The quandary of the contemporary times demands to save mother earth.  From the earliest hunting age to the current technological age, man has had a definite impact on the environment. He had been exploiting natural resources to achieve economic growth. However, without plans to replenish them, it has caused serious damage to earth.

As the world is fast moving towards the sustainable means of production and economic growth, it is imperative to save the environment we live in first. Environment is the surrounding to which living or non-living forms are exposed to keeping the human features to a minimum. The air we breathe, the water we consume the eco-system we live in. All constitute the environment.

The vegetation, aquatic life, all living species including humans are deeply affected by the condition of the environment they live in. In this regard World Environment Day is observed internationally on 5th June every year under the auspices of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The purpose of the day is to bring worldwide focus on importance of clean environment and stimulate attention and actions for its preservation focusing on a specific aspect of environment every year under a certain theme. Running year the theme of the day is ‘Biodiversity.’

Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth, in all its forms and all its interactions. The term coined in 1985, a contraction of ‘biological diversity,’ more formally is comprised of various distinct levels starting from genes to species and communities to eco-systems, where coral reefs, aquatic and marine life interplays with the physical environment. These myriads of interactions have made earth habitable for billions of years. However, a philosophical view of looking at it is that it speaks of the information learned by advancing species over billions of years about how to sustain and survive through the immeasurably differing natural conditions Earth has encountered.

World Environment Day is United Nations’ principal driving force to encourage nations and stakeholders to work for a collective sustainable future hidden in the treasures of the nature. Pakistan Navy being a major stakeholder in this regard has already taken commendable initiatives and yet again this year Pakistan navy is determined to celebrate the day with full zeal and fervour.

Pakistan Navy has launched various initiatives, such as trees and mangroves plantation campaign, banned use of polythene bags in naval premises, collection of solid waste in harbours and installation of reed bed reverse osmosis plants for sewerage water treatment in residential areas. In addition, relevant government and non-government organisations are also sensitised and their co-operation solicited in undertaking these environment protection measures. Furthermore, taking a lead from federal government’s green initiatives, Pakistan Navy annual tree plantation campaign has been a leap forward in preserving environment.Annual tree Plantation campaign includes mangrove plantation campaign in coastal and creeks areas, reviving of forests in Margallah hills and nourishment of green belts under various seasonal drives and ‘Sur Subz’ initiatives.

Notwithstanding, the sheer richness of biodiversity also has human benefits. Many new medicines are harvested from nature, such as a fungi that grows on the fur of sloths and can fight cancer. Wild varieties of domesticated animals and crops are also crucial as some will have already solved the challenge of, for example, coping with drought or salty soils. Likewise, if money is a measure, the services provided by ecosystems are estimated to be worth trillions of dollars, double the world’s GDP. The reality would always remain that the air we breathe to the food we eat all rely on biodiversity. If undamaged, this produces a finely balanced, healthy system which contributes to a healthy sustainable planet.

In a nutshell, moreover, the emergence of COVID-19 and the locust outbreak, impacting severely the South Asian region, have underscored the fact that when we destroy biodiversity we destroy the system that supports human life. Given these circumstances, it is pertinent to highlight and address the issue of biodiversity and its impact on our lives.