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World Environment Day 2015 focuses on sustainable consumption and production
One of the big flagship programme related to environmental awareness is the observance of World Environment Day (WED) today. Celebration of WED is one of the biggest positive environmental actions. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as a day for doing something positive for the environment and for the planet.

Every year there are different themes related to the day and theme this year is, "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care." The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet's natural resources.

Many of the Earth's ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.

Our production and consumption pattern is directly link to our environment. To meet this challenge we need to make transition to more efficient and sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns. SCP is a pattern of behaviours that aims to reduce negative environmental impacts and help meet human needs by producing more and better with less resource and fewer negative impacts.

According to the UN Development Programme, if production and consumption patterns continue in the current mode, the global Human Development Index will plummet by 8 per cent in the best case scenario and 15 per cent in the worst case scenario by the year 2050, with much higher losses for the poorest regions.

The issue of food loss and waste is probably the most striking example of our dysfunctional production and consumption patterns, which hampers efforts to reduce the poverty gap. Worldwide, about one-third of all food produced, worth around USD 1 trillion, is lost or wasted in producing or consuming food.

In industrialised regions, almost half of the total food wasted, around 300 million tones annually, occurs because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption. Research by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) indicates that globally and by 2050, humanity could devour an estimated 140 billion tones of minerals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass per year.

As we are talking about SCP, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to be a responsible citizen. WED is the opportunity for everyone to realize the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said that "although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference."

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme has stated that "living in an increasingly globalized world, inhabited by 7 billion people, it is easy to underestimate the power of individual action. The annual World Environment Day reminds people across the globe that it is our personal choices that shape the world around us. Our daily decisions as consumers, multiplied by billions, have a colossal impact on the environment - some of them contribute to the further depletion of natural resources, others help to protect fragile ecosystems. Every time - the choice is ours".

The day gives us an opportunity to look critically at our activities too. As the theme focused on consumption, so everyone can make a difference with choice. Individuals can opt for sustainable consumption pattern and contribute towards green future. Each and every one of us must take part in the environmental activities as it is going to give us a sustainable future with our actions.

If our actions and consumptions are not sustainable then we may not even imagine what would happen in near future. Let us all take positive action for the planet and to combat climate change, each and every one must become climate warriors. No one else would come to protect our planet but as global citizen every one must take climate friendly steps towards green future.

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