“On this International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, let us remember how much has already been accomplished, and commit to do more to protect our atmosphere. By working together, we can build a safer, healthier, more prosperous and resilient world for all people while protecting our planet, our only home.”
– Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, 16 September 2016
Just as humans need sunblock, the Earth needs protection too. Earth’s sunscreen is called ozone. The ozone layer that protects us, and all life on Earth, from the Sun’s harmful UV radiation is found between 10-50 kilometers above the earth’s surface.
Decades ago scientists discovered that the Earth’s ozone layer was thinning. It was being depleted by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Then the international community came together with the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer which is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer. The UN General Assembly proclaimed September 16 the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Ozone and climate: Restored by a world united.” The global campaign has been so far successful in meeting some of its targets, as a result, the abundance of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere is declining and the ozone layer is expected to recover around the middle of this century.
As observed, most global and regional environmental problems originate in cities, which import increasing amounts of natural resources and export vast quantities of emissions and waste. The main human sources of greenhouse gases contributing to global warming are the dramatic rise in energy use, land-use changes and emissions from industrial activities. There is a need to study the nature of these changes and their outcome for sustainable human settlement.
In India, almost 70 per cent of the workforce is dependent on agriculture. The climate change represents an additional stress on ecological and socio economic systems that are already facing tremendous pressures due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation.
Use of green areas is a major planning technique by which town planners can prevent or reduce adverse effects of climate. Therefore, many cities in the developed world are planning to transform themselves into green metropolises.
Besides, there is a number of practical measures which can be taken at individual level to protect nature Earth. To protect the ozone layer, we must prevent the release of ozone-depleting substances to the atmosphere. This significant progress is a useful indicator to protect ozone depletion and boost sustainable development, which would be beneficial for future of planet Earth and mankind.
By – Geetika Sehgal