Our environment is a precious gift to human beings and it’s our responsibility that we all preserve and protect them. With this mindset, in the year 1972 UN at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, incorporated the idea of celebrating World Environment Day on 5th June every year across the world.
Henceforth, the first World Environment Day was celebrated on 5th June 1973 with the theme “Only One Earth”. The main objective behind this day is to create awareness among people. Since then, the United Nation has been constantly focusing on the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature and strives to bring a balance between the needs of one generation to future generations.
Again, after 40 years, World Environment Day 2022 has been celebrated with the theme “Only one Earth” which means “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”.
Earth is the only living planet in the entire solar system and nowadays it has given a legal personality as per the concept of “Earth Jurisprudence”. The term Earth Jurisprudence has coined by Thomas Berry, and the idea behind this concept is to bring harmony between humans and nature. It emphasizes that the universe is made of creatures whom we must be empathized with and not be used as material. Each & every creature is capable of having its own rights, i.e.
Right to be,
Right to habitat,
Right to fulfill their role in the ever-renewing processes of the Earth community.
This means nature also has duties, rights, and liabilities in the same way as we have. If one violates the rights of nature, they will be considered as “ecocide” which means a grave crime against the earth’s community.
Gratitude for the diversity of living creatures tends to be forgotten in our day-to-day life. We often take for granted this interdependent web between humans & nature that sustains our life with clean water, food, oxygen, fertile soil, climate regulation, and many more. However, humans have become very selfish. They over-exploit nature to fulfill their needs. The practices like wastage of water & food, cutting down trees, etc. increase the risk of diseases spreading from animals to human beings. It will have a worse impact on Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and poor and vulnerable peoples as they rely more on biodiversity for their well-being.
Around 1 million species are threatened with extinction. Nature is declining at unprecedented rates, which is stretching our life-supporting systems almost to the breaking point.
Therefore, to fulfill the aspirations of environmental jurisprudence, the creation of a new model is required which will guard the rights of the Earth and punishes the wrongdoer with strict punishment along with strict adherence to the law. To implement this, we all have to involve the grass-root level of governance by making the locals, activists, and others the guardian of the environment for the betterment of nature.