Earth Day 2021
Image: pixabay.com

22 April 2021

Today is Earth Day, celebrated around the world to pledge support for environmental protection. The year 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of the annual celebrations. This year’s theme for Earth Day is ‘Restore Our Earth’.

In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 as ‘International Mother Earth Day’.

“Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance to set the world on a cleaner, greener, more sustainable path,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement.

“Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Let’s remind more than ever on this International Mother Earth Day that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet”.

Earth Day was first observed in 1970, when 20 million took to the streets to protest against environmental degradation. On January 28, 1969, a well drilled by Union Oil Platform A off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, blew out. More than three million gallons of oil spewed, killing more than 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. As a reaction to this disaster, activists were mobilized to create environmental regulation, environmental education, and Earth Day.

On this Earth Day in 2016 world leaders from 175 nations signed the most significant climate accord in the history of the climate movement, the Paris Agreement.

READ ALSO: Earth Day 2016

UN Secretary-General António Guterres's message 2021

As we mark International Mother Earth Day, our planet is at a tipping point.

Humanity continues to abuse the natural world.

We heedlessly plunder the Earth’s resources, deplete its wildlife and treat air, land and seas as dumping grounds.

Crucial ecosystems and food chains are being pushed to the brink of collapse.

This is suicidal.

We must end our war on nature and nurse it back to health.

That means bold climate action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius and adapt to the changes to come.

It means stronger steps to protect biodiversity.

And it means reducing pollution by building circular economies that drive down waste.

These steps will safeguard our only home and create millions of new jobs.

Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance to set the world on a cleaner, greener, more sustainable path.

On International Mother Earth Day, let us all commit to the hard work of restoring our planet and making peace with nature.