April is World Earth Month and every year on 22 April we celebrate World Earth Day where more than a billion people across the globe join in action to help save our planet. The Ministry of Environment and its departments joins in the efforts with the local theme: ‘Restore our Earth, Restore Cayman’.
COVID-19 has given us all an opportunity to stop and think about our impact on the earth. Through-out the pandemic we have realized more and more the importance of our environment. From missing going out for walks and enjoying nature, to longing to hear birds outside; we have all missed our connection to nature.
While we may have missed it, while people went in doors to protect themselves the earth began to heal itself. Here are some of the ways the earth has already been celebrating:
• Rare species of animals courageously walked into cities, towns and villages, revisiting old habitats.
• Where factories closed their operations and vehicles were off the road, the reduction in emissions left the skies looking bluer than ever.
• After decades of smog, people in India could finally see the peaks of the Himalayas again for the first time as lockdowns eased air pollution.
All of this has once again helped us to realize one more time that we are not the owners of the earth, but a part of it.
Through-out the pandemic the importance of our environment and its connection to our health has become more and more obvious.
Our health is intrinsically linked to our surroundings and our environment -- in fact, we now know that air pollution is linked to significantly higher fatalities when it comes to COVID-19.
It is believed that the reduction in air pollution in China caused by this economic disruption likely saved 20 times more lives in China than have currently been lost due to infection with the virus in that country. It is incredible to think what clean air can do for us!
World Earth Day is a chance for us to reflect on how many of today’s environmental challenges are responsible for adversely affecting the health and livelihood of individuals and communities, especially vulnerable groups.
However, as we all are witnessing the rejuvenation of environments around the globe during the ongoing pandemic, it has also prompted the world to amplify current or create new practices to protect the environment. We should all ask ourselves:
• What part did I play in making our environment better?
• What can we do to continue to keep nature in a constant space of regrowth?
• How can we as a country and part of the global community learn from this current situation?
• And what can we do as a community in order to move forward positively?
We encourage the entire community to do their part to help restore the earth. The public can access ideas and an action toolkit here: https://www.earthday.org/toolkit-earth-day-2021-restore-our-earth/
Join a local community clean-up crew or start your own.
A great way to get involved is through the annual Chamber Earth Day Clean-up Event which will be held on Saturday, April 24 from 7am – 10am. The community is encouraged to show their support by sponsoring and recruiting teams to clean-up trash off our beaches and roads. The public can contact email@example.com for more information.
The Ministry of Environment continues to work together with our local stakeholders and the community to ensure we have a prosperous green society and environment for future generations.