August 9, 2013 | International Day of the World's Indigenous People: The United Nations' (UN) International Day of the World's Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. This year (2013), 9th August marks the 68th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. However it also marks "International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples", a day to reflect upon the devastating impact nuclear testing has had on some of the world's indigenous communities. The impact of nuclear testing on indigenous peoples is an important, but often overlooked chapter of the nuclear era and of the somber legacy of nuclear testing. The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples serves as a reminder and a learning opportunity about the important role that Indigenous voices and experiences have in telling the story of nuclear testing.
Independence Day - Aug 15 | India Independence day is celebrated on August 15 to commemorate our independence from British rule and birth as a sovereign nation on that day in 1947. According to Article 58 A it is mandatory that the state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country and as per Article 51 A (g), it is fundamental duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.
September 16 | World Ozone Day is celebrated every year on 16th September since 1995. This Day marks the importance of Ozone layer and its role in the environment. The United nations General Assembly has designated this Day to reflect the adoption of Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone layer.There are numerous activities and programs organized to spread awareness about the global phenomenon of Ozone layer depletion. All member nations of the Montreal protocol take this opportunity to take some concrete steps at their national level in accordance with the aims and objectives of Montreal protocol.
September 28 | Green Consumer Day is observed globally on September 28th every year. On this day an awareness is made to encourage purchasing only eco-friendly products which does not pollute the environment. This highlights the problems of consumerism and its impact on the environment. We should focus primarily on awareness raising and the importance of recycling-reusing and reducing waste material.
October 4 | World Animal Day was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. October 4 was chosen as World Animal Day as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
Since then, World Animal Day has become a day for remembering and paying tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.
Since the official World Animal Day website was launched by Naturewatch UK on 4 October 2003, the number of events taking place throughout the world has increased year upon year, and with your help we can ensure this trend continues.
And that is the aim of the World Animal Day initiative: to encourage everybody to use this special day to commemorate their love and respect for animals by doing something special to highlight their importance in the world. Increased awareness will lead the way to improved standards of animal welfare throughout the world.
Building the World Animal Day initiative is a wonderful way to unite the animal welfare movement and something that everyone can join in with whether they are part of an organisation, group, or as an individual. Through education we can help create a new culture of respect and sensitivity, to make this world a fairer place for all living creatures.

Regional Evaluation-cum-Training Workshop for ENVIS Centres (Eastern & North-Eastern Region), 23-24 March, 2015 at Assam

A 2-day evaluation-cum-training Workshop for ENVIS Centres of Eastern and North-Eastern Region (i.e., those located in the states of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) is slated to be held at Guwahati, Assam to be hosted by ENVIS Centre at Assam Science Technology and Environment, Council (ASTEC) during 23rd and 24th March, 2015. Particpants from 14 ENVIS Centres— comprising both thematic and State/UT Centres— will attend the Workshop. Apart from the interaction amongst and evaluation of ENVIS Centres, a crucial training by NRSC officials on Bhuvan portal, a geospatial portal to enable the GIS-based information, will also be held on the second day of the Workshop.

International Day for Biological Diversity

22nd May is celebrated as the International Day for Biological Diversity to recognize the important role of Biological Diversity for human well-being and well-being of all the life forms on Earth. On this day in 1992, the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted. To mark this, 22nd May has been proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Day for Biological Diversity, to increase awareness about the importance of and threats to biodiversity.

In this regards a message from Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India is linked HERE. In his message Shri Javadekar throws light on the importance of Biological Diversity on human life and all living beings.

Biodiversity is crucial to the reduction of poverty, due to the basic goods and ecosystem services it provides. Through the provision of biological resources and ecosystem services, biodiversity is an essential component of human development.

This year’s theme is “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”, which reflects the importance of efforts made at all levels to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda for the period of 2015-2030 and the relevance of biodiversity for the achievement of sustainable development.

The world’s poor, particularly in rural areas, depend on biological resources for as much as 90% of their needs, including food, fuel, medicine, shelter and transportation. 70% of the world’s poor live in rural areas and depend directly on biological diversity for their livelihoods. Biodiversity serves as an important source of food and income to rural households and is an important source of alternative foods during periods of scarcity.

The impact of environmental degradation is most severe among the rural population living in poverty, since they have few livelihood options. Therefore, access to and sustainable use of biodiversity by the poor are of direct relevance to efforts aimed at poverty reduction. Addressing the biodiversity challenge needs to be at the heart of international cooperation for sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Below are few of the examples to showcase the importance of Biological Diversity and inter-linkage of humanity fate with it.

  • Biodiversity is a vital asset in global and local economies
  • Food production depends on biodiversity and the services provided by ecosystems
  • Clean and secure supplies of water also depend on biodiversity
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning provide goods and services essential for human health – including nutrients, clean air and water and regulation of pests and vector-based diseases
  • Biodiversity is the basis for sustainable livelihoods
  • Traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity is also important and has value not only to those who depend on it in their daily lives but to modern industry and agriculture as well
  • Biodiversity is the cornerstone of the work, belief systems and basic survival of many women
  • Biodiversity plays a major role in mitigating climate change by contributing to long-term sequestration of carbon in a number of biomes
  • Even the built environments of our cities are linked to and affected by biodiversity

World Environment Day - June 05, 2015

Below is the Message of Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon'ble Minister, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change on the occasion of World Environment Day, 2015

on the occasion of the
World Environment Day
5th June 2015


‘Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.’

