World Environment Day & Environment Catastrophes


Looking back at this week several catastrophes occurred around the world.  Severe storms occurred in Omaha, Nebraska in US. Istanbul Turkey was severely hit by floods yesterday where several roads were halted from transportation and the floods situation still continues. On the other hand SriLanka was also experiencing severe floods and landslides where 23 lives were lost leaving 44,000 stranded homeless. It is a reminder to everyone that the environment needs to be left behind without destructing further to protect our future generations. 

It is in such scenario World Environment Day was Celebrated around the world. The theme of World Environment Day 2014 was Small Islands and Climate Change. The official slogan for this year’s theme states: “Raise Your Voice Not the Sea Level.”

“Small Island Developing States face numerous challenges. For a significant number, their remoteness affects their ability to be part of the global supply chain, increases import costs especially for energy and limits their competitiveness in the tourist industry. Many are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change from devastating storms to the threat of sea level rise,” UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. The contribution of the world’s small island nations, which collectively house over 63 million people, towards global emission of greenhouse gases is less than 1%.

According to the UN, these nations share a common understanding to achieve a sustainable future for all “I urge everyone to think about the plight of Small Island Developing States and to take inspiration from their efforts to address climate change, strengthen resilience and work for a sustainable future,” Ban Ki-moon said.

Complying with the theme, Barbados, a small Caribbean island nation, is the host country of the 2014 World Environment Day. By hosting the annual event, the country aims “to be heard loudly and clearly, maintaining the place of Barbados firmly in the mainstream of the discourse and action on the future of Small Island Developing States,” Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said.  India will host the World Environment Day 2015 under the theme, “One World, One Environment”.

World leaders also organized national events in many countries during this year. Prime Minister of India urges the public to tweet for a cleaner better environment for tomorrow. President Obama stated to curb Climate Change together with EU on this year’s celebrations.

SriLanka also celebrated World Environment Day  staging events organized by the Government, Private Sector and Civil Society Organizations.  The President Mahinda Rajapaksa has emphasized that safeguarding the environment amounts to protecting our children. President Rajapaksa laid this emphasis participating in the 41st World Environment Day commemoration. The commemoration ceremony was held at Royal College in Colombo under the patronage of the President. Expressing his views at this function the President pointed out that Sri Lanka was leaving in the protection of the environment when comparing other countries in the Asian region.

Meanwhile the Mayor of Colombo city organized no-tooting-of horns program  yesterday. Colombo Municipal Council’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said this was the implementation of a law passed in 2011. He said although this duty does not directly come under his department, they took the initiative to reduce noise pollution in the city.

“The indiscriminate tooting of horns has caused a serious noise pollution issue. If we do not take action it will affect citizens in many ways. Schoolchildren will be unable to study and it will be an issue for tourism as well. If a city is prone to have high levels of noise pollution it can increase anxiety and mental pressure as well. The law on the permitted level of sound in vehicles was passed in 2011 although it was not properly implemented. We will be taking the first step today,” he said.

Meanwhile British Council also organized several kids program island wide. These sessions focused on Current Environment Challenges faced in SriLanka. It is time to see to bring justice for future catastrophes’ and a green light is given to everyone that leaving the environment without further destructions is the only way to save our future generations.