The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairperson, Justice Arun Mishra extended greetings on the occasion of World Environment Day and urged the citizens to adopt an approach towards environment protection which ensures that everyone lives in a clean and safe environment, stated an official release from the NHRC.
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is – ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’
“Greetings on World Environment Day today, which has a vital connection with human rights. The Day reminds us that sustainable development envisages protecting the environment, which is crucial for human existence. Adopting a rights-based approach to environmental protection ensures that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, can live in a clean and safe environment,” he said.
Justice Arun Mishra said that plastic has emerged as a serious threat to environmental pollution and this year’s theme underlines the urgent need to combat the detrimental effects of plastic on the planet.
“Plastic has emerged as a serious threat to environmental pollution both on the earth and the seas. As a global fraternity, we must encourage technology transfer to each other to deal with the challenges of environmental pollution,” he said.
“This year’s theme very aptly underlines the urgent need to combat the detrimental effects of plastic on our planet and promote alternative eco-friendly usable replacing single-use plastic material, which is necessary to preserve human life and protect rights. In this regard, rigorous policy decisions to check the spread of plastic and other such pollutants which endanger our environment and climate are required,” he added.
The NHRC chairperson highlighted that the communities living near plastic production facilities or waste disposal sites often face adverse health effects and environmental degradation.
“It is a known fact that the production, consumption, and disposal of plastic impact human rights, such as the right to health, clean water, food security, and a safe and healthy environment. Communities living near plastic production facilities or waste disposal sites often face adverse health effects and environmental degradation. Plastic reduces the fertility of the land also. The great Pacific garbage patch is a matter of concern for the world,” he said.
“The NHRC has been consistent with its pro-environment protection efforts through its advisories, interventions, and consultation with Government authorities and its Core Group of Experts on the Environment,” he added.
The NHRC has also issued an “Advisory to the Centre, States, and UTs to prevent, minimize and mitigate impacts of environmental pollution and degradation on human rights.”
It is also hearing the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi, besides the other States on the reported high air pollution impacting life expectancy in the country, and how to reduce various types of pollution to ensure safe health and ambient atmosphere for the existence of the humans.
“To achieve this, we must adopt a comprehensive approach, including, more importantly, protecting our flora and fauna and forest reserves by strengthening the same with massive tree plantation as a citizen-centric movement,” said Justice Arun Mishra.
He said that there is a pressing need to promote sustainable production, consumption and waste management practices.
“We need to promote sustainable production, consumption, and waste management practices. Governments, civil society organizations, and businesses must collaborate to reduce plastic production, promote eco-friendly alternatives, and improve recycling and waste management infrastructure. We must effectively use corporate social responsibility under section–135 of the Companies Act to protect the environment,” he added.
“At the same time, we must empower individuals and communities to make informed choices and take action. Education and awareness programs can equip people with the knowledge and skills to reduce their plastic footprint and promote its alternatives. By fostering a sense of responsibility and encouraging sustainable behaviour, we can create a ripple effect that transcends borders and inspires global change,” he added.
He said that together everyone can strive for sustainable practices, advocate for more robust environmental protection and promote equitable access to resources for present and future generations. (ANI)