UNIC Director, Mrs. Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman delivered the message of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the theme of this year’s World Environment Day: Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care”. “In this year of transformation” Mr. Ban said, “when we hope to see great advances on sustainable development and climate change, let us celebrate World Environment Day by becoming more conscious of our ecological impact. Let us think about the environmental consequences of the choices we make. Let us become better stewards of our planet,” he said.
UNIC Director also addressed the dignitaries and the students, reminding them that there was only one planet and we should all dream of safeguarding it, keeping it clean, green and healthy for future generations from whom we are borrowing it. When we borrow something, it becomes our responsibility to protect it.
Dr. K.D. Gupta, Chairman Climate & Environment Committee, ICMEI said that we need to deepen awareness among people to preserve the planet. We need to make common people become active agents to make the world safe and clean. He spoke on the importance of the sustainable development goals and reminded people of the coming into being of the United Nations Environment Programme. Dr. Shiv Shankar Awasthi, Secretary General, Authors Guild of India said that newspapers give you all the news. Authors have always revered nature and respected the environment. There is no limit to our needs. We are using up our resources. We have to force the authorities to act. We need to come out and try our best. If we plant a tree, that is not enough. We need to nurture it. We need to change mindsets. Mr. Gyanendra Pandey, Chief Editor, Lok Sabha Channel, said that he was happy to see so many people attending to hear about how they could take on the issue of environment. He said that what was happening was like using up all your fortune and leaving nothing for the future generation. Cars are increasing every day. We need to go back to traditional means. Development is good. It is great to have wide roads and footpaths, but at what cost. Dr. Hari Singh Pal from All India Radio reminded everyone that we sing of nature, of Panchtatva, the five elements of nature. We need to save them. We are trying to save the ozone layer. We need to raise awareness otherwise all our efforts will just remain words on a banner. We need to start thinking of compostage like we have been doing for centuries in villages; we need to plant trees but accept the responsibility to ensure that they grow and blossom. Dr. Shyam Singh Sashi, Chancellor, Roma International University said that though he is an anthropologist, basically he is a poet. The language of love is universal. He then recited a beautiful poem on the world, one’s home and love. He had just launched his latest book (he has written around 400) on the Nomads of India and presented a copy to UNIC Director for Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
Mr. Yogendra Narain, Former Secretary General, Rajya Sabha, said that we want a clean environment. We celebrate this day each year. We are trustees of this environment and of nature. We need to return it intact. Nature is part of your family. We need to carefully study which traditions we should continue as individuals, as family and the community. Each one has a prime role to play for the environment. Let us use science and technology to find a solution within our own environment. We have duties as citizens. Let us look at need versus greed and environment versus development when looking for solutions. The Chief Guest Mrs. Bimla Batham, Member of Legislative Assembly from Gautam Budhnagar (Noida) said that today Noida is a high tech city. But every day we should think of the environment and ensure that the green cover increases manifold. If not, we will become a concrete jungle. She recalled the Clean India Campaign of the Prime Minister and said that it had lost momentum but we should make it pick up speed again. Mr. Ashok Tyagi, Sec Gen ICMEI gave the vote of thanks.