The 46th World Environment Day, aptly themed as 'Connecting with Nature', comes to us both as a caveat and an invitation. Caveat because environment is facing an existential threat of losing itself, and invitation because staying away from nature leads to serious sustainability concerns."Lack of access to nature and natural areas contributes to health inequality and improving it, is key to tackling these challenges," states a recent report by European Institute of Environmental Policy.
Today, people living in green spaces are less likely to face health problems such as obesity, depression and heart diseases, and tend to live longer. We are more aware of the health benefits associated with nature and often prefer to take our ‘time off from the routine’ by taking trips to the mountains, participating in sea sports, going on treks, and even live in the wilderness. Ironically enough, despite all the benefits and search for serenity, India continues to witness alarmingly high rates of deforestation.
Did you know that a forecast by ISRO claims that we are likely to lose 2,305 square kilometres of forest cover in north-eastern regions of the country, along with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by 2025? That’s less than a decade! This would not only add to the ever-increasing environmental pollution and water scarcity, but also escalates our vulnerability to natural calamities. Sadly, remedial action at grassroots level has been inadequate and the efforts to educate civil society have fallen short of expectation. This negligence has made us insensitive and irresponsible to do our part, as a society, to protect Mother Earth.
In this context, it is worth recalling the renewed enthusiasm that India has displayed by signing the Paris Accord and setting its own Sustainability Goals 2030 as a mark of its commitment to a safe environment. This comes at a time when most countries in the world seem to be a bit confused about their moral obligations to safeguard the environment and its resources from undue exploitations in search of economic prosperity.
The responsibility of protecting the environment and keeping it safe lies with each one of us. In this scenario, when the Government is stepping forward in doing its part, it is imperative for us to shift our focus to educating and encourage the general public to participate in the National Sustainability Mission and contribute their mite to a healthier planet. More importantly, as part of the manufacturing industry that is known to be a contributor to our current state of affairs, we must approach our progress through an environment-friendly economic model.
ALOK has always been conscious of safeguarding the fragility of nature by producing environment-friendly solutions to address the real-time needs of the people. At the same time, we’re also driven to work towards a sustainable model that contributes to the needs of our environment. We firmly believe that prosperity of the country works hand-in-hand with that of the environment. Therefore, in order to achieve the goals we set ourselves for and make a difference, it is imperative to stay connected with nature.
We are living in a time where every one of us needs to feel the healing touch of nature for an active and happy life. As we celebrate the 46th World Environment Day, let’s pledge to discharge our responsibilities towards nature and reconnect for a healthy life.