By Kiwiana Ngabung – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Every year Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April. Today will mark its 45th anniversary with the global theme: ‘It’s Our Turn to Lead’.
This day is aimed at enthusing awareness on environment preservation and having an understanding and appreciation of the environment.
In the 1950s then governor of Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, had a vision of helping his people out, after there was growing concern of environmental problems. He performed his duties well and later elected in two more terms as governor.
It was his work of repairing and improving Wisconsin’s natural resource program that gave him the title “conservation governor”.
Nelson’s work and fight for environment protection and conservation pushed him to become the senator, a few years after.
He pushed hard for politicians to act on environmental legislation however it didn’t go as he wanted so Nelson proposed to his people that April 22 be the day Americans can come together to discuss environmental issues they faced.
This was proven successful after an estimated 20 million Americans gathered to face up to their problems. Afterward, some important U.S environmental laws and regulations were created.
Since then, the aim of Earth Day has always been honoured around the world.
This year The Goldman Environmental Prize was given to six people; this is the world’s biggest award for grassroots environmental activists.
The award recognises the work of active grassroots leaders in their local communities who bring constructive and encouraging transformation in response to issues they face.
The honourary recipients of the prestigious award are from Kenya (Phyllis Omido), Myanmar (Myint Zaw), Scotland (Howard Wood), Haiti (Jean Wiener), Canada (Marilyn Baptiste) and Honduras (Berta Càceres).
Each of who, raised awareness in their communities, brought positive change and are still working towards looking after the environment and people.
All around the world citizens are observing the day in their own way.
In China, communities will try to collect all the litter near the Great Wall that’s been built up from hikers and campers. In Germany, Schuldorf Bergstrasse, a comprehensive school, is organising games, sales for a good cause, tree planting and trash collection campaigns. And in Nigeria, CIX Media Limited, a local company, creates awareness within homes and schools on using cleaner & green energy to reduce carbon emissions.
Like the six honourees and others groups worldwide, we can do our part by carrying out simple tasks like planting trees, using recyclable containers, collecting trash, using eco-friendly technology and the like.