In 1969, even before the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, John McConnell a peace activist first introduced the idea of a global holiday called “Earth Day” at the 1969 UNESCO Conference on the Environment. UN Secretary-General U Thant supported McConnell’s global initiative to celebrate this annual event; and on February 26, 1971, he signed a proclamation to that effect, saying:
“ May there be only peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life”.
The Earth Day was to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970. Later the organizational activities for celebration of the Earth Day was taken over by Earth Day Network ( EDN). 2015 was 45 the year of establishment of Earth Day Network (EDN). TERRE Policy Centre has active partnership with EDN.
Project : 45 cities in India took part for 45 days to ‘act to protect the Earth’, to symbolize 45 years of EDN. TERRE coordinated the activities in Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik and Pune, the main cities of State of Maharashtra in India.
In Pune, in cooperation with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, TERRE launched ‘ Urban Forestry’ programme in 25 Hectares of land in very middle of the city. It was inaugurated 45 days back by Minister P. Javadekar by planting 45 trees.
A ‘passion song’ , composed and created by TERRE, was released in New Delhi at EDN main event at the ITC Maurya, New Delhi. The theme was ‘ It is our turn to lead’ . Listen: www.youtube.com/watch?v=REp-R6ax6cU&app=desktop
EDN also launched an eBook, Pathways to Green Cities: Innovative Ideas from Urban India (Vol 2) at the ITC Maurya, Delhi.
Chairman of TERRE, gave following message on the occasion of Earth Day:
Message from Rajendra Shende, Chairman TERRE,
United Nations has declared 2015 a year for ‘global action on climate’. TERRE supports this declaration. Today on Earth Day, I would like to add that from now on it would be ‘local action on global climate ’. We have no option now but to take action to save the Earth from disastrous consequences of climate change because, we do not have another Mother Earth. There is no plan B because there is no Planet B.
The global leaders are also gearing up to launch its post-2015 development agenda while also rolling out a series of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at reducing poverty, ensuring gender equality and halting and reversing the effects of climate change. Indian citizens have to play their own small role to make it happen. Long journey starts with small steps .
People say that in resource constraint world how we can take action to protect Mother Earth. I do not agree. We have powerful resources in the form of youth. Youth have power. Youth have passion. Youth have Compassion. That’s what exactly is the message of Earth’s ‘passion song’ composed and designed by TERRE Policy Centre on the occasion of Earth Day of 22nd April 2015. END