We celebrate Earth Day on 22 April
Earth Day is one of the biggest environmental protest movements on the planet. It began in 1970 and takes place every year on 22 April. International Mother Earth Day was established in 2009, by the United Nations General Assembly under Resolution A/RES/63/278.

The latest report prepared by the United Nations Environment programme (UNEP) describes the current status of the world’s urgent issues and opportunities to solve them. The report states that climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution add up to three self-inflicted planetary crises that are closely interconnected and put the well-being of current and future generations at risk. Unsustainable development is rapidly degrading Earth’s capacity to sustain human well-being. Transforming humankind’s relationship with nature is the key to a sustainable future.

Environmental degradation can weaken food and water security:

  • Increased food system vulnerability
  • Reduced agricultural productivity
  • Reduced nutritional value of crops
  • Lower catch in fisheries
  • Increased water scarcity

We also have to face exacerbated food- and water-borne infections and zoonotic diseases and increasd undernutrition if we do not act. We need to address the issues of habitat destruction, wildlife trade, and other human-nature interactions that increase exposure to zoonotic diseases. One Health approach recognizing how human health is interconnected with the health of animals, plants and the shared environment should be applied at all levels of decision-making, from the global to the local.

Sustainable policies, technologies and management practices need to be implemented within the interconnected agriculture-fisheries-forestry-water-energy systems given their impact on climate, biodiversity and land degradation.

Reducing food and water waste is critical, requiring changes in areas ranging from production and extraction systems to storage and distribution infrastructure to individual consumption patterns. Agricultural systems that work with nature, are adaptive to change, resilient to shocks, and minimize environmental impacts, are critical to eliminate hunger and malnutrition and contribute to human health. Changes in patterns of consumption are critical and can be achieved through altered norms in business and cultural practices.

This year's motto is: Invest in the planet. Everyone has a part to play in the transformation to a sustainable future. The organizers collected 52 tips to make a difference. The UNEP report also has recommendations for the different actors:

  • Through international cooperation, policies and legislation, governments can lead the transformation of our societies and economies.
  • The private sector, financial institutions, labour organizations, scientific and educational bodies and media as well as households and civil society groups can initiate and lead transformations in their domains.
  • Individuals can facilitate transformation by learning about sustainability, exercising their voting and civic rights, changing their diets and travel habits, not wasting food and resources, and reducing their consumption of water and energy.

The European Union invests in the planet with the Green deal. THe EU's aim is to make the continent climate-neutral by 2050. Some of the actions:

  • supporting ecosystems and biodiversity through different programmes
  • increasing the usage of renewable energy sources
  • banning single-use plastics
  • investing in circular economy
  • increasing the area of forests and tree coverage by planting trees.


Newsletter subscription