Flu, Nipah Virus, etc. These diseases have emerged as a result of man-animal conflict and excessive interference of humans in the natural ecosystem. According to scientists at Conservation International, there’s a direct link between the destruction of nature and disease outbreaks.
Scientists have said that ecosystems are at their healthiest when they have diverse species in them with well-developed food chains. However, with persisting global wildlife trade and encroachment of humans into forests, the habitats of the wild animals are shrinking, compelling them to stay confined in smaller areas. This, in turn, restricts them from free movement and exposes them to human waste, making them sick. When these sick animals come in direct contact with humans or their environment, the diseases get transmitted to them, leading to devastating pandemics.
What can be done to create healthier ecosystems?
The prevalence of Pandemics and the recent reclassification of NYC into a subtropical climatic zone has made it clear that the impact of reckless exploitation of earth’s resources will have to be borne by us today itself. And in order to avoid paying the price that might result in premature extinction of human life, we need to step back and restructure our lifestyles to accommodate nature in it. In order to do this, the following are some of the points that governments may consider to plan a healthier ecosystem.
1. The cities that are constantly expanding, must ensure that existing green spaces in the city are protected and also prioritise building new ones within the city boundaries in order to establish a co-existence of man and wild in an area.
2. The governments must ensure that environmental regulations are strengthened and are strictly enforced to protect or restore biodiverse areas.
3. The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant economic crisis because of lockdowns have provided the world with an opportunity to start all over again. This time around, the governments can ensure that the exploitative methods are done away with and that the strategies that help build the world back revolve around sustainable development to ensure multiple global goals, such as combating climate change and reducing natural hazard risks.
4. Nature Conservation: Ecosystems are built to maintain a balance between species and diseases in a very natural way. Thus, animals must be allowed to dwell in their natural habitat.
5. Stopping the illegal wildlife trade.
It is for the benefit of humanity that humans embrace nature and lead a sustainable and minimalist lifestyle. After all, Mahatama Gandhi has rightly said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed.”