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World Environment Day should not exist

Posted by Emmanuelle Grundmann on 5 June 2010

World Environment Day should not exist. Yet every year, on June 5, it is crucial to continue reminding everyone – citizens and especially political figures – just how vital the health of our planet is. This is true not only for the environment and the resulting biodiversity, but also for us who live in it, who use and too often abuse its resources. We must maintain the pressure for our food, our health, our survival depend on the quality of our natural environment. Unfortunately, the fact that World Environment Day continues to exist demonstrates how much more still needs to be done in order to generate greater awareness regarding the nature that nurtures us.

Saving the environment means paying into life insurance for the future

June 5, 2010 is branded by the millions of gallons of oil that are spilling across the Gulf of Mexico; let this not overshadow the other dramas that are taking place far from media spotlights. In Madagascar, Mozambique and many other countries, land is being sold off for a song to foreign multinationals, depriving people of their agricultural resources and pushing them even further into food insecurity. The commodification of water is on the rise even as more than 880 million people lack access to drinking water. Unbridled forestry and the quest for short term profits have decimated tropical and boreal forests to almost nothing and in so doing, deprive many people of resources, their habitats, and their culture. The list of environmental damage is long, far too long, and it marches forth hand in hand with irremediable social and economic disaster for those individuals with no other resources than this very environment on which they depend each and every day.

Saving the environment means paying into life insurance for the future. It is not only our future at stake but also all those small populations who are witnessing globalization engulf their languages and cultures. This is why ensuring access to water and quality healthcare, fighting deforestation and desertification, defending cultural diversity, alongside all the other projects developed and supported by the Foundation Chirac should be a priority for us all so that we will one day no longer need a World Environment Day.

Emmanuelle Grundmann

Journalist

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