Earth Day 2021 was celebrated on the 22nd of April with much ardour, marking the 51st year since its inception back in 1970. Each year, a special theme is assigned for the celebrations, varying from river clean-ups to the removal of invasive plants. This year, the theme was Restore Our Planet, as nearly one billion people across the globe strived to make an impact on this day. With a spirit of positivity in the air, some environmental good news only add the cherry on the cake.
GloLitter CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO TACKLE MARINE LITTER
The Food & Agricultural Organization of the UN(FAO) has partnered with International Maritime Organization (IMO) and 30 countries in a bid to reduce marine litter and clean up the existing waste on a global level. The key objective of this partnership is to assist developing countries to prevent and reduce marine litter, especially plastic waste, within the maritime transport and fisheries sector. With generous funding from Norway, they hope to establish a multi-year, multi-donor programme to help improve the current marine litter situation.
LLOYD’S TO QUIT FOSSIL FUEL INSURANCE
Deemed as the world’s biggest and oldest insurance market, Lloyd’s of London have decided to stop insurance cover for coal, oil sands and Arctic energy projects upon increasing pressure from stakeholders. This is in conjunction with similar moves being made throughout the industry as most major global insurers have stopped providing coverage for such projects. This is an extremely significant transition as bigwigs in the industry realise that climate change and energy transition need to be at the top of the agenda.
EU VOTED TO BAN ALL SINGLE USE PLASTIC
The European Commission stated that nearly 80% of marine litter is constituted of plastics. Contributing significantly are single-use cutlery items, cotton buds, straws and plastic used for packaging. Owing to its slow rate of decomposition, the plastics in the water bodies are consumed by the fishes. Making matters worse, it also enters the human food chain once we consume those fishes. Passing a bill to ban all single-use plastics is a move that needs to be echoed worldwide at the earliest.
BLUE WHALE NUMBERS INCREASE IN THE SUB ANTARCTIC REGION
With an impressive length of about 30m and a humongous weight of nearly 177 tonnes, the blue whale is hands down the largest animal to exist on earth. They are also a critically endangered species, with its population only 3-11 per cent of what it was a century ago. After being mercilessly hunted down for over a century, their worldwide population had dropped to just a few hundreds, before a ban was put on the hunting. Latest surveys in the sub-Antarctic region show encouraging results, as the population of these species which was perilously close to extinction is on the rise. Their population now touches thousands, which shows that collective efforts can help save this planet.
WILD TIGER POPULATION IN INDIA ON THE RISE
The population of wild tigers has seen an exponential decline for decades. However, marking a remarkable comeback, this ferocious species has proved that they can thrive once again given enough forest space, food, water and a ban on hunting. Their worldwide population had dipped to an all time low of 3,200. But now, India alone is home to nearly 2,600 wild tigers. This proves that a supportive community and government can help rebuild the wildlife to its former glory.
These positive bits of information serve as validation for those striving in the path to save our planet, and also act as a wakeup call for those looking to make the switch to a more sustainable lifestyle.