Environment and its Boon to the existence of Life on Earth
It’s time to pause and ponder over our actions and inactions, says conservationists. On World Environment Day, Saevus brings to heartfelt messages by different voices urging everyone to be kind to nature and wildlife.
CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Saevus
“This World Environment Day could have been remembered on a positive note, about nature resurrecting itself amidst the pandemic with its blue skies, bird songs and lighter air. But today all eyes are moist and hearts heavy with the brutal killing of the pregnant elephant mother in Kerala.
The bitter truth is, the pineapple bomb was not meant for the elephant, so there was someone else( a wild boar possibly) destined to die even if she did not. It is not the first time that such vicious traps have killed wild animals across the country but this time it was just the perception of a threat that took two lives.
The mother did not retaliate, did not harm life or property and stood to die in silence defining one of the darkest days in our country’s conservation history.”
Eminent Wildlife Biologist – Nature Conservation Foundation, Honorary Scientific Advisor – WWF-India and Corbett Foundation
“On the occasion of World Environment day, I would like to ask everyone to stop the production of extremely harmful DDT in the country. It is a shame that India is the only country still producing DDT while ignoring the fact that by bioaccumulation the harm it is doing to our birds of prey is enormous. Large heartedly our people should put an end to the ecologically harmful habit of idol immersion in the water bodies: tanks, streams and rivers and in the ocean too. With needed prayers and rituals small idols of deities, made of clay, can be immersed and dissolved in a bucket of water at home. “
Project Director, The Habitats Trust.
“India is rich in diversity and harbours not only 7-8% of all recorded species in the world, but offers a vast variety of landscapes to explore and experience. In the race towards development, conservation takes a backseat in the overall scheme of things. While we have strong laws and programmes in place to protect our mega mammals, the need of the hour is to also secure a future for our lesser-known species. These less charismatic species form the backbone of our ecosystem, and at The Habitats Trust we hope to shine a spotlight on these animals and ensure long-term efforts for their conservation.”
Director of the Species & Landscapes Division, WWF India
“Every year we celebrate World Environment Day in June, then a month of sweltering heat in most parts of northern India and finally we see rains in July. We tend to forget all that we had pledged during the World Environment Day. We keep driving more, constructions go on full swing and by November, Delhi and other north Indian cities get filled with smoke and dust, and the Air Quality Index goes up to red. We become happy when the index becomes Severe to Very Poor! We start using N95 masks to keep those nasty particles out of our system. The situation is different in 2020.
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Time For Nature’. And we have already started using masks in June, in fact, since April! What is the difference? We have a pandemic in the name of COVID19 which affects human respiratory system and has claimed lives across the world. It is easy to understand that if one gets a respiratory disease, severe or very poor air quality would make things worse. Can we not do our bit, each of us, to ensure that the AQI doesn’t go to the red zone. Can we, collectively, spare some time for nature. Each one can do our bit. Consume less, drive less and use public transport when it is safe, make few other people aware about nature, and above all, nurture nature. Help young minds to respect nature.
We are just recuperating from the news of a pregnant elephant losing her life from serious human wildlife negative interaction. She apparently devoured a fruit laced with firecrackers, which burst inside her mouth. She succumbed to her injuries on 27th May. This is not desirable for any wild animals! And for elephant, which is worshipped as God in half of the country. Can we be a bit more empathetic to these animals. A lot needs to be done by the government, private sector and conservationists for managing human animal interaction, and being a bit more patient is better, than to give gruesome death to an animal.”
Co-founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS
The Corbett Foundation
“As India and the world observe World Environment Day, my heart goes out to those denizens of wilderness who are killed at the hands of poachers, captured to be kept as pet for the rest of its life and become homeless due to man’s destructive greed for unsustainable development. Are we in a position to ‘celebrate biodiversity’ that is the theme for WED 2020? Unfortunately, no. Importance of biodiversity is completely overshadowed with growing pressures on our last remaining wilderness habitats. We have thousands of crores to build statues but we do not have funds to provide for mitigation measures of infrastructure projects. Lesser known species such as bustards are fighting a losing battle against so-called ‘green’ energy projects. Mines, large dams threaten some of India’s last remaining biodiversity hotspots.
Unless we realise that biodiversity conservation is also economic development and take eco’logically’ sound policy decisions, India’s development and conservation will only be a mirage.
Happy World Environment Day to all…”
Nature Wildlife and Conservation Photographer, Sony Explorer, Ambasador RoundGlass
“I would like to share some important realisations I’ve had. The first is the idea of ownership. We need to take ownership of this planet — the trees, the animals, the rivers, the mountains and the people— they are all ours. Yours and mine. The moment we internalise that feeling, everything we do for nature, we’ll actually be doing for ourselves. The second idea is that of “responsibility”. When we add responsibility to ownership the whole dynamic changes. We realise the planet is ours to own, not plunder. And everything becomes easy and painless. With these two ideas coexisting, we can have a better planet to live in.”
Last Wilderness Foundation
Founder Teepee Culture (A wilderness festival) and Explorers Summit (A travel confluence)
“Looking at the work and initiatives from India, we as a country are far more advanced and sensitive towards both sides of Conservation – Human & Animal. Comparatively, India’s conservation history goes a long way back in the past. From the day we turned from a hunting ground for the elite to a national reserve preserving our lasting habitats, our initiation in the world of conservation had already begun. In all positive light, all stakeholders have played a key role in establishing balance, providing valuable insights and knowledge and at the forefront of challenging decisions on various factors, all of it has led us to become of age where today everyone is speaking the same language and the word is spreading largely. This is a massive success story for conservation in India, where from kids to adults and from professionals to the curious souls, a huge number today stands for nature and wildlife, within the country and India also receives tremendous international support.
IAS, Divisional Commissioner, Saharanpur, U.P.
“The future of our only Home- the Planet Earth, lies in protecting the environment. The air, water and land pollution by humans in last century has been of such monumental scale in name of glorious advancement, that Climate change has caused unprecedented disasters & may be cause of our own nemesis & many other living creatures who call this planet their home . We need to minimize our carbon footprints, propagate environmental friendly & cost effective technologies and above all respect & appreciate the need to protect Habitat of other denizens of mother earth. Lockdown in times of Worldwide Coronavirus Pandemic has shown how quickly Nature can heal, but also shown the urgent need to come together as individuals & comity of Nations to take up thecissue of protecting environment without delay. It may be the Last chance we have, lest we regret forever.”
Programme Manager, Last Wilderness Foundation
Wildlife Research Manager, World Animal Protection
“We need to reconsider our position on keeping animals in zoos. If the coronavirus crisis has taught us one lesson, it is that confinement is unpleasant. Wildlife belongs in the wild.”
Image Credits : Dhritiman Mukherjee