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‘Take care of the environment before it’s too late’

For too long, humans have been exploiting and destroying the planet’s ecosystems. We must now fundamentally rethink our relationship with the living world, with natural ecosystems and their biodiversity and work towards its restoration.

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World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June and is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. School of Legal Studies, Apeejay Stya University, has organised a Special Lecture on 5 June, 2021 on the occasion of World Environment Day.

Giving the inaugural address, Professor Amit Singh gave a brief introduction about the history of World Environment Day. “First held in 1974, it has been a platform for raising awareness on environmental issues such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. World Environment Day is a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 193 countries annually. Each year, the program has provided a theme and forum for businesses, non-government organizations, communities, governments and celebrities to advocate environmental causes,” he told the participants.

He also explained the theme of World Environment Day 2021. “The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ and that Pakistan is the global host for the day. This World Environment Day will kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea,” Prof Amit Singh said before inviting the guest speaker.

Prof. (Dr.) Amar Pal Singh, Dean, University School of Law and Legal Studies, Guru Govind Singh IP University, New Delhi was the guest speaker of the webinar who gave a lecture on “Contemporary Environmental Crisis and Recent Trends in Environmental Law & Governance ”.

Contemporary environmental crises are not something that need any specification, each of us is confronting the crisis in its multiple dimensions, Prof Amar Pal Singh said. Climate change is expected to cause severe droughts in some parts of the world and flooding in others.. Coastal erosion and an increased frequency of extreme weather events such as cyclones, tornadoes, storm surges and heat-waves. (Taukte and Yaas)- Zoonotic deseases and pandemics are the new threat, he said.

It is a well- known fact that the pandemic that the world has been dealing with for almost 1.5 years now has shown how disastrous the consequences of ecosystem loss can be. By shrinking the area of natural habitat for animals, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens – including coronaviruses – to spread. The fact remains that only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change and stop the collapse of biodiversity.

Explaining the recent trends, Prof Amar Pal Singh mentioned that to understand trends one needs to understand the system as it is made off..  Cosmos is a continuum—we have divided it into sections, nations, political systems, religions, castes and communities.

He also talked about Pollution Management Laws (Water/Air Acts & EPA), Resource Management Laws (Forest/Biodiversity/wildlife acts) and the laws in procedural form.

Talking about the national trends, he said that for environmentalism, the focus now is the economic activities to be subject to environmental imperatives. Citing an example of the Swachhta Mission, he said Public awareness is a major achievement. Human rights elements are getting recognized as part of environmental governance, recognition of environmental refugees..

“The trends in environmentalism have certainly created an environment of hope and expectations that we as one humanity shall be able to save earth. A lot has been achieved but a lot remains to be reminded of Rober Frost—Miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep”, he said.

“Environment is not made for us. We are made for the environment. We need to take care of it”

– Prof. Amar Pal Singh

Asst Editor ( Newsroom ), who has an experience of a decade in core journalism. Credibility, courage, timelines and media ethics are some of her professional traits.You can reach her at: [email protected]

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