International Mother Earth Day
Get involved and participate
On Sunday April 22 is celebrated the International Day of Mother Earth, instituted by a Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2009, although its celebration goes back to 1970 in the USA, when massive demonstrations were promoted so that the political representatives will take the defense and protection of the environment in their agendas. These actions were continued in 1972 at the first International Conference on the Environment, the Earth Summit in Stockholm, which aimed to sensitize world leaders on the magnitude of environmental problems.
Esta celebración fue extendiéndose por numerosos países en el mundo hasta su reconocimiento formal por las Naciones Unidas, que toma como antecedentes al Programa 21 surgido de la Cumbre de Río sobre Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo, celebrada en Río de Janeiro en 1992, y el Informe Mundial sobre Desarrollo Sostenible, realizado en Sud África en 2002.
Mother Earth Day invites us to be aware that the planet and its ecosystems give us life and sustenance. With this day, we also assume the collective responsibility, as the Rio Declaration of 1992 reminded us, to foster this harmony with nature and Mother Earth in order to reach a fair balance between the economic, social and environmental needs of the present and future generations.
The UN Resolution reminds us that "Mother Earth" is a common expression used to refer to the planet Earth in various countries and regions, which demonstrates the interdependence between human beings, other living species and the planet that we all inhabit. The Earth and its ecosystems are our home.This day also gives us the opportunity to raise awareness among all the inhabitants of the planet about the problems that affect the Earth and the different life forms that develop there. "
Some of the central themes that are proposed to debate, educate and raise awareness on this day are sustainable production and consumption patterns in harmony with nature; the promotion of dialogue so that citizens and societies become aware of how they relate to each other and how they can relate to the natural world and, at the same time, how we can improve the ethical foundations of the relationship between humanity and the Earth, in terms of sustainable development. This year's theme is: "End plastics contamination".
Beyond the fact that environmental issues today are an inescapable part of global and local agendas and the growing awareness that life on Earth is a network of which human beings are part, it is clear that the prevailing model of development did not take into account the consequences in the future. Agriculture and intensive farming, deforestation and logging of tropical forests, the large production that generates millions of tons of waste, the use of chlorofluorocarbons, the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in agriculture or the burning of fossil fuels , among others, have increased the temperature of the planet, and therefore, the increase in the temperature of the sea; what has supposed the melting of the glaciers and the poles, raising the sea level or the increase of the hurricanes, among other causes.
All this has been increasing the acidification of the oceans and the flooding of coastal areas, as well as a loss of freshwater reserves; and finally, a deterioration of biodiversity, an increase in extreme climatology, the inexorable advance of erosion and desertification, the depletion of natural resources, and, of course, more human suffering with the arrival of climatic migrations.
What do we do at home?
Global impacts also generate gradual or drastic changes that affect our everyday life, although these social and ecological impacts affect in an unequal and heterogeneous way at local scale, with different consequences in the different territories according to the social, political, economic and cultural context of the place.
This differentiation leads us to reflect on environmental problems in their social dimension, as they are generated by human actions that have an impact on society and, above all, on the most vulnerable populations.
If we think about our territory, to begin with the city in which we live and the ecoregion to which we belong, we see as fundamental the progress made in the legal protection of the urban wetlands of Río Gallegos through the creation of the System of Urban Natural Reserves (SRNU). These wetlands are suppliers of fresh water, buffers of floods and protectors of the biodiversity of our original fauna and flora, among the many environmental benefits that they offer us.
Asociación Ambiente Sur together with the Municipal Environmental Agency, Application Authority of the SRNU, has focused on local reserves its multiple proposals of environmental education, conservation through concrete actions in the System and citizen participation, in order to achieve an effective involvement of the community with the environment in which it lives and develops.
The stimulus for this participation has been given mainly through the promotion and support for the formation of Groups of Friends of the different reserves and the creation of a Participative Management Entity, created by ordinance and a municipal decree, which formally establishes the participation of citizens in the management of reserves.
For this reason, "Get involved and participate." is the slogan that Ambiente Sur has promoted as an active way for all of us to take responsibility for the care and preservation of our environment, since it is necessary to recognize ourselves as an indissoluble part of the same plot where the natural is interwoven and the social.