Today we celebrate the World Environment Day, to raise awareness about the importance of a clean, green and healthy environment for human well-being, and to encourage everyone for taking positive action in addressing challenging environmental issues. Celebrated each year on 5th June, the Day marks the opening of the United Nations Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972.

The theme this year, ‘Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.’ is very topical and relevant, as it reminds us of the enormous impact that our personal choices and decisions in day-to-day lives as consumers have on environment. It also emphasises the responsibility each one of us has in contributing to protecting the environment and reducing the rate of depletion of natural resources.

Changes in natural resource base due to human activities have taken place more rapidly in the past 50 years than at any time in human history, causing continued deterioration of environment. As a result, many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change. By 2050, with the current consumption and production patterns and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, it is estimated that we would need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.

We simply cannot afford this, as we have but ‘Only one Earth.’ Ironically, this was the theme for the first World Environment Day 42 years ago in 1973. We still have some time to transform the challenges of limited and fast depleting resources into opportunities that will enhance the quality of life for all without increasing environmental degradation, and without compromising the resource needs of future generations.

This however calls for altering our consumption patterns in a manner that we do more and better with less; less of water, less of energy, and less of all other resources. ‘Business as usual’ is no longer an option for us. By becoming more conscious of the ecological impact of our actions, and environmental consequences of the personal choices we make, we can become agents of change.

Unsustainable patterns of consumption are one of the major causes of increasing environmental deterioration. That we can make a difference through our choices and decisions can be gauged from these facts relating to water, energy and food:

  • Less than 3% of the world’s water is drinkable, of which 2.5% is frozen. Water is being polluted faster than nature can recycle and purify. More than 1 billion people do not have access to fresh water. Excessive use/wastage of water is leading to global water stress.
  • Energy consumption has grown most rapidly in transport sector followed by commercial and residential use. The cost of renewable energy is becoming increasingly competitive with that derived from fossil fuels. We can therefore shift our consumption patterns with lower energy and material intensity without compromising quality of life.
  • Food sector, due to environmental impacts in its production phase, accounts for around 30% of the world’s total energy consumption and around 22% of total greenhouse gas emissions. 1.3 billion tonnes of food in wasted every year while almost 1 billion people go undernourished and another 1 billion hungry. Overconsumption of food is detrimental to our health as well as to the environment. Dietary choices and habits therefore affect environment.

India has had a long cultural tradition of frugality and simple living in harmony with nature. As a result, conservation ethos is deeply ingrained in our people. However, unfortunately the symbiotic relationship of man with nature gets debilitated as societies develop, risking the well-being of future generations.

In today’s times, when we look closely at the relationship between people and environment, though hard to see at first, we would be able to recognise unsustainable behaviours amongst most of us. Let us try asking ourselves some difficult questions.

  • Do I need everything I own?
  • What if I did not own this?
  • What are my real needs?
  • Am I aware of what I eat, how it is produced and how far it has travelled?
  • Is my house energy efficient?
  • How do I commute daily?
  • Do I know how to save on water, electricity, fuel etc.?
  • What are the social and environmental impacts of my lifestyle?
  • What can I do to be more sustainable?

Going by the likely answers that we may get to these questions, we would realise that we need to be much more frugal in the way we use natural resources, while also recognising that for us, inclusive growth and a rapid increase in per capita income levels are development imperatives. In this context, the Government’s policy on ‘Zero defect, zero effect’; the programme on ‘100 Smart cities’; the campaign on ‘Swachh Bharat’; and the mission on ‘Namami Gange’ are very apt and relevant.

The challenge of production and consumption of environment friendly goods in India is huge. This would entail use of raw materials which are organic, locally produced or environment friendly; and green-energy based technology. Though there are indications that impressive changes are taking place, the outlined factors are yet to be embedded fully with the production processes in India. These create two main challenges: firstly, the problem of availability and acquisition of green raw material and technology, which is a critical challenge for the producers in developing countries such as India given the lower level of research and development (R&D) and issues arising from transfer of technology from other nations. Second, and a more important challenge is the high cost of production of green goods since the inputs (raw material and technology) invariably cost higher than the ones used for non-green variants.

India, like other developing and emerging economies, has the tremendous advantage of knowledge about the adverse impacts of earlier development paradigms and a vast array of new technologies. Significant reductions in environmental pressures can be achieved by appropriate private and public consumption patterns, to supplement gains achieved through better technology and improved production processes.

The 3Rs approach of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle should be the core of environmentally responsible practices that the industries and society at large should imbibe.

As we celebrate the 2015 World Environment Day, let us pledge to make at least one change in our lives towards a more responsible resource consumption behaviour or practice.

How apt was Mahatma Gandhi when he said ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not for every man’s greed.’

Let us re-establish the link with nature, as did the ancients in India centuries ago, and take from Earth and the environment only so much as one puts back into them. The sages of Atharva Veda chanted in their hymn to Earth, I quote:

“What of thee I dig out, let that quickly grow over; Let me not hit thy vitals, or thy heart”.