World Environment Day (WED) was created by the United Nations as a “principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment.” The 2015’s theme was “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” As world populations grow, the finite resources of the Earth are becoming more and more apparent.
According to the United Nations, if current trends of consumption and production continue without any variance, coupled with population growth, “we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption” by 2050. This striking statistic is what sparked this year’s theme. It honed in on the need for responsible consumerism and the communal responsibility to preserve natural resources for succeeding generations.
Just months after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, Global Peace Foundation Nepal worked with local experts, volunteers and community members to commemorate World Environmental Day and raise awareness of disaster preparedness. The Global Peace Foundation Nepal also continued with its efforts to clean the Bagmati River.
At the World Environment Day forum, Dr. Meen Bahdur Chhetrj, a member of a drafting committee of National Law on Disaster Management, shared a bit of his vast knowledge and experience in the field of emergency/disaster management. In his presentation he expressed that Nepal’s geographical location makes the nation particularly prone to several natural disasters creating an imperative for communal efforts in preparing for and recovering from such events.
Dr. Bishal Nath Upreti, an expert in the field of Geology with a specialty in the Nepalese region, presented the history and causes of earthquakes, particularly in regions that lie on geological fault lines. Dr. Upreti has worked in recent years to address the risks and the management of natural disasters such as landslides due to the fragile geological location of Nepal.
After the set of informative presentations by Dr. Chhetrj and Dr. Upreti, Mrs. Necelyn Lamichhane, coordinator of Rise Nepal, explained the power of, and the continued need for, community efforts to rebuild Nepal after the earthquake. Mrs. Lamichhane’s presentation highlighted the power of individual and community efforts made for the sake of the greater good.
Mrs. Laminchhane presented on the work of Rise Nepal’s Shelter of Hope Campaign. Global Peace Foundation Nepal, in partnership with other members of the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance, have built transitional shelters in the remote areas of Nepal in the aftermath of the earthquake. For roughly $120, Shelter of Hope is providing an 11.4 square meter shelter with local supplies which can be used to build more permanent shelters after the rainy season.
The efforts undertaken by Global Peace Foundation Nepal and its partners illustrate not only the need for communal efforts in preventative and restorative efforts, but also the power that each of us possess in the grand scheme of resource conservation, preservation and disaster mitigation.
As UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon said, “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.”
As one family under God, united by core principles and values, the impossible can be possible and the future of our environment and world can be made secure, one person and one dream at a time.