World Nature Conservation Day - Theme & Importance

The World Nature Conservation Day is observed on July 28 annually to raise awareness about protecting nature and conserving natural resources to save the earth from the dangers of adverse impacts of climate change. It acknowledges that a healthy environment is a foundation for a stable and healthy society.  

The World Nature Conservation Day Theme for 2021 was “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet.”

Why World Nature Conservation Day is important for UPSC?

In recent years, UPSC has asked questions on various themes. At present, with the adverse climate events being witnessed in the country, it is necessary from that perspective to learn about the collective social efforts and awareness to check anthropogenic activities that affect the environment and cause ecological damage.

In this article, we shall be discussing various aspects, the importance of the day. Further, this article covers other important aspects, keeping in mind the demands of the preliminary as well as a Main examination of the UPSC IAS Exam.

What is Nature Conservation?

  • Conservation in general parlance refers to the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of mankind.
  • Earth’s natural resources include air, minerals, plants, soil, water, and wildlife.
  • Conservation is the care and protection of these resources so that they can be preserved for posterity. 
  • It includes maintaining the diversity of species, genes, and ecosystems, as well as functions of the environment, such as nutrient cycling.
  • Conservation is similar to the preservation, but while both relate to the protection of nature, they strive to accomplish this task in different ways. 
  • Conservation seeks the sustainable use of nature by humans, for activities such as hunting, logging, or mining, while preservation means protecting nature from human use.
  • The Best example could be the provision of limited individual use for non-commercial purposes of forest resources, allowed to the traditional dwellers, in the case of a Wildlife Sanctuary. 
  • Whereas, in the case of National Parks, they are inviolable zones and nothing can be picked from the reserved forest area through such anthropogenic activities that may affect the environment. 
  • They are both declared under the Wildlife Act(Protection),1972 in India.

Why do we need to Conserve Natural Resources?

  • As per a report released by the United Nations, approximately 70 per cent of all emerging and re-emerging pathogens are zoonotic, jumping from animals to humans.
  • This serves as a warning. To protect the human race, these families of pathogens need to be hosted, absorbed by some other entity. Here the role of forest resources, environment are very crucial as they play host and absorb the deadly viruses.
  • It is necessary to support life by supporting ecological balance
  • To ensure that the future generations will be able to access the resources of the environment
  • Essential to preserve biodiversity.
  • To reverse climate change, and its adverse impacts, due to which adverse weather patterns are increasingly being the norm the world over.

What is the focus of the World Nature Conservation Day celebration?

  • It aims to create awareness about the need to preserve the environment and natural resources to keep the world healthy.
  • Saving plants and animals that are threatened with extinction.
  • Keeping the various components of nature, such as flora and fauna, energy resources, soil water and air intact.
  • This occasion recognizes the importance of a healthy and well-functioning environment is critical for sustaining a stable, productive human society.
  • It also underlines the need for preserving the environment for posterity.

Conclusion

The recent assessment report-6 released by the IPCC has in clear terms warned the global societies of the dangers of breaching 1.5 degrees C level in the next decades, with deleterious climate consequences on a global scale. Citizens, societies, governments must come together to protect the only planet the human race has, and there is no second plan or planet to escape from the perilous consequences of climate disasters.

Societies and corporations must focus on reducing the carbon footprint, greening the manufacturing and industrial sector. Further, the adoption of climate-friendly practices, climate-resilient agriculture will reduce the pace of degradation, depletion of natural resources and its environment. In the era of One Sun, One World, One Grid, the ambitious International Solar Alliance has to dawn in a true sense to leverage the potential of renewable and other green energy sources. There is only one earth, and we need to paint it green for the survival of this generation and beyond.

This article is relevant for the Environment section of the syllabus for UPSC prescribed for the Preliminary and Main Examination of Civil Services Exam.

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