Sunday, June 5, 2011


Today June 5, 2011 is World Environment Day. This day is observed each year to focus attention on emerging environmental issues and to create  public awareness. WED is a day for people  from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter environment for themselves and  the future generation 

For WED 2011, United Nations Environment Programme , UNEP  has given the theme as 'Forests : Nature at Your Service"

2011 is also the International Year of Forests.

Forests are vital for human existence.

  Forest products are used in our daily lives.  Fruits, paper and wood from trees.  Not to forget medicine, cosmetics, detergents and more.

Looking beyond the narrow frame of Human consumption, forests provide habitat to diverse animal species, besides providing livelihood to many different human settlements.

They offer watershed protection, timber and non timber products and recreational options. A holiday in Kerala without experiencing the joy of a Tree House would be no fun .  Right?

They prevent soil erosion, help in maintaining the water cycle, check Global warming by using carbon dioxide in photosynthesis. And the most vital thing for humans - Oxygen.  We get it thanks to Trees.

Inspite of knowing these facts, over the past five decades, half the world's original forest cover has been lost due to man's selfish misuse of the natural resources.

If the forests go away, it is not just the trees that go.  The entire ecosystem begins to fall apart, with dire consequences for mankind and its survival on Planet Earth.

This year, India is host to this International event .  So how has the Capital prepared itself for this event?  Pretty good i'd say.  For instead of celebrating this event on a single day, Delhi has kept aside Five days from June 1 to June 5, 2011,  to make the citizens aware of the importance of preserving our Environment.

 “Green Haat” a unique exhibition 

currently underway at Dilli Haat, INA Market that showcases India’s forest heritage through forest handicrafts, herbal and medical products and forest based food recipes.

Fifty‐three stalls from across the country selling products made by Self‐Help Groups from forest and tribal areas reveal the diversity of Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) and related livelihoods in India.

As i walked inside Dilli  Haat yesterday , i saw eye catching and thought provoking message banners on  both sides of the pathway , leading up to the Stalls.

Green Haat is being jointly organised by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme and the Centre for Environment Education.

 The many stalls had various Eco friendly forest products. From Organic cereals and pulses

To jute products

to a variety of seeds and grains

to Honey packed in polybags

to Pickles.....

But this is not all.  The Five day celebration is spread throughout the length and breadth of our country.  From setting up of Knowledge Park by schoolchildren from Delhi, to  Bio Diversity Film Festival in various venues and one in  Tihar Jail too!

 Painting competition, Nature Camps for children with special needs in Bangalore and Bannetghata National park.

  Exhibition on Mumbai's Environment at Chhatrapati Shivaji & Churchgate Stations to Dialogue with Business Community on Green Economy in Delhi.

 Press Conference at Dilli Haat to Nature Campos at Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. 

 Interaction with the IT Leaders in Bangalore. Walkathon at Delhi from India Gate and Marathon at Bangalore to Seminar on " Nature and Livelihoods: Women's Perspective" in Delhi.

Inauguration of North East Museum Gallery at Bhubaneshwar.

For Delhi  Senior Citizens there is good news.  A Park near  The Leela, Africa Avenue is being dedicated to Senior Citizens.

So, when so much is being done to create  awareness throughout the country, what can you and I do to contribute to save our environment and counter Climate Change?

Here are a few things WE CAN:

Use efficient lighting like CFLs.

Use an Energy efficient Computer

Drive Less

Check your tyres

Use water carefully

Say "NO" to Plastic

Plant more trees

Turn off electronic devices

Reuse and Recycle.

So today, spread the word.  Guide and tell your children about importance of preserving our Environment.  So that we can enjoy what God has given mankind for generations to come.  Act before it is too late!


  1. Very valid post Abha....the younger generation is more aware of protecting our Environment. We all can contribute in small ways...

  2. @ Alka Yes the new gen is very cool and will surely do their bit for Green Earth

  3. Cool post, Abha:-) Can u also suggest some eco-friendly culinary practices, pls?
    btw, i tried using kesar instead of turmeric, and the aam ki launji still came out good. again thx for opening up a new world of simple cooking solutions. my grown-up kids smile at my small conquests in the kitchen, but appreciate them nevertheless!