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June 5, 2011. World Environment Day

June 5, 2011. World Environment Day


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By Ricardo Bruno Ojeda Lastre

The "World Environment Day" (World Environment Day) is an annual event that takes place on June 5. This year's theme 'Forests: Nature at Your Service' underscores the intrinsic relationship between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems. Yet despite all these invaluable ecological, economic, social and health benefits, we are destroying the forests we need to live and breathe.


The "World Environment Day" (World Environment Day) is an annual event that takes place on June 5. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly, in its Resolution 2994 of December 15, 1972, with which the Stockholm Conference (Sweden) began.

That same day, the UN General Assembly approved the creation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

This year's theme 'Forests: Nature at Your Service' underscores the intrinsic relationship between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems. The WED theme also supports the UN this year with its “International Year of Forests”, as 36 million acres of natural forest are disastrously lost annually.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) announced that India, with one of the fastest growing economies in the world, is embracing the transition process towards a Green Economy, it will be for the first time in history to host the World Environment Day 2011 (WED) on June 5.

In conserving its critical ecosystems, the government of India has successfully introduced projects that monitor the health of the nation's plants, animals, water and other natural resources, including the Sunderbans - the largest mangrove forest in the world. deltas of the world and home to the most emblematic fauna of India: the tiger.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP, said: "India is famous for its culture, arts, cinema and globally surpassing the information technology industry. Increasingly it is at the forefront of some green shoots of a Green Economy that are emerging around the world ”.

It could be said that World Environment Day is a vehicle through which the United Nations Organization sensitizes world opinion in relation to environmental issues, intensifying attention and political action.

Environment is understood to be everything that affects a living being and especially conditions the life circumstances of people or society in their lives. It includes the set of natural, social and cultural values ​​existing in a given place and time, which influence the life of human beings and future generations. That is to say, it is not only about the space in which life develops but also includes living beings, objects, water, soil, air and the relationships between them, as well as elements as intangible as culture.

As a noun, the word medium comes from the Latin medium (neutral form); as an adjective, from the Latin medius (masculine form). The word environment comes from the Latin ambiens, -ambientis, and this one from ambere, "surround", "be on both sides". The expression environment could be considered a pleonasm because the two elements of said spelling have a meaning that coincides with the meaning they have when they go together. In general this word is understood as the environment that surrounds us or what surrounds the environment.

But why forests? Splendid and inspiring, forests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth and are home to more than half of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Forests represent a large part of what is good and strong in our lives. Yet despite all these invaluable ecological, economic, social and health benefits, we are destroying the forests we need to live and breathe.

In a world occupied by seven billion people, forests, which represent more than 30 percent of the territory and contain 80 percent of the planet's biodiversity, annually lose thirteen million hectares, an area equivalent to a quarter of the Iberian Peninsula.


The forests that still cover more than 30% of all the world's land, contain 90% of the known terrestrial biodiversity and approximately 60% of all the water on the planet comes from forested areas. Estimating that around 1.6 billion people depend directly on forest resources for their survival. Furthermore, in the current climate change context, forests are essential to regulate the climate, to conserve biodiversity and soils, as well as to ensure the rights and livelihoods of the peoples dependent on them.

However, the transformation, exploitation and degradation of forests continue on unsustainable paths that will become irreversible in the medium term. In recent decades, a high rate of deforestation continues to be observed, which means that the decrease in the area of ​​primary forests continues to be brutal, which together with constant forest degradation everywhere, is putting biodiversity at risk forest.

Deforestation is one of the activities that emits the highest levels of greenhouse gases. According to official data, 20 percent of the annual global emissions of polluting gases comes from deforestation.

The impact of forests goes further. In many developing countries more than 80% of the total energy consumed by people and industry is derived from forests. As fuel wood and charcoal. The trade in wood and other forest products is estimated at almost 330 billion US dollars per year. Its value multiplies as processed in countless products used every day worldwide. The use of genetic diversity within forests allows the development of new medicines; progress in health care and science.

Of the original forest layer that covered approximately 17.5 million square kilometers of our planet, currently 40% is preserved. General forest destruction extends from the Pacific Northwest in the US to the tropical forests of Malaysia and Brazil.

As an example, we can cite the richest biological reserve on the planet, the Amazon region, there deforestation has affected the fall of the rains and causing climate changes because less evaporated water reaches the atmosphere, which generates less rainfall in addition to affecting global warming of the Earth because the suppression of these trees implies the emission of millions of tons of carbon dioxide that pollute the atmosphere since the Amazon basin regulates the climate of almost all of South America and its trees are the great processors of carbon dioxide and oxygen suppliers. The World Wildlife Fund also warned that climate change and deforestation can make up to 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest disappear or seriously damage by 2030 even and let's not forget that the Amazon rainforest is not only important as a temperature regulator but also which is also an important source of fresh water.

Deforestation is the reduction of forest cover, clearly appreciated in the loss of trees. Commercial logging and fires are examples of the causes of deforestation; Degradation refers to the loss of quality of forests, and not their cover. The quality of a forest can be observed by monitoring the survival rates of its ecosystems.

It would be impossible to deny our responsibility in the current accelerated loss of forests on our planet, this situation has a strong impact on human health, security, vulnerability to natural disasters, access to drinking water or raw materials, the situation is complex in which the world is plunged and concrete and urgent actions are needed.

Governments must develop and implement policies that encourage the sustainable use of forests. They should consider cordoning off areas inhabited by species at risk of extinction and promoting the restoration of forests where they have been logged.

In Cuba, for example, we will celebrate this June 5 with multiple activities throughout the country, among these activities, we can mention that in Havana a broad educational program will be developed dedicated to reflecting on the consequences of deforestation and forest degradation. World Environment Day, from next Wednesday.

Under the slogan Forests: nature at your service, the initiative encompasses several actions aimed at bringing young people and children closer to the care of natural resources and the formation of an ecological conscience. Among the attractions is the opening of two photographic exhibitions, Images of forests, and Biological diversity is our life, sponsored by the French Embassy in Cuba. Another significant one will be the exhibition of the documentary Caminata por el Ambiente, by Brazilian filmmaker Concepción Paun.

The program also includes the planting of trees, with children from the project classrooms museum of the historic harnero center, as well as the awarding of the contest Creating my seedbed, with the active participation of that sector of the population. Discussions on marine protection and the presentation of the book Mammals in Cuba are added to the proposals. The conferences are organized by the Heritage, Community and Environment Society and the Office of the City Historian.

Only we are and will continue to be the most responsible for all these situations and only we can avoid the self-destruction to which we are almost condemned of not changing in time what can become irreversible and then there will be no solution, let's advocate for a better world in all the senses. Let us take care of our forests and our ecosystems with a better exploitation of our natural resources. We need Nature to live.

Ricardo Bruno Ojeda Ballast, Cuba


Video: World Environment Day 2011 June 5th 2011 Part-2 (May 2022).


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