The theme of this year’s celebration for World Environment Day is: “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume With Care.” The following anecdote may suffice to better explain the meaning of the theme.
The theme can be said to depict seven billion “Golden Hens” inhabiting one enclosed Basket. This is the only Basket that gives them life and should not be broken or damaged so that the Hens are not destroyed or go into extinction. No other Basket can make them survive or give them life.
The Basket is yet fragile but very fertile to enable the golden hens undergo a natural process of fending for their food, livelihoods and sustenance. They grow and advance in their skills of developing industrial and mechanised means for their movement, housing, security, trade, culture and education amongst themselves.
Their uncontrolled mechanised activities thus brought about the exploitation and rape of the inherent natural resources within the Basket, including cutting down of trees for energy and development purposes. This indeed polarised the air that guarantees their survival in the Basket and further lead to environmental pollution. As a result, the Basket becomes stuffy and the temperature no longer remains moderate but gives way to heat waves in the Basket. The weather and climatic condition are impaired and the rainfall pattern that is usually experienced in moderate proportion in the Basket changed drastically, leading to excessive but destructive floods in some parts of the Basket and severe droughts in other parts. The scenario posed great threat to the survival of the Golden Hens and the Basket as disasters of diverse magnitude now rock the Golden Hens, with attendant genocidal crises for survival.
Upon confirmation of the reality of the threat to their survival and the survival of the basket, the various species of the Golden Hens realised the need to indulge in Care for the Basket and care for the ecosystem and the resources therein and even care for their activities, actions and decisions so as to remedy the situation and keep the temperature at 2oC or below. In the light of this, care for mitigating the activities that polarised the air and care for adapting to the precarious situation in the Basket should consume the focus of the Golden Hens, isn’t it?
In a nutshell, the theme is simply saying that the dreams of Seven Billion Human Populace on Planet Earth should be underlined with actions of care for the environment. Actions of care for the survival of the one and only life-sustaining Planet, and actions of care for the survival of the seven billion and fast-increasing human population on Earth, as well as actions of care for sustainable development.
Please as you all mark the greatest day of Global Unity, Global Commitment, Global Action and Global Care for our environment and our common planet, epitomised by the World Environment Day (WED), always do remember to plant a tree to save our planet and plant two where one is cut down. As human needs oxygen to survive, so our planet Earth needs the trees to survive the suffocation caused by excessive greenhouse gas emissions (otherwise known as carbon emissions), which our human activities have contributed to. Think how fragile the Hen and the Basket are, and Think of us in the same light.
By Surveyor Efik (National Coordinator, Climate Change Network Nigeria)