Earth Day, created in 1970, is an annual event held on 22 April to raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection. Today it is a global movement with initiatives and events taking place internationally.
The UIAA Mountain Protection Commission (MPC) marked the day by participating in a Mountain Women of the World webinar, led by a transnational network of mountain women. During the session, mountain women from around the world including three members of the MPC – Dr Carolina Adler (New Zealand), Professor Harshwanti Bisht (India) and Aupar Ahmed (Bangladesh) – shared their experiences and knowledge.
The MPC enjoys a close partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 22 April as International Mother Earth Day through a resolution adopted in 2019. The Day recognises the Earth and its ecosystems as humanity’s common home and the need to protect her to enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity. The theme for 2021 is Restore our Earth.
As UNEP writes ‘Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records and the worst locust invasion in Kenya. Now we face COVID -19, a worldwide health pandemic link to the health of our ecosystem. This International Mother Earth Day, we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet.’
Learn more about UNEP’s work on halting the degradation of ecosystems and climate change:
- UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
- Facts about the Climate Emergency
- The Six Sector Solution to Climate Change
- Explore the UNEP Climate Action Note
- Reimagine a better future with Aidan Gallagher
UIAA President Peter Muir sent his own message to UIAA members worldwide:
Happy Earth Day!
I hope this message finds you safe and well.
Despite current troubles, Earth Day this year seems an especially important reminder that Earth is both a wonderful provider of resources for our passions but also, like any home, a sensitive trust requiring our care and respect.
I hope you and your members can spend one of the three Earth Days (April 20 -22) outside enjoying her bounty while reflecting on the small and larger steps we can each take to reduce our environmental impact.
Keep safe and keep yourself and Earth as well as you can,
Main photo: Credit, Tristan Rasumssen. Courtesy of Alpine Club of Canada