Did you know that this is “We Love Nature” month and that today is the International Day of Action for Rivers? As part of the month, today’s global activities will introduce many of us to nature and what we can do to actively protect the environment.
According to InternationalRivers.org: “Every year, thousands of people around the world lift their voices to celebrate the world’s rivers and those who struggle to protect them. The International Day of Action for Rivers is a day to celebrate victories such as dam removal and river restoration. It is a day to take to the streets, demonstrate and demand improvements in the policies and practices of decision makers. It is a day to educate one another about the threats facing our rivers, and learn about better water and energy solutions. Above all, it is a day to unite – by acting together, we demonstrate that these issues are not merely local, but global in scope.”
The International Day of Action for Rivers has its roots in Curitiba, Brazil. It was inspired and mandated by the participants of the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams that took place in March, 1997. Since then, it was decided that the International Day of Action would coincide with Brazil’s Day of Action Against Large Dams as the idea for the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams originated during an annual meeting of Brazil’s Movement of People Affected by Large Dams (MAB). Now, representatives from countries including the United States, Taiwan, Chile, Lesotho, Argentina, Thailand, Russia, France and Switzerland attend global events.
All of the efforts by the 20+ participating nations are about reminding us that we are all connected by our environment. No matter what borders and divisions we have between us, we share the planet and its resources. One way or another we affect each other and, additionally, humans have a significant impact on the planet’s biodiversity. Based on the substantially damaging changes that have taken place in our environment over time, it’s clear that far too few people are directly or indirectly involved in preserving that which all life depends upon for its survival. Within the United States, particular focus by The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) this year is being spent on introducing us to two iconic American Rivers: the Mississippi and the Colorado – both of which are threatened by climate change.
Along with other organisations with similar goals, the EDF has organised to work around the world on its stated four-point plan:
- to lower carbon emissions, fight deforestation and encourage the development of clean energy technology.
- promote the establishment of sustainable and healthy fisheries both in the U.S. and internationally.
- create and support incentives that encourage land stewards like farmers and ranchers to conserve vulnerable species and habitats.
- focus on fighting for reform of the nation’s outdated toxic chemicals law, and reducing air pollutants that impact human health.
As is the case with humans, every river, too, has its own story.
“The good news is that we can protect our health and the environment while improving our economic well-being.“
~ Fred Krupp, President, EDF