Yep! Another June 5th is here and that means it is World Environment Day. This year’s theme is Green Economy: Does it include you? What exactly does that mean? Both aspects have to be considered, that of the green economy and how you as an individual fit into all of this.
Green economy simply put is an economy whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Of course the ideal would be for sustainable management of all bio-resources which would ensure perpetuity while simultaneously achieving socio-economic success. In that case all would be happy. Man would be employed and productive so poverty would be minimal or non-existent while biodiversity would be conserved and preserved ensuring a healthy balanced environment. Of course like I previously said that’s the ideal, this would happen in a perfect world. The world not being perfect, does this mean that human kind must just give up or allow a selected few to do as they please to the detriment of others without being held accountable? Of course not!
I am of the opinion that these commemorative days like; World Environment day, World Forest Day, World Earth day and the many others, are there to help us take stock of our actions, allowing us to reflect and chart a better way forward and unifying us towards a greater good. It would be sad to think that we have become desensitized and think “oh it’s another one of those commemorative days, so what!” St. Lucia as a small island developing state is among the most vulnerable to global issues such as climate change and the fact that we rely so heavily on tourism it is imperative that we strike a balance between economic development and biodiversity conservation. It is our responsibility.
This year’s theme, Green Economy: Does it include you? Seeks to do just that, after all the planet belongs to all of us and so does it’s resources, it’s a common heritage. We all need to get a piece of the pie as citizens of this earth. The green economy is described as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. It cannot be business as usual. Policy support for investing in green sectors and in greening environmental unfriendly sectors is necessary if the green economy initiative is to be successful.
I hope I have given you the readers some food for thought and remember to do something to protect your environment. There is so much which can be done. Reduce your waste (reduce, reuse, recycle) just by using an eco-friendly shopping bag when you do your groceries. Plant a tree. Don’t litter. Join an environmental club which is proactive and do lots of environmentally friendly activities and there are lots out there.
The thing is to get involved. Happy Environment Day to all! It should not just be a June 5th thing but a lifestyle. Be an agent for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.