“Conservation means the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of mankind” – Gifford Pinchot
World Nature Conservation Day is an annual event held on July 28. It is celebrated to spread awareness about protecting natural resources and make people understand the importance of the conservation of nature. Saving plants and animals that face the threat of extinction is one of the primary goals of this day. Also, the celebrations emphasize keeping the various components of nature such as flora, fauna, energy, resources, soil, water, and air intact. This day stresses the fact that we need to preserve a healthy environment and natural resources not only to maintain a stable and healthy society but also for our future generations. That means we need to leave a healthy planet for those coming after us to live and enjoy.
History of World Nature Conservation Day.
History and the origin of World Nature Conservation Day are not known but the main aim of celebrating it on July 28 is to introspect as a species on how humans are exploiting nature and take steps to conserve it.
Why do we celebrate nature conservation day?
Let’s take a quick look at what’s happened to nature.
- The quest for rapid industrialization and cutting down of forest cover to make space for the ever-growing population has caused climate change and other environmental implications.
- Humans are facing the wrath of global warming, various diseases, natural disasters, increased temperature, etc., due to the overexploitation of natural resources.
- High-temperature extremes and heavy precipitation events are increasing, glaciers and snow cover are shaking, and sea ice is retreating. Seas are warming, rising, and becoming more acidic.
- Extinction is happening on a massive scale. Around one million species of plants and animals are nearly extinct.
- Only 12.5% of the landmass on Earth is dedicated to natural reserves. The percentage clearly shows that we need more reserves.
- Wildlife population sizes have greatly declined. The WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 states that there has been an average 68% drop in the global population size of birds, amphibians, fish, mammals, and reptiles between 1970 and 2016.
From the above facts, it is clear that mother nature is facing a lot of challenges to survive and why we need to conserve nature. It is important to be mindful of these things on a daily basis but celebrating Nature Conservation Day makes us stay alert about these facts and pay more attention to nature conservation.
How can we all help to conserve nature?
We often forget how much we as humans depend on nature. Even the city-dwellers living in modern skyscrapers need air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat all of which are provided by nature. All drinking water comes from a natural source before they become bottled water. Before we get ready-to-eat meals from supermarkets, all the vegetables and fruits grow in nature and cross the globe to come to the supermarket. The same applies to the air we breathe, which is purified and oxygenated by plants. So, in conclusion, we can also say that we are preserving ourselves by conserving nature.
“Environment isn’t asking us to conserve her for her but for our future generations” – Mohith Agadi
We normally think that we all know everything about our nature and there is not much we can do to conserve nature. But even if we live in a skyscraper, far away from an oxygen-producing forest, our daily actions can have a huge impact on nature. There are so many practical actions that we can all do to help conserve nature. We can categorize all our actions into 2 groups as;
- Actions to reduce our ecological footprint: placing less demand on nature
- Reducing food waste, eating meat
- Reducing the usage of electronic devices, swapping the electronic devices instead of buying new ones
- Reducing the usage of plastic
- Reducing water waste
- Actions to conserve nature: protect, preserve, and restore biodiversity
- Planting native trees and flowers
- Making compost to improve soil quality
- Preserving water resources such as springs
- Being eco-friendly
It is clear that we can contribute to conserving nature with our simple day-to-day actions. Understanding the importance of nature and biodiversity for our own well-being can help us to help nature.
This is why we celebrate a special day nature conservation day. It is a fact that every day is a nature conservation day but celebrating it especially reminds us to stay mindful. Sometimes we become unconsciously reckless with our interactions with the environment. So, this day is like a reminder for us on how to treat the earth properly. Also, this day is a chance to make a real impact rather than a concept. We can use this day to make some tangible positive changes.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs but not every man’s greed” – Mahatma Gandhi
Written By: Devanga De Silva