Human survival is at risk due to a lot of factors, the most affluent factors being – decreased volumes of clean water, pollution and imbalance in the eco-system. There are a few countries which have realized the need to start renovating their surrounding and bring back the green days, as they fear continuous man-made destruction might only bring into existence, “The Earth Simulator” – An unreal world. To address such adverse problems affecting our Environment and to create awareness about our surroundings, The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) takes the initiative of observing “World Environment Day” every year on the 5th of June along with the rest of the world. The increase in the number of participation every year on the World Environment Day and awareness on the hazards and man-made processes which ruin the atmosphere has greatly made a positive impact on the Human society. As a matter of fact, June has officially become the “Environment Month” which is when some amazing solutions to save Mother Earth come to light.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestor’s; we borrow it from our children.” – Anonymous.
While the quote above requires no validation at all, in the recent years man has matured and has learnt from the mistakes made in the past too. Countries like Sweden, Latvia, Finland and France are popularly known for adopting Eco-friendly measures to reduce pollution and the consumption of natural resources on one hand and to promote greenery on the other hand. While other developing and developed countries and catching up, the biggest accomplishment of the era can be awarded to the statesmen of Tokelau, an island in the South Pacific and a territory of New Zealand is the world’s first nation to become completely solar powered. Permanent Eco-friendly measures like the one adopted by Tokelau provide a two-fold benefit – No compromise on the luxury appliances we are used to and reduced dependence on fossil fuels and water clogged dams.
There are many suitable ways to achieve a sustainable and balanced ecology. Below are country profiles and the methods adopted by their administrative system to achieve the objectives of a Green world.
Costa Rica: Known for its progressive environmental policies, Costa Rica holds its rainforests and biodiversity as a top priority. This country in Central America protects close to 30% of land by converting them into wild-life reserves and national parks. Costa Rica is also claimed to be the country with the greatest variety of species in the world. The country has also managed to diminish deforestation to a zero margin by the year 2005 and has become home to a variety of Flora and Fauna.
A glimpse at Costa Rica’s fauna diversity. Picture courtesy: http://www.costaricantimes.com
In 2012, Costa Rica topped the Happy Planet Index again, after topping the index in 2009, making the country the “Happiest Place on Earth”. The index is based on three primary components: life expectancy, experienced well-being and Ecological Footprint. At-least now we know what keeps Costa Rica so happening…
Germany: Without a doubt, a world leader when it comes to Solar Power. In 2009 alone, the country installed around 3800 Megawatts of PV solar energy panels. Major contributors of this success are encouraging schemes, establishment of Solar PV producing companies and awareness of solar power.
Spain: Following Germany, Spain claims the second place for newly installed PV solar energy in 2008 due to the government’s goal on creating National Solar Energy industries.
The CO2 emissions in these countries is far lower than The United States of America which still generates about 70% of its electricity using fossil fuel. On account of this, about 60-65% of emissions of Sulfur dioxide form the main component of acid rains.
Aerial view of the PS10 solar tower plant outside Seville, Spain. Picture courtesy: http://www.nationalgeographic.com
Japan: A country that has never ceased to surprise the world right from battling to clear the nuclear aftermath to supplying the latest technical tools. Kumamoto City, located in the centre of Kyushu, the southern major island of Japan was awarded “Water for Life” UN- water best practices award in 2013 by the United Nations Organization for identifying a natural volcanic aquifer and blending in local human efforts to provide clean mineral water through taps.
For the year 2014, India and Singapore bagged this prestigious award for innovative methods of water research policy implementation and safe purification of treated used water. The programs and stakeholders that made these countries proud are: “Tata Water Policy” by Sir Ratan Tata Trust co-partnered with International Water Management Institute (IWMI) for India and NEWater by Singapore’s Pubic Utilities Board.
Singapore’s 50-year water plan’s mechanism. Picture courtesy: http://www.pub.gov.sg
Another brilliant innovation of the century is contributed an Israeli company called “Water-Gen”, which produces water out of thin air! Innovative solutions like these make us realize that we can manufacture the resources that we heavily rely on. This could possibly be one of the defenses to fight the anticipated water crises in the future. Below is a rough diagram that gives more insight into how this atmospheric water generator works –
Picture courtesy: Wikipedia.org
There are several countries with other control procedures to protect the environment from littering and disposal of waste. The Republic of Mauritius has a very effective anti-littering campaign. On the other hand, Netherlands and Austria seem to have a very technically advanced waste disposal system, with landfills less than 5% of their waste. France uses nuclear power to light up the country instead of putting such hazardous materials to destructive uses. Iceland is the dream destination for environment lovers in the world. Leaving aside the country’s amazing landscape, and mesmerizing beauty, the remarkable progress and the usage of technology to produce more green power and retain the natural beauty of the country is the goal of the residents. About 80% of the energy is generated from areas where the geothermal activity is excessive. The country can soon become the host of eco-friendly measures after Sweden and Switzerland for encouraging recycling, use of bio-fuel, minimal driving etc..,
The dream of a Green earth seems possible based on the facts and continued efforts of many countries fighting for several causes to save the world from witnessing the dooms day. Every year on World Environment Day, new hopes are born, giving rise to new ideas and newer problems to address. The events triggered by unforeseen climatic changes majorly impacting the small islands and developing nations which have been victims to some very crude natural disasters like Tsunami, Hurricanes and Cyclones call for attention of the great leaders of different nations and a new theme. Thus the theme for this year is `Small Island Developing States and Climate Change`, and the official slogan is `Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level`. The World Environment day is celebrated and hosted by one major country where conferences are held and treaties are signed between countries to work towards a Green world. This year, the event is being globally hosted by Barbados, a small Caribbean island, becoming the first Small Island Developing State to host World Environment Day. Though the 5th of June is celebrated as World Environment Day, every day can be spent doing humanitarian and environmental work.
So, let us all individually do our tiny part to save the world for the children of the future. If you too have –
- Always wasted water
- Not planted a sapling
- Drive a four-wheeler alone
- Litter in your surroundings
- Wear an exotic animal skin and any other cause that can be a concern to the environment, then don’t hesitate to undo them all starting this month.