Archive for the ‘Environment Day’ Category

Action! It’s Bollywood Vs Hollywood for WED

June 12, 2011

World Environment Day (WED) was celebrated around the world on June 5 and both Bollywood and Hollywood stars were among those who rallied their fans to take environmental friendly actions on this day – by Malaka Rodrigo

‘Save trees’, ‘Protect our Environment’ – these are some of the slogans we start hearing around the first week of June when the world celebrates World Environment Day (WED). But this time the United Nation’s Environment Program (UNEP) came up with a new way to convey the message.

“Hi Rahul, I bet I can get more people to join us on World Environment than you..”
“Ahh…. I don’t think so.. I’m one of the most respected actors of India after al.l”
“Ah…. So am I …and I have so much goodwill to share that I will plant a tree for each activity registered under my name.”
“Well, I will see each of your trees and will plant two.”

This was the dialogue between two Bollywood stars – Priyanka Chopra and Rahul Bose who headed an environmental campaign to urge their fans in India and around the world to take action on World Environment Day. ‘Plant a Forest’ was the theme of the challenge.

The WED challenge set up by these Bollywood stars is simple. There are many environmental activities we all can do individually or as a community- from choosing public transport to travel, turning off additional lights, recycling or even tree planting. These individual actions, when multiplied, can make an exponential difference to the planet.

To make their favourite actor win the challenge, the fans have to register their Environmental Activity under either Priyanka or Rahul on the UNEP WED Challenge website. When they log into  it first prompts them to choose their most loved idol and then register their activities.

This year’s theme is “FORESTS: Nature at your service” and going forward with this idea both Rahul and Priyanka promised to plant a forest for each registered activity to increase the tree cover and most importantly look after the trees. More action by their fans will make this forest bigger.

Hollywood stars Don Cheadle (Ocean’s Eleven) and Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen too have taken up the challenge. Bollywood has in fact challenged Hollywood in World Environment Day activities.

“Hey Don.. Hey Giselle.. Now we get more people to join us on World Environment Day than both of you”.
This was typically a challenge by a hero in a Hindi movie, but it was for a good cause.

“Help Bollywood to beat Hollywood to plant a huge forest to make the world a healthier place” that was Rahul’s plea to his fans.

Visit to get some of the ideas on environmental actions. The final results of the challenge will be released soon, so keep an eye on the UNEP website

Published on SundayTimes youth section – MirrorMagazine on 12.06.2011

Harness aquatic resources while sustaining marine biodiversity- India’s Environ Minister

June 12, 2011

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that Marine Biodiversity is an important natural resource whose conservation is as important as that of the Forests. Speaking on the Gulf of Mannar fishing issue, the minister said that fishermen from both countries should look at the sustainability of these valuable marine resources to avoid over-fishing.

He pointed out the need for regional cooperation on marine issues and said that India funded the establishment of SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre (CZMC) to achieve the objective of managing coastal resources for their sustainable use. The minister made these comments at a conference held in New Delhi to mark World Environment Day on June 5.

The region includes some of the most extensive mangrove areas in the Indian Ocean, and some of the world’s least disturbed coral reefs. These coastal ecosystems have been subjected to increasing exploitation, particularly over the last 20 years. CZMC has also arranged a Study Tour in collaboration with the Coast Conservation Department of Sri Lanka in April.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Fisheries- Rajitha Senaratne said that, his ministry aims at new mechanisms and methods to stop trawling in the Northern seas. A one-month period started from May 15, is considered as the fish breeding period, and fishermen, traditionally, avoid fishing in this part of the ocean. So the ministry aims at placing some barriers at strategic locations to stop destructive fishing methods. This year’s Ocean’s Day too was celebrated last week on June 8, and the minister’s message emphasised the ministry’s commitment to ensure the sustainable use of our aquatic resources.

Published on SundayTimes on 12.06.2011

Let’s paint our world Green..!!

June 11, 2011

The World Environment Day (WED) global celebrations were held in India on 5th of June this year. To mark the event a meaningful song was compiled and shared with the world by the United Nation’s Environment Program (UNEP).

Following is the English translation of meaningful lyrics and a dance performed by two Indian girls for the beautiful song..

Paint Our World GREEN..!!
(Rang De Hara – Hindi)

Let’s be the revolution
Color every emotion
Every breath, every touch
Every sound, every feeling
Don’t give up now
You know what it means
Let’s Paint Our World Green

The fabric of every being
Woven by nature’s green string
Into one weave, one beat
Let it resonate in every heartbeat

Come let’s color our emotions
Be the revolution
You know what it means
Let’s Paint Our World Green

Be inspired by the earth’s embrace
As she makes nature feel at home
When raindrops knock on her bosom
She opens her heart to blossom

So let’s color our emotions
Be the revolution
You know what it means
Let’s Paint Our World Green

O Nature – the fragrance of our lives
You fill every heart with bliss
You fill every river, every spring
Quenching every thirst, every being

For you, we color our emotions
Be the revolution
You know what it means
Let’s Paint Our World Green

Let’s be the revolution
Color every emotion
Every breath, every touch
Every sound, every feeling
Don’t give up now
You know what it means
Let’s Paint Our World Green
Let’s Paint Our World Green

Singer: Shubha Mudgal  | Music: Debojyoti Mishra  |  Lyrics: Sam Panchamukhi

The UNEP Message issued with WED Song

“The Color of Life” is a lyrical appeal, an emotional urge to refresh and breathe life into our world that is losing its green cover. It’s a song that celebrates nature through its vibrant color, capturing and remembering those refreshing moments that touch our senses.

