Despite the global disruption caused by the novel corona virus, the world yesterday took time to commemorate Earth Day. For the first in the history of this important day, it was solely marked on social media because people were not able to physical meet as has been the custom. With the number of corona virus infections past the 2.5 million mark as at yesterday with most countries on lockdown and people being encouraged to stay at home, this year’s Earth Day could not have been marked at a worse time.
The world celebrates Earth Day annually on April 22nd as a demonstration of support for environmental protection and climate action. It was first celebrated in the United States in 1970 and now incorporates well organized events across the globe coordinated by Earth Day Network, a global environmental movement that prides itself as being on a mission “to drive transformative change for people and planet.”
How Relevant is Earth today?
Global environmental challenges have multiplied over time, thanks to human activity that has in so many ways exacerbated climate change. This has impacted livelihoods and ecosystems in ways never imagined when the first Earth Day was celebrated 50 years ago. The good side of it however is that new frontiers have emerged in terms of technologies to mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as the techniques and know-how for knowledge generation and dissemination. All these present opportunities for us to utilize natural resources the Earth provides us with in a sustainable.
This year’s Earth Day came at a time when the health of millions were at risk. As we seek solutions for the wellbeing of the Earth’s human population, it is incumbent on us to also think about the health of Mother Earth. Shall we bequeath future generations a healthy planet? It is a time for action. it is also a time to provoke behavior as well as policy changes so as to turn the tide on climate.
Digital space flooded with messages of hope
Various digital platforms swarmed with messages of hope, optimism and action. Mostly importnatly the generally feeling was that there needsto be renewed focus on climate action post-COVID-19.
By Vincent Ogaya