Global Initiatives to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Earth Day 2020

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Author – Manasi Varma

Earth Day is celebrated with much fervor every year on 22nd April, which is marked by the participation of people from various walks of life who come together to pay homage to Mother Earth and to protect the environment. However, this year’s Earth Day 2020 is even more special as it marks the 50th anniversary of the festival.

To commemorate this milestone, the Earth Day Network, in collaboration with the United Nations, has zeroed in on Climate Change as the annual theme this year. Although the endeavor has taken on a different shape in light of social distancing being promoted due to the Covid19 pandemic, and any public events being called off, the organization still is moving ahead with its plan to raise awareness about the climatic scenario.

Online Events Organized for Earth Day 2020

Although the main aim this year was to carry out worldwide cleanliness drives, they had to be canceled, owing to the current lockdown scenario. Nevertheless, the Earth Day Network is still looking forward to widespread participation for a series of online events and activities to engage people and unite them by a single thread, especially in this time of crisis. Since the events are being held online people from any part of the world are invited to partake in them:

Earth Challenge 2020

One of the most hyped and well-planned events is the launch of a special smartphone app for promoting citizen science. Termed ‘Earth Challenge 2020’, the event is being launched by the Earth Day Network in collaboration with several American Institutions. Claimed to be the largest citizen science portal ever created, it aims to gather information about environmental and climatic issues from around the globe, with the help of millions of citizens from different countries. The app will play a major role in amalgamating this new information with existing databases, and promote a greater awareness regarding pressing global climatic issues among the people, who thereby be acting as ‘citizen scientists’. Click here to register: Earth Challenge 2020

Earth Day Live & #MakeABrightChoise

Since mass gatherings, a staple at almost every Earth Day festivity, can’t be organized currently due to the pandemic, the Earth Day Network, in collaboration with the US Youth Climate Coalition, has planned to unite people online through a marathon 72-hour livestream strike event. Titled Earth Day Live, the event will be full of performances, training sessions, and panel discussions on crucial topics pertinent to climate change and environmental protection as a whole. Click here to register: Earth Day Live.

With the world gearing up to celebrate Earth Day 2020, India isn’t to be left behind. Earth Day Network India has urged people to switch on to LED lights instead of the traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs to save energy. They are also asking people to post their photos doing the same and to tag all their acquaintances, along with hashtags #MakeABrightChoise and #EarthDay2020. This has been planned as a technique to encourage the masses to save electricity, and popularize the use of the more Eco-friendly LED lights.

Earth Journalism Network Webinar

Earth Journalism Network is bringing together a team of researchers in a webinar on Zoonotic Diseases to discuss how scientists detect and prevent the emergence of viruses with pandemic potential. A team of researchers from the USAID PREDICT and PREEMPT projects will talk about their work in Asia and Africa to strengthen surveillance and virus detection in animal and human populations considered most at-risk for disease emergence and to identify strategies and countermeasures for disease prevention and control. The panelists are David Wolking, who currently manages the PREDICT and PREEMPT projects; Dr. Pranav Pandit, a veterinary epidemiologist; Dr. Grace Mwangoka, a research scientist based at the Ifakara Health Institute; and James Banura, a project coordinator with UC Davis based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Click here to register

Plog Run to #EndPlasticPollution

EDN runs citizen-led initiatives to #EndPlasticPollution. Working with multiple partners, we supported an All-India Plog Run across 50 cities in India that had 2.8 million people participate. Major cleanups have taken place on beaches in Maharashtra that include Mumbai’s famous Juhu beach. Major hotel chains have come forward to support our campaign to #RefuseTheStraw. Working with religious heads we have succeeded in getting major sites, visited by millions, declare themselves No Plastic Zones. Other particular focus areas for #EndPlasticPollution campaigns are the entire length of the River Ganges, all coastal regions, mountainous areas and smaller cities in India.

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