International Mother Earth Day


We must act decisively to protect our planet from both the coronavirus and the existential threat of climate disruption.-UN Secretary-General António Guterres


For PRELIMS look out for theme and the initiative this year !

For MAINS this is a wonderful article mentioning the significance of biodiversity conservation and it method . Dive in right into it !


The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:2:3:Earth:Climate Change:International Organisations


  • The General Assembly designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day through a resolution adopted in 2009.
  • On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet.
  • The UN Conference on the Human Environment 1972 in Stockholm marked the beginning of a global awareness of the interdependence between people, other living species and our planet, as well as the establishment of World Environment Day on 5 June and the UN Environment Programme.
  • In 1992, Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the first major conference in which Sustainable Development was the main issue discussed by member states.
  • From then on, all efforts to conserve the environment experienced an exponential growth: the Earth Summit in Johannesburg in 2002; the declaration of 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth;
  • the UN official Mother Earth Day Declaration; Rio+20 – resulting in a focused political outcome document, which contains clear and practical measures for implementing sustainable development – and recently, the Climate Action Summit 2019 and COP25, both focusing on the achievement of the Paris Agreement.

      MESSAGE :


    • Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis — oil spills, smog, rivers so polluted they literally caught fire.
    • The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement, and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.

      • Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records and the worst locust invasion in Kenya.
      • Now we face COVID -19, a worldwide health pandemic link to the health of our ecosystem.
      • Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) like COVID-19.
      • From one new infection disease that emerges in humans every 4 months, 75% of these emerging diseases come from animals, according to UN Environment.
      • This shows the close relationships between human, animal and environmental health.
      • Visible, positive impact– whether through improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions – are but temporary, because they come on the back of tragic economic slowdown and human distress.
      Let’s remind more than ever in this International Mother Earth Day that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet.



      • Coronavirus outbreak poses huge public health and global economy at risk, but biological diversity as well. However, biodiversity can be part of the solution since this diversity of species would make difficult to pathogens to spread rapidly.
      • This Mother Earth Day, coinciding with the Super Year of Biodiversity, is focused in its role as an indicator of the Earth’s health.
      • There is growing concern about the health consequences of biodiversity loss and change.
      • Biodiversity changes affect ecosystem functioning and significant disruptions of ecosystems can result in life sustaining ecosystem goods and services.
      • Specific linkages between health and biodiversity include impact in nutrition, health research or traditional medicine, new infectious diseases and influencing shifts in the distribution of plants, pathogens, animals, and even human settlements, most of them affected by climate change.
      • Despite ongoing efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide at rates unprecedented in human history.
      • It is estimated that around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.



      • ActNow is the United Nations’ global call to individual action on climate change.

      The campaign is a critical part of the UN’s coordinated effort to raise awareness, ambition, and action for climate change and accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement.

      • Primarily an online and social media campaign, ActNow will educate and encourage individual actions, mainly by adjusting consumption patterns.
      • By changing our habits and routines, and making choices that have less harmful effects on the environment, we have the power to confront the climate challenge.

      ActNow Bot

      • Climate change requires urgent, coordinated, and consistent action. ActNow harnesses advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to spur behaviour change.
      • The ActNow bot recommends daily actions to reduce our carbon footprints  – like traveling more sustainably, saving energy or eating less meat.
      • By registering and sharing your actions, you send a message that individuals like you want climate action and are willing to take it.
      • ActNow highlights the impact that collective action can have at this critical moment in our planet’s history. The more people act, the bigger the impact.


      • The United Nations’ ActNow Climate Campaign aims to trigger individual action on the defining issue of our time.
      • People around the world will be engaged to make a difference in all facets of their lives, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.
      • This year, we will be focusing on two mini campaigns around food and fashion.


      • What we eat has major implications for climate change.
      • The destruction of rainforests to create land for agriculture, along with growing demand for meat, are major contributors to the increasing greenhouse gases which are taking a significant toll on climate and global food security.
      • To top it off, we waste about one-third of the food that is produced.
      • But more people are taking a closer look at what they are eating and the impacts of their diets on their health and on the environment.
      • More and more chefs and other food suppliers are focusing on local and organic produce and shifting away from meat-heavy meals and fast food.
      • They are joined by a growing movement of people changing the way they cook and eat.
      • The UN’s ActNow campaign aims to inspire even more people to enjoy sustainable, climate-conscious and delicious food.
      • ActNow has invited people around the world to share their individual contribution to sustainable food consumption.


      • Making clothes has a huge impact on climate change.
      • The textile industry contributes around ten percent of global greenhouse gas emissions—it uses more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
      • The industry’s impact is not limited to global carbon emissions.
      • It also produces about 20 percent of global waste water and 85 percent of textiles end up in landfills or are incinerated when most of these materials could be reused.

      ActNow will invite people around the world to make their individual contributions to zero-waste fashion.

            IASbhai WINDUP: 


      • One new infectious disease emerges in humans every 4 months. 75% of these emerging diseases come from animals.
      • A healthy ecosystem helps to protect us from these diseases. Biological diversity makes it difficult for pathogens to spread rapidly.
      • It is estimated that around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

           SOURCES:THE HINDU | International Mother Earth Day | UPSC

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