The founder of Earth Day was Gaylord Anton Nelson an American politician, Governor of Wisconsin and Senator in the Congress of the United States of America, who established Earth Day on April 22, 1970.
Already in 1969, the concept was proposed by John McConnell at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco and celebrated on March 21, 1970, on the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. Later, this day was also manifested as a global day of action in a proclamation by UN Secretary General U Thant.
At the same time to draw attention to environmental pollution, the then U.S. Senator from Wisconsin Gaylord Nelson initiated Earth Day which takes place every year on April 22 to encourage people to reconsider their consumption behavior. On the first Earth Day in 1970, 20 million people participated in the actions.
Since 1990, Earth Day has been a worldwide holiday on April 22, reaching 200 million people in 141 countries. In 2000, Earth Day reached 5000 environmental organizations in 183 countries and hundreds of millions of people. Leonardo DiCaprio was the official guest at the inaugural event, which was attended by 40,000 people. In 2009, following the proposal of the Bolivian government, April 22 was declared International Mother Earth Day by the United Nations General Assembly.
In 2009, following the failed UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Bolivian President Evo Morales issued an invitation for the International Day of Mother Earth in 2010 and an alternative World Conference of Peoples on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. The conference took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia, from April 20-22, 2010, with more than 30,000 participants from 140 countries.
In his opening speech, President Morales blamed the capitalist system for the imbalance on Earth. The planet with its inhabitants would suffer under the boundless compulsion of growth. As a result, the “Peoples’ Agreement” was elaborated by naming the agricultural sector as the main cause of climate change. The agricultural sector would produce food for the market and not for feeding all people.
Industrialized countries were urged to halve CO2 emissions by 2020 and pay six percent of their annual budgets into a global climate fund. Companies and governments should be able to sue before a world climate court to be established. A global referendum on environmental protection is to be organized jointly by governments, environmental organizations and trade unions. The plans were introduced at the subsequent UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún in 2010, where binding, international measures for climate protection were agreed for the first time.The industrialized countries recognized that carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced by 25 to 40 percent by 2020.
For Germany, this means that the overproduction of intensive agriculture and factory farming, which are subsidized with taxpayers’ money and are responsible for environmental damage and climate change, must be drastically reduced by 2020 and have not been implemented to date.
Google honors and appreciates the “Earth Day” with a Doodle since 2001.
With this Doodle, Google draws attention to the deforestation of the forest. The video is to make aware how slowly trees grow and how long it takes until a tree or a forest develops from a small seedling. Trees and forests that release oxygen and bind Co2 for many more generations, thus providing a good climate if the trees are not cut down. For short-term profit, more than 12 million hectares of trees were cut down in the tropics in 2020 alone, according to an analysis of data from the University of Maryland.
“Most alarmingly, this includes 4.2 million hectares of previously undisturbed primary tropical forests. This loss represents a crisis for climate stability and biodiversity conservation, but also a humanitarian disaster and lost economic opportunity. This analysis, now covering 20 years of data, shows all that has been lost – and also what interventions are working.
In a year when everything else slowed, forest loss accelerated.
The COVID-19 pandemic destroyed lives and livelihoods around the world, and the global economy contracted by about 3.5% in 2020. However, despite the economic downturn, tropical primary forest loss increased by 12% compared to 2019, continuing an upward trend. Pandemic-related closures likely contributed to short-term increases in forest loss in some cases by limiting the mobility of law enforcement officers and forcing urban-rural migration, but the more significant impacts of the pandemic on forests are likely to come.
If they see no alternatives, governments struggling with limited fiscal resources and high debt will be tempted to cut environmental agency budgets and approve new investment projects that could show up in forest loss data in future years. And yet, new studies (here and here) conclude that “investments in conservation and restoration actually provide more effective incentives than traditional measures,” according to the environmental organization Global Forest Watch.
Here also in german language: Earth Day 2021
Video message from António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, on International Mother Earth Day (April 22, 2021).
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Earth Day Messenger of Peace, on the state of our planet and the actions we all need to take to create a better future for all.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the many threats facing humans, other animals and global ecosystems, but Jane’s message is clear: Each and every one of us has a role to play and can make a difference. “Let’s think of every day as Earth Day.”
WWF would like to use this video to draw attention to the effects of a pandemic like COVID-19 and the causes
That ignorance and every action has effects and consequences for nature and all species. Why our health depends on the health of the planet and why we can make a difference – even if we may not have realized it yet.
For Earth Day, this report from SWR in Germany:
“On our doorstep, an invisible tragedy is taking place. Birds, fish, butterflies, hardly any species is spared the consequences of global warming. Biologist and science journalist Axel Wagner shows how we can help animals in the climate crisis.
Studio guest Peter Berthold, ornithologist and long-time director at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, has now made saving species in climate change his life’s work. His credo: “Every community its biotope.” By establishing new habitats on fallow land and unused areas, the aim is to create the conditions for new and endangered species to move into these biotopes and live in these refuges.
For landscape fragmentation, environmental toxins and intensive agriculture have been threatening the animal world for many years and increasingly directly, and their negative effects are now being extremely intensified by climate change.
The documentary shows species that will become extinct in the coming years, such as the capercaillie in the Black Forest, and makes it clear that species extinction will also have dramatic consequences for humans if we do nothing to stop it.
An intensive and particularly elaborate production that uses impressive footage and research results from over five years of filming to direct our gaze to the greatest problem of our time and exposes grievances such as our consumer behavior in its negative impact on nature.”
This video wants to point out that the earth is a living organism, ignorance and any action for profit, have consequences for this planet, nature, ecosystems and species, everything is connected with everything on this earth – which is our home and livelihood.
The CMFR in Italy for Earth Day:
“When Mother Earth sends us a message. Mother Earth clearly calls for action. Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records and the worst locust invasion in Kenya. Now we face COVID -19, a global health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem.
Climate change, human-induced changes in nature, and crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified farming and ranching, or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) like COVID-19.
Of one new infectious disease occurring in humans every 4 months, 75% of these emerging diseases originate from animals, according to UN Environment.
This demonstrates the close relationships between human, animal and environmental health.
Visible, positive impacts – whether from improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions – are temporary, occurring against a backdrop of tragic economic downturns and human emergencies.
On this International Mother Earth Day, let us remember more than ever that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. Let’s promote harmony with nature and the Earth.”