GIS – 22 April, 2019: World Earth Day 2019 was marked, today, by the launching of a series of activities during a ceremony held at the Black River Gorges National Park. A poster on illegal dumping was also launched and medicinal plants were distributed to showcase the Mauritian Government’s commitment to preserve the nature.
Present at the event, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, spoke of the need for everyone to rethink their consumption patterns to help save the world. ‘We should start by adopting actions that can help preserve the environment and the planet and embrace mitigation actions to eliminate the adverse effects of climate change’, he said.
The Minister highlighted that the theme for World Earth Day 2019, ‘Protection of our Species’, aims at raising awareness on the threat that the world is facing, that is, the greatest rate of extinction ever, as human beings have irrevocably upset the balance of nature. It is therefore crucial, he pointed out, for everyone to ponder on their actions and human behaviour and activities that are provoking complex environmental challenges and an unprecedented global destruction.
Speaking about the alarming trend of overconsumption, Minister Sinatambou stated that the world is on the brink of facing a food crisis as figures reveal the persisting trend of depletion of resources. Humanity, he indicated, is continually exhausting nature's budget for the year and the supply in 2015 was already consumed on 13 August of that same year, in 2016 on 08 August, in 2017 on 02 August and 2018 on 01 August. Hence, he stated, it is imperative for everyone to reconsider and question their negative consumption patterns.
Moreover, the Minister observed that climate change remains one of the most serious and pressing challenges that mankind is currently facing. The worsening tendency of climate change represents a major impediment on the survival of the planet and humanity. Furthermore, he dwelt on man-related activities such as deforestation and overconsumption of plastic that are exacerbating environmental challenges such as deforestation and affecting the fragile ecosystems and wildlife.
On that note, Mr Sinatambou cautioned the population against the excessive use of plastics that are toxic for both the environment and humans who consume food intoxicated by plastic, while pointing out that in Mauritius itself, some 100 million bottle of plastics are used each year.
Referring to World Earth Day, the Minister underlined that this opportune day is an urgent call to action for everyone to come together to help combat the various environmental challenges to help save the planet. As for Governmental efforts, he remarked that a Climate Change Bill has been elaborated to undertake urgent and concrete actions both in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation to save Mauritius. This represents a testimony of moral obligation to save the planet, he added.
World Earth Day
Earth Day is an international event celebrated on April 22 every year. It was initiated in the United States in 1970 and is an event through which various activities are held by Governments, private institutions and non-governmental organisations to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
It is recalled that the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was opened for signature by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on 22 April 2016. On this date, Mauritius signed and ratified the agreement. Moreover, World Earth Day is an occasion to inspire awareness about the environment and educate people on how simple actions adopted in our daily life can help to curb down global pressing challenges such as climate change and pollution.
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