Express News Service
The ecosystem refers to the entire biodiversity including the flora and fauna. Rapid urbanisation and climate change are impacting this ecosystem and cities. All the extreme weather events locusts attack, heat waves, and cyclones have linkages to climate change.
In short, everything we do impacts our ecosystem,” says Polash Mukerjee, Lead Air Quality & Climate Policy, and Consultant, NRDC India Program. It is why the UN has declared a decade of ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ this Environment Day, with the 2021 theme being ‘Recreate, Reimagine, Restore’, focussing on reversing the degradation of our ecosystems.
The theme suggests that the onus is not only on large corporations and institutions to pick up the baton of sustainable living, but every effort counts. Our individual choices impact the ecosystem, feels Environmentalist Jai Dhar Gupta, who says, “The easiest things to do are reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and single serve plastic.
Most importantly, be a voice for change start with your community, RWA, school, place of work, friends, etc.” Mukerjee says, “Unfortunately, the pandemic resulted in severe economic shutdown but it also improved ai r quality levels, not only in Delhi but across India. If anthropogenic sources transportation, industrial output, and waste generation can be minimised, the improvement in environmental parameters will be visible right out there.” Here are a few small groups bringing about big ecological changes.
Bharat Darpan Federation
NGO Bharat Darpan Federation started a plantation drive in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, and Mumbai, in May 2021, successfully planting over 300 trees till date.
On June 05, the organisation will plant 100 peepal saplings at Mundka, Delhi. “The drive’s tagline is ‘Aao Milkar Peepal Lagaaye’ because peepal is one of the trees that gives us oxygen 24×7, given that the second wave made us realise the importance of oxygen,” says Shiv Sadhika Maa Vishwaroopa.
In a virtual event, the organisation will honour environmentalists with the Prakriti Ratna Award for their eco efforts. “We also plan to make a mini forest using the Miyawaki method,” she adds.
On the 5th, the temple will plant 2,000 saplings on its premises. “We have our own nursery and have also contacted other nurseries for saplings. But the saplings are not free as that increases chances of wastage. So, we will give the saplings for Rs 5 or Rs 10,” he adds.
Pradyumna Prabhu, President, ISKCON Dwarka, says, “We are delivering plants to whoever contacts us or fills out the Google form. We are feeding around 50,000 people per day, and are encouraging them to plant a tree.”
With plans to lead the oxygen revolution, saplings of tulsi, neem, banyan, Ashoka, and Arjuna will be planted. “Over 350 saplings of tulsi plant have already been booked for delivery. People can also contact ISKCON’s helpline 9717544444 for saplings,” informs Pradyumna.
Pond Revival in Makanpur
Twelve-year-old environment enthusiast Aarav Seth will plant 10 saplings in his vicinity to mark World Environment Day. “My father and I will also participate in the pond cleaning activity as part of a pond revival project in Makanpur in Indirapuram. The pond had been treated like a dump yard by the locals, and had dried up some years ago. NGO Bhartiyam has funded the cleaning and Pond Man Ramveer Tanwar, along with Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam, will lead the drive in which 15-20 people will participate. An STP will be set up to treat the water, and then put into the pond. Locals will be made aware about cleanliness during the drive.”
To restore the ecosystem in Delhi, Seth says sustainable housing should be encouraged. “The government can adopt a strategy to either make people a part of sustainable spaces or revive gullies into green gullies. To protect Delhi from air pollution, deforestation of Aravali forest must be stopped.”
Green Society of India
The June 05 activities of this organisation include a plantation drive of 5,000 saplings in Ghaziabad, and a webinar titled Save Nature Save Future. President Swadesh Kumar says, “Air pollution caused an estimated 54,000 premature deaths in New Delhi in 2020. The government and citizens of Delhi must work together and adopt rainwater harvesting systems, green building concept, make use of solar energy, undertake tree plantation, and ensure proper waste management to save our ecosystem.”
IN A NUTSHELL
The UN has declared a decade of ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ this Environment Day, with the 2021 theme being ‘Recreate, Reimagine, Restore’, focussing on reversing the degradation of our ecosystems