As the world celebrates World Environment Day, the negative impact on people and nature of unsustainable lifestyles and practices are felt more strongly than ever before, according to IUCN.
Only 180 days before the UN climate meeting in Copenhagen, climate change is also the main focus of this year’s worldwide celebrations. A two-day meeting is being held in Mexico as the main event marking World Environment Day, reflecting the country’s growing role in fighting global warming.
“We’re running out of time to reverse a series of dangerous trends,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “For too long, we’ve been taking much more than the earth can produce and we must recognize that the natural environment, upon which we depend, is suffering as a result. We need to increase our investments in nature now.”
Well managed natural resources are crucial to sustainable development, encourage economic growth and help reduce poverty. To make sure that investment in nature is done on a global scale, IUCN is working on all levels of society-from governments to the private sector to civil society, including indigenous peoples.
“With governments preoccupied with financial bailout plans and finding a way to deal with climate change, we cannot let the debates about these issues make us forget that we are running out of time very quickly,” adds Ms Marton-Lefèvre. “Giving the world’s most vulnerable people a fighting chance to deal with poverty, food insecurity and climate change vulnerability requires us to act before it’s too late.”
World Environment day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment and is celebrated each year across the globe to raise awareness about pressing environmental issues and get political attention.