The International Mother Earth Day is global event celebrated on the 22nd of April. This day represents one of the crucial imprits of the fight for the raising of ecological consiousness and protection of the environment. This date was established in 2009 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, under resolution A/RES/63/278. The Resolution was introduced by the state of Bolivia and was endorsed by 50 member states of the UN. Today 192 countries celebrate this day, which attracts over one billion participants.

Although the Resolution of UN was adopted onthe 22nd of April in 2010., this date was first time marked long ago, back in 1970. A year before, on the 28th of Januray 1969., a giant oil leakage occurred on the coast of Santa Barbara, California, causing the death of thousands of marine animals.  This event moved the then active senator Gaylord Nelson to bring up actions that were aimed to reduce the human effect on the climate and the environment. On the 22nd of April 1970  Nelson held and informative speach for the citizens. During the meeting around 20 million people showed up, gathering university and high school students, citizents from different comunities and activist groups. A peaceful demonstration was held aiming to protest against environmental felonies, wildlife extinction, global warming. This revolutional event created a pathway to the enforcement of many ecological laws and creation of organisations with the idea of nourishing nature and preserving it for generations to come.

In 1971. the appointed United Nations Secretary-General U Thant declared the vernal equinox (March the 20th) as the date which United Nations celebrates but it was later changed to the 22th of April. Although the 22th of April as the nature day is celebrated by two different organisations; by the UN under the label ”The Mother Earth Day” and the Earth Day Network under the label ”The Earth Day”, it is undeniable that the goal is the same.

Imortant historical dates:

  • The UN Conference in 1972 in Stockholm marked the beginning raising the global awareness of the interdependence between people and the other species on the planet, as well as the establishment of the World Enviroment Day (June the 5th) an the UN Enviroment Programme. At the and of the text you can find all links leading to pdf files of the reports.

 

  • During The EarthWeek in 1990 for the 20 year anniversary of establishing the 22th of April the expedition to the top of the Mount Everest was organised under the name ”International Peace Climb”. This was also an important moment in history because this has been the first time everthat climbers from the United States, the Soviet Union and China roped together to climb a mountain, let alone on the Mount Everest. The climbers gave a live speech using the satellite phone call to then president of the US George H.W. Bush as well as to Edward Furia, the organiser of the Earth day anniversary. Thousands of people gathered that day in Georgia, Washington, on the river Columbia. Jim Wittaker, American alpinist, has pledged his support during the call to the world peace and paying attention to the environmental problems. The alpinists with the help of the support groups along the way managed to collect over two tons of trash left by previous climbers. You can find more about this event in given linked news paper reports, (1)and(2). This event raised global awareness about recycling and created a way for 1992 Rio de Janeiro Conferention.
  • On June the 3th 1992 in Rio de Janeiro on the Conference of the United Nations over 178 governments accepted the Declaration of Environment and Development and the Statement of principles for the sustainable menagement of forests .
  • The Earth Day 2000 was important mainly for the first using of the internet as the tool of promotion since the beginning of the event.
  • The General Assembly in 2005 announced the year 2008 as the International year of PlanetEarth, highlighting the esential importance of education about Earth sciences the building of scientific comunity for sustainable development.
  • The General Assembly establishes the new date for celebrating the EarthDay in 2009 changing it for the 22th of April under the name ”International Mother Earth Day”.
  • The United Nations Conference of Sustainable development (Rio+20) was held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The result was a political document that has clear practical measures for implementation of sustainable development. Decision about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was made, which will develop on Millennium Development Goals that will corelate with the development plan for the period after year 2015.
  • On the 22th of April 2016 the Paris Agreement was signed, oriented to control of the green house gasses by the signatories. The Agreement has the goal of keeping the rise of average temperatures under additional 2°С in comparison to pre-industrial period with the aim of difference lowering to 1,5°С. In 2017 US withdrawn itself from the Paris Agreement, accentuating that the effects of climate change are ”exaggerated”.

 

United Nations as well as all the nature lovers and respecters are facing the urgent problems such as global warming, climate change, plastic pollution and similar problems. These problems are corelated and for their solving rooted changes in individuals’ habits and the general functioning of the economy is needed along with the goal of creating the sustainable development. Big problem lies also in the lack of societies’ education about current problems and the urgency of their solving.

Every single one of us can contribute in the change and we will firstly do that with responsible approach to the surrounding we live in. It is necessary to change the daily habits that harm nature (and indirectly ourselves) and orientate to more eco-friendly solutions. For every lawyer, as well for every citizen that wants to activly participate in the change of current problem in its surrounding, I consider it necessary for that person to be informed about activities of the organisations related to ecology, there including United Nations as an essential factor.

More about how United Nations are integrated in the program of fighting for the preservation of ecosystem you can discover here, also, hereyou can see the Annual Report for 2017 by the UN Environment. You can watch an interesting short film hereand hereyou can find some useful sites related to celebration of the Mother Earth Day.

REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIROMENT, Stockholm, 1972

The Rio Declaration on environment and development (1992)

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 22 April 2009 – International Mother Earth Day

Plan of the United Nations Conference of Sustaunable Development (Rio+20), 2012

ADOPTION OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT, 2016

Resources:

https://www.un.org/press/en/2009/ga10823.doc.htm

http://www.un.org/en/events/motherearthday/index.shtml

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/why-and-when-is-international-mother-earth-day-celebrated.html

https://www.earthday.org

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=4oJvMfeQlr8C&dat=19900423&printsec=frontpage

https://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/12/business/the-business-of-earth-day.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.thisdayinworldhistory.com/february-26-1971-secretary-general-of-the-united-nations-u-thant-proclaims-the-vernal-equinox-as-the-earth-day/

https://www.raptim.org/12-inspiring-websites-celebrate-mother-earth-day-2018/

Author: Antonija Radulović