World Environment Day 2019 – Beat Air Pollution
The United Nations’ mandated World Environment Day on 5th June every year. Since it began in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.
This year, the theme revolves around air pollution. Air pollution is a man-made problem that has been responsible for early deaths of about seven million people every year, around 600,000 of whom are children. It is estimated that 90 per cent of the world’s population breathe polluted air.
“The right to a healthy environment is fundamental to human well-being and is legally recognized by over 150 States at the national and regional levels. It should be globally reaffirmed to ensure the enjoyment of this right by everyone, everywhere while upholding the human rights principles of universality and non-discrimination,” David Boyd, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment said in a statement.
As travellers, we explore everything. The fresh mountain air, the warm tropical breeze, the aromatic smell trailing through winding lanes of old quarters of world cities, the powerful fumes of history in old monuments…the list goes on. Air is primary to our existence. Whether it is the cold, billowing wind of Antarctica, or the sultry breeze of Rajasthan, or the mountain air of the Himalaya, every breath we inhale adds to our experience and to our memory of that place. So it becomes important for our tribe to be aware of this primary important element of life. While policy makers have the larger responsibility of ensuring clean air for all, we as world citizens can do our bit by reducing our carbon footprint, by supporting causes and outfits that work towards reducing air pollution, and by generally advocating good clean air. After all, we have only one planet.