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Platitudes & pledges mark most of the days we observe envisioned to make a monumental difference to mankind. World Environment Day is no different, making the world aware of the importance of environmental issues in general and also of specific issues degrading our quality of life in particular. This is a noble cause worthy of world support. What has been the progress made; the impact analysis is of critical value. Do we have a mechanism is place to get into the nitty gritty of all environmental projects & issues and the capability to make a positive intervention. Global warming & climate change has been at top of the agenda, with a concerted strategy missing on a reasonably long term basis.

The observance of the World Environment Day started in 1974. Today it is a global platform for public outreach, being widely celebrated in 100 countries. Being under the UN banner, it gets a unique positioning. This unique positioning if understood correctly is to be leveraged to cut across general democratic differences & vested interests in creating and executing projects with a difference, giving visible results. A workable ecosystem thus gets created.

In tune with the convention of a theme every year, the 2018 theme is ”Beat Plastic Pollution.” India happens to be the Host Country this year. How we have performed on the environmental front in last couple of decades gets reflected in our present ranking in the global Environment Performance Index; third from the bottom. There is no alternative to action is the message, when the country is abuzz with celebrations, splashed across all medias in a multimedia world.

The environmental consequences of reckless use of plastics is too well known. It is rampantly polluting our water bodies, harming marine life and is posing a threat to human health. Plastic for daily use is the main culprit, nearly one-third of it is not disposed off properly, being non-degradable for nearly a thousand years. Surely, effective awareness has not happened.


Sanjay Sahay

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