June 5, 2018
Coimbatore: On World Environment Day, observed globally on June 5, The Covai Post speaks to a cross-section of people in Coimbatore, including conservationists, to gauge how they intend to tackle the threat to environment and what do they see as obstacles to surmount.
Environment Conservation Group president Mohammed R Saleem says, ”The United Nations, aware that the protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world, designated 5 June as World Environment Day. The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries.
“I have watched the very lands that I have lived on dramatically change over the last 35 years. It is my sincerest belief that people utterly lack humility and are totally ignorant of Mother Earth and all her precious gifts.
“From an optimistic point of view I trust that mankind will put differences aside and work together as one and save what we have left. My part includes picking up garbage left over after functions and festivals. We have no time left to point fingers and blame one another.”
Environmental groups are necessary to further promote environmental issues because unless the people take them up, the Government will not act. People will have to adopt a ‘green’ and unselfish attitude to fix this colossal issue, he adds.
Forest official K Ashokan from the Sathiyamangalam range feels it is a sad thing that nature is being destroyed. “It is nature that keeps us beautiful and soulful. When nature is destroyed, when artificial things replace natural beauty, all the good qualities will be ruined.Unfortunately, people like artificial and glamorous things. Most people do not like natural things. The beauty of nature should remain always as it is, so that we can derive from it our purest joy, purest love and purest oneness,” he says.
Population growth is already having an impact on available resources, especially fresh water and suitable agricultural land. That impact will only be exacerbated by such phenomena as rising sea levels and increased use of fossil fuels for energy and many other factors, he adds.
Gomathi Selvam, who has a garden in her home, said, “I am not an environment activist. But I very much want development that respects environment.
“Whether or not mankind is causing global warming is a moot issue. We know that the environment plays an important role in our well being. Nature does not need humans at all. However, the reverse is not valid.” we do need nature,”she says.
The theme for 2018 is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. “It invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife and our own health. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over-reliant on single-use or disposable plastic with severe environmental consequences,” said The Nature Conversation Society Coimbatore president N I Jalaluddin.