September 16th was celebrated world-wide as the International Day for the Preservation of Ozone Layer. The day was first proclaimed by UN General Assembly in 1994, while commemorating the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – 1987. The chief purpose of celebrating the Day is to spread consciousness about the depletion of Ozone Layer and, simultaneously, to highlight the different ways of preserving it.
This year the theme of the day was, ‘Ozone and Climate: Restored by a World United’, and it recognized the collective efforts of the parties to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol towards the restoration of the ozone layer over the past three decades and the global commitment to combat climate change.
Ozone layer is very important for the life on earth. It is a protective layer in Earth’s stratosphere that functions as a shield and protects earth from the ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation is very much harmful for living tissues; therefore, without Ozone layer earth will be left open to these rays and ultimately all types of life on earth will be greatly influenced.
Unfortunately, the Ozone layer is being depleted by harmful gases present in the environmental pollution that are released by different human inventions. If proper attention is not given there are fears that the life may extinct on earth because of rampant pollution.
There is no doubt that the scientific inventions have blessed human beings with myriads of facilities; however, the improper use of these facilities and their mismanagement has brought them some evils, as well. These evils have the capacity to disturb our environment and introduce disorder within the ecosystem that is necessary for the life to exist on the planet earth. It is really important to note that the possibility of life to exist within the known universe is limited to the planet earth alone. The distance of the earth from the sun, its temperature and other physical conditions exist in such an ordered manner that life is guaranteed here. Moreover, the dependence of living beings on one another, their interactions and their reaction and influence over the environment have certain proportional arrangement, which is termed as eco-system by the scientists. If this eco-system is disturbed in some way or the other, the life is disturbed and the contaminants that are let loose by human beings in the environment has the capacity to disturb it greatly and has the capacity to endanger existence on earth.
Though from the very inception of human beings’ civilized life, pollution has been influencing human beings, nonetheless, in today’s world of ours, there has been extensive increase in it. With the industrial revolution, the release of pollutants within the natural environment has kept on increasing. There are some important concerns that most of the environmental scientists believe should be pondered upon extensively.
The first one is the degradation of natural environment to the extent that can prove fatal for most of human beings. Already, the pollutants within the environment have been able to introduce different kinds of diseases in the living beings, which, if left unchecked, can go out of control. The other concern is regarding depletion of the Ozone layer and the overall warming up of the globe; this concept is known as “global warming”. This concept suggests that with the increase in pollution, there will be considerable rise within the average temperature of the world that may, at maximum, result in the liquefying of the glaciers on the poles and may drown the whole world. Moreover, considerable rise in temperature may disturb the conditions of living on earth and may disrupt the eco-system and jeopardize the existence.
The need of time is to save the earth and life by adopting appropriate policies. Any effort in this regard needs to be two-dimensional. Firstly, every individual must feel his/her responsibility towards the earth and must make sure that he/she does not become a reckless being and must prove helpful for the environment. However, extensive awareness programs in this regard can be really helpful.
Secondly, there have to be efforts on national level as well. The governments in different countries can adopt strict laws regarding the safeguard of the environment and can make sure that different industries and enterprises adopt atmosphere-friendly attitude.
Some of the thinkers suggest that the issues that are raised regarding the depletion of the Ozone layer or global warming are not international issues and they are over-emphasized so that the attentions of the people should be diverted from the basic problems of the society and they become easily governable.
Such views have their importance but taking care of environment must never be neglected. There can be changes in the way the issue is treated but it cannot be neglected altogether. For example, the developed countries of the world can be made more responsible for solving the issue, while the other nations can deal with their basic issues. Moreover, there can be different ways of celebrating the days dedicated to Ozone, earth or environment. One of the ways is to celebrate these days in such a manner so as to highlight the importance of the environment and make the people realize to go against the factors that can harm it.