Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for International Mother Earth Day, observed on 22 April:
As we mark International Mother Earth Day, our planet is at a tipping point. Humanity continues to abuse the natural world. We heedlessly plunder the Earth’s resources, deplete its wildlife and treat air, land and seas as dumping grounds. Crucial ecosystems and food chains are being pushed to the brink of collapse.
This is suicidal. We must end our war on nature and nurse it back to health. That means bold climate action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and adapt to the changes to come. It means stronger steps to protect biodiversity. And it means reducing pollution by building circular economies that drive down waste.
These steps will safeguard our only home and create millions of new jobs. Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance to set the world on a cleaner, greener, more sustainable path.
On International Mother Earth Day, let us all commit to the hard work of restoring our planet and making peace with nature.