World Environment Day: This year's Mask Challenge is aimed at creating air pollution awareness; know about annual event's history

World Environment Day is observed on June 5 every year. The United Nations (UN) started this annual event in order to raise awareness about environmental issues plaguing our planet and the action to be taken to tackle them.

The UN began observing the day in the year 1974. Every year, a different aspect about the environment which is affected by pollution, global warming, human overpopulation and wildlife crime, among other factors, is selected by the country which is hosting the main event. Accordingly, various activities are undertaken around the globe to tackle the factor causing environmental degradation.

 World Environment Day: This years Mask Challenge is aimed at creating air pollution awareness; know about annual events history

Representational image. AP

This year, China is hosting World Environment Day and the theme is ‘Beat air pollution’. In 2018, India hosted the main event centered on combatting pollution caused by plastic.

How effective has it been?

Since its implementation in 1974, World Environment Day has generated a great amount of political momentum and led governments to work towards implementing laws to help tackle problems having an adverse impact on the environment. For instance, the Indian government has committed to ban all single-use plastics by 2022.

Measures being taken worldwide to reduce air pollution

The governments of many countries around the world are enforcing policies and devising plans in order to tackle the issue of air pollution. On 4 June, former vice president of the United States Joe Biden announced his plan to lead the country to net zero emissions by the year 2050, a measure which will be incredibly beneficial if implemented effectively.

In Delhi, areas are being divided based on the intensity of air pollution that affects them, with the plan to implement emergency measures, such as stopping the burning of plastics and controlling entry of vehicles. China is implementing an action plan for the year 2020 detailing their focus on the ozone and how they aim to reduce damage to the ozone by capping the emission of oxides.

How can you get involved?

The main theme of World Environment Day this year is air pollution. The main scheduled event is the Mask Challenge, where the UN has urged individuals around the world to choose an action that they will undertake to reduce air pollution, photograph themselves performing this task while wearing a mask and then post this image on social media, tagging other organisations or individuals they wish to get involved in this challenge.

Apart from this, people may register their own events individually or in teams to help contribute to this cause. The easiest ways to contribute as individuals are using public transport or bicycles instead of cars, using energy efficient appliances and switching off devices and electronics when not in use.

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Updated Date: Jun 05, 2019 08:33:53 IST