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June 5 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated annually on 5th June to raise awareness and promote actions for environmental protection. Established by the United Nations in 1972, this day focuses on pressing environmental issues with specific themes each year. 


Key Facts About World Environment Day 

  • Establishment: Initiated by the United Nations Assembly in 1972, coinciding with the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. 
  • Purpose: To encourage global awareness and action for the protection of the environment. 
  • Themes and Slogans: Each year features a unique theme addressing current environmental challenges. 

Host Countries: 

  • 2024: Hosted by Saudi Arabia. 
  • 2018: India hosted with the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. 
  • 2021: Launched the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), focusing on reviving ecosystems. 

Theme for 2024 

  • Focus: Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience. 
  • Significance: Marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). 

Importance of Land Restoration 

  • Reverses Environmental Damage: Tackles land degradation, drought, and desertification. 
  • High Return on Investment: Each dollar invested can yield up to USD 30 in benefits from healthy ecosystems. 
  • Strengthens Resilience: Helps communities withstand extreme weather events. 
  • Combats Climate Change: Increases carbon storage in soil and slows global warming. 
  • Protects Biodiversity: Restoring just 15% of degraded land could prevent significant species extinction. 

India’s Contribution Towards Environmental Sustainability 

  • Mission LiFE: Encourages sustainable living and reduces environmental impact through individual actions. 
  • National Mission for Green India (GIM): Increase Forest/tree cover on 5 million hectares of land and improve the quality of forest/tree cover on another 5 million hectares. 
  • National Afforestation Programme (NAP): Afforested 21.47 million hectares of land as of 2020. 
  • National Biodiversity Action Plan: Conservation and sustainable use of biological resources. 
  • Nagar Van Yojana (Urban Forest Scheme): Develop mini urban forests or “Nagar Vans” within cities and towns. 
  • School Nursery Yojana: Encourages schools to develop their own nurseries. 
  • CAMPA Funds: Promotes afforestation and regeneration activities using compensatory afforestation funds. 

Wetland Conservation 

Expansion of Ramsar Sites 

  • New Sites: Added new sites in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in January 2024, increasing the count to 80. 
  • Commemoration: 11 wetlands added in August 2022 to celebrate India’s 75th Independence anniversary. 

Wetlands of India Portal 

  • Function: Provides information and resources for wetland managers and stakeholders. 

Forest and Wildlife Conservation 

Forest Cover 

  • Statistics: India’s forest cover is 7,13,789 sq. km, 21.71% of the total geographical area, as per the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021. 
  • Global Ranking: Third in net forest area gain over the past 15 years. 

Species Conservation 

  • Milestones: Celebrated 50 years of Project Tiger and 30 years of Project Elephant. 

Green Credit Program 

  • Incentive: Encourages tree plantation and restoration of degraded forest lands, contributing to climate action initiatives. 

Mangrove Restoration 

Conservation Efforts 

  • Government Measures: Promotional and regulatory actions to protect and enhance mangrove forests. 
  • Central Sector Scheme: ‘Conservation and Management of Mangroves and Coral Reefs’ under the National Coastal Mission Programme. 

MISHTI Initiative 

  • Announcement: Launched in the Union Budget 2023-24 to promote and conserve mangroves. 

Ban on Single-use Plastic 

Regulatory Actions 

  • Amendments: Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2024, prohibiting the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of identified single-use plastic (SUP). 

Push to Renewable Energy 

National Green Hydrogen Mission 

  • Launch: January 2023 with a Rs 19,744 crore investment. 
  • Goal: Make India a leader in green hydrogen production and technology, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting a clean energy transition. 

Global Initiatives of India 

International Engagements 

  • Membership: Part of the Global Alliance for Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE) and the Steering Committee of the International Resource Panel (IRP). 
  • Advocacy: Promotes a global transition to a circular economy and sustainable resource management. 

International Solar Alliance (ISA) 

  • Event: Hosted the sixth Assembly in New Delhi on 31st October 2023, with participation from 116 Member and Signatory countries. 


World Environment Day is a critical platform for fostering global environmental awareness and action. India’s multifaceted approach to environmental sustainability, encompassing forest conservation, wetland protection, renewable energy promotion, and global cooperation, demonstrates a strong commitment to preserving the planet for future generations. 

Mains question: 

  1. Discuss the significance of World Environment Day in fostering global environmental awareness and action and evaluate India’s contributions towards environmental sustainability in this context. (150 WORDS)


June 5
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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