World Environment Day 2019: UN warns of dangers of air pollution; messages calling for action flood Twitter

World Environment Day, celebrated annually on 5 June is an initiative that the United Nations launched in an attempt to effectively combat problems of environmental degradation. Every year, the UN marks a different focus to commemorate the day. The country hosting the main event for the year chooses the theme for World Environment day.

India hosted 2018's World Environment Day and centered the occasion on tackling the widespread use of plastic with the theme 'Beat Plastic Pollution'. This year, China took over the task, choosing 'Beat Air Pollution' as the theme.

The main scheduled event for this year is the 'Mask Challenge'. With this event, the UN has urged individuals around the world to choose an action that they will undertake to reduce air pollution, photograph themselves performing the task while wearing a mask and then share the image on social media, tagging other organisations or individuals they wish to get involved in the challenge. Besides this, many other smaller teams and individuals are also carrying out projects to contribute to the cause on the occasion of World Environment Day.

The UN began to observe World Environment Day in 1974 and the initiative has been effective ever since. On the occasion this year, prominent personalities from various fields, besides myriads of social media users, share their views on Twitter and urge others to contribute to the initiative.

"People all around this precious planet are celebrating its beauty and taking action to improve it on 5 June," the United Nations tweeted.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, along with a number of Union ministers and famous personalities, tweeted on World Environment Day.

UN General-Secretary Antonio Guteress also shared an important message on World Environment Day: "Air pollution kills 7 million people every year, hurts child development, damages economies and contributes to the global climate emergency."

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar planted a sapling to do his bit on the day.

Sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik made a number of sand sculptures at a beach in Puri, Odisha, to commemorate World Environment Day.

Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal, who also took the lead for a UN-initiated project in Mumbai, tweeted:

"Air Pollution is a silent killer claiming millions of lives every year," Akshay Kumar said.

World Environment Day is the UN's principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

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Updated Date: Jun 05, 2019 11:22:31 IST