Inspired by India’s vibrant spiritual heritage, the song is a heartfelt tribute to the ‘Spirit of Green’ that is deeply embedded in our consciousness and in our senses. It’s about coloring every emotion with the omnipresence of green. The song internalizes Nature and reminds us of the beauty, the splendor and fragrance of the green that embraces us. When we look deep within, we shall find our hearts beat for the lush green forests, because every breath, every touch, every feeling is connected to Nature.

Let’s feel the ‘Greenspiration’ of UNEP and ‘Paint Our World Green’

Dancing to the Rythms of Nature

June 8, 2011

Inline with World Environment Day, a traditional dancing event was held at Delhi Maart. The dance was done for the rythms of the nature..!!

Traditional dance for Nature’s Celebrations


World Environment Day 2011, Delhi

June 8, 2011

India has been the host country of the World Environment Day (WED) 2011. Inline with this, UNEP has conducted many programs in New Delhi together with the Indian Environment Ministry. The theme this year was “FORESTS: Nature at Your Service”.

Following are some of the moments captured during these events…!!

Kids were the center of WED celebrations 2011
A kid handing over a tree for a UNEP officer for planting at the WED
A tree planting campaign held at Delhi – with participation of UNEP head Achim Steiner and Indian Environment Minister
Participants at Tree planting event
Kids with UNEP’s head – Mr.Achim Steiner

Forests: Nature at Your Service

June 6, 2011
Today – June 5 is the World Environment Day. Your friends Puncha and Panchi continue their explorations at Sinharaja rainforest on this special day – By Malaka Rodrigo
The Sinharaja rainforest is always an interesting experience for the kids who are on the nature trail together with their family and Guide Uncle.“Aiya.. Aiya.. Look – there is a bird like Blu,” Panchi shouted, pointing at a beautiful blue coloured bird flying in the distance.

Puncha too remembered seeing the Blue coloured bird in the film RIO they had watched recently. “Blu is a Macaw and we don’t have them in Sri Lanka,” said Puncha scratching his head. “You are right. Blu is a Spix’s Macaw and they are found only in the Amazon Rainforest. This bird is a Blue Magpie – one of
Sri Lanka’s endemic birds living in the rainforest,” Guide Uncle said “There are many amazing creatures like Macaws that live in the tropical rainforests and they are part of these unique habitats which have lots of moisture,” Guide Uncle explained.

“Tropical Rainforests..? Does it rain all the time here..?” Panchi asked. “Tropical rainforests are forests with tall trees, a warm climate, and lots of rain. In some rainforests it rains more than one inch every day”, explained Guide Uncle. “Rainforests are found in Africa, Asia, Australia and Central and South America.”

“Do you know what is the largest rainforest in the world..?” asked Guide Uncle.“I know.. I know.. It is the Amazon rainforest” , shouted Puncha who had remembered it from a Discovery TV programme.
“Yes – Amazon is the largest rainforest. But rainforests are shrinking very fast. Although they cover less than 2% of the Earth’s surface, rainforests house more than 50% of the world’s plants and animals,” Guide Uncle said.

“Why do rainforests have such a big diversity Guide Uncle..?” questioned Panchi. “Well, rainforests are located in tropical regions where they receive a lot of sunlight throughout year. This sunlight is converted to energy by plants through the process of photosynthesis. Since there is a lot of sunlight, that means there is a lot of energy in the rainforest. This energy is stored in plant vegetation which is eaten by animals. Because there is a lot of food there are many species of plants and animals,” Guide Uncle answered. “The moisturized climate too provides many different habitats for small creatures to live in,” he added.

“So rainforests are more important than other forests? ” was Puncha’s question. “Well, not only rainforests, but all forests are important because of many reasons. Forests provide many important natural resources, such as timber, fuel, rubber, paper and medicinal plants. Forests also help sustain the quality and availability of freshwater supplies”, Guide Uncle elaborated.

“Do you know that more than three quarters of the world’s accessible freshwater comes from forested
catchments that capture water..?? Water quality declines with decreases in forest condition and cover, and natural hazards such as floods, landslides, and soil erosion have larger impacts.”

“I heard forests also help fight against Climate Change,” Puncha said. “Yes, it’s well known that forests play a key role in our battle against climate change. Trees in the forests suck in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in their process of making food and store the atmospheric carbon in their body. Carbon dioxide is believed to be a gas that increases Global Warming, so forests help to reduce it,” Guide Uncle explained.

“So forests are indeed nature at your service. Shall we move forward to explore more of the forest..?” said “Guide Uncle taking the kids forward to explore the forest for more amazing phenomena.

Kids, keep an eye on the Funday Times – Puncha and Panchi will explore more of forests in the next few weeks.

Published on FundayTimes on 05.06.2011