April 22: World Earth Day

April 22: World Earth Day

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A recent study carried out by various international organizations shows how in the last 30 years, around 30% of the planet's natural regions have been deteriorating alarmingly, a period during which human pressure on natural resources has increased and the environment by up to 50%.

We are all in time to learn and help

On April 22 of each year, the birth of the modern environmental movement is celebrated, which began in 1970 when 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy and sustainable environment.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a political coincidence that seemed impossible. The support of politicians of different tendencies, rich and poor, city dwellers and farmers, tycoons and union leaders was obtained. That day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of laws related to clean air, clean water, and the conservation of endangered species. From then on, every year on this date, the whole world reflects and mobilizes for a better Earth.

"If in our home we began to generate garbage in an uncontrolled way, produce intense noises, burn papers and other substances that deteriorate our air, exhaust water and food and also become overcrowded ... we could easily move house or apartment," says the Biologist Diego Díaz Martín, President of VITALIS. "We are doing the same on a global scale, with the one big difference that it will be very difficult to move from the planet," he said.

For this reason, the Venezuelan non-governmental organization VITALIS, whose mission is to promote knowledge, values ​​and behaviors consistent with environmental conservation and sustainable development, calls on everyone to adopt principles of responsible environmental action, with a view to stopping the uncontrolled deterioration of our natural resources and the environment, which irreversibly affects human beings.

"Some of these principles are simple to apply," says Marycarmen Sobrino, Information Director at VITALIS. "It is about acquiring knowledge and adopting behaviors with which human beings integrate ourselves into nature, ensuring the enjoyment of natural resources for future generations," he said.

The principles of responsible action of VITALIS comprise 10 specific actions that each of us can adopt at home, office or study center.

- Make your own life a model of responsible behavior in the environment. For example: Avoid causing annoying noise, it is more pleasant for everyone. Save water, electricity and generate less waste, besides being easy, it will be economically profitable.

- When shopping, find out about products that do not harm the environment, many of which are properly identified on their label.

- Read the instructions for the materials and equipment you buy for your home or office. Some materials, for example, are equally efficient in lower concentrations (detergents, pesticides). As for the equipment, many have energy or fuel saving mechanisms.

- Recycle and reuse as much as possible. Prefer recycled or slightly packaged items, this way you will be contributing to consume less raw material and generate less waste.

- Prefer cars with unleaded gasoline, it is more friendly to the environment and does not contribute to Global Warming. Get your car serviced regularly and have the oil changed at service stations that collect residuals. Check the exhaust pipe.

- Wild animals are not good pets, they cannot be domesticated, they die quickly and they can become dangerous.

- Leave the waste in the places provided for it, keep a bag in your car for the garbage, if you do, the others will.

- Faced with an environmental problem in your area, do not stand idly by. Write a letter to your Mayor and copy it to social media. Insist.

- Become a member of an environmental organization, in which you can actively participate in its activities, in addition to receiving information periodically.

- Discuss with your children, family and friends what you have just read.

Our Planet in Figures

  • It measures 12,713 km. diameter from pole to pole and 12,756 by Ecuador.
  • For this reason, it has a spherical shape, slightly flattened at the poles and widened at the Equator.
  • The land area is approximately 510 million km2.
  • The total volume of water on earth is estimated at 1,420 million km3, including that contained in rivers, lakes, ice, oceans, atmosphere and the subsoil.
  • The total volume of the earth is 1,083 thousand 320 million km3.
  • The highest point on earth is Mount Everest at 8,848 m. The biggest depression is the Dead Sea, an inland sea whose surface is 399 m. Below sea level.
  • It has more than 6 billion people, half of whom are under 25 years of age.
  • It makes a complete revolution around the sun in 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes and 9 seconds (approximately one year)
  • Turns on itself in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds (approximately one day)
  • Its average speed in the universe is 30 km. per second.

Some of its main evils

Reduction of the Ozone Layer, caused by pollutants that are thrown into the atmosphere, particularly refrigerant gases, CFCs

Acid Rain, caused by sulfur dioxide from industries, affecting the composition of the soil and water, affecting life on the planet.

Garbage, accumulating in all spaces of the planet

Sonic pollution, affecting millions of people, causing high blood pressure, ulcers, deafness, gastritis and even sexual impotence.

Soil contamination, by tons of pesticides, toxic waste, and oil and mining waste.

Air pollution, millions of vehicles contribute tons of gases every day that deteriorate air quality and make it less breathable.

Population explosion. Every day around 250 thousand children are born in the world and each year the population increases by 80 million human beings.
Deforestation. About 170 thousand km2 of forests disappear annually.

Species extinction. About 15% of birds and 25% of mammals on the planet are threatened

Species trafficking, which has become the third most lucrative business in the world, has wiped out thousands of animal and plant species.

Water pollution, due to inadequate management of waste, sewage, pesticides and fertilizers.

Desertification, a large part of the planet begins to turn into deserts, with the subsequent depletion of resources that affects the chances of obtaining nutritious food.

Pressures on the planet exceed its ability to recover

A recent study carried out by various international organizations shows how in the last 30 years, around 30% of the planet's natural regions have been deteriorating alarmingly, a period during which human pressure on natural resources has increased and the environment by up to 50%.

These indicators provided by the United Nations Environment Program

- UNEP, the World Wide Fund for Nature
- WWF and the World Conservation Monitoring Center
- CMMC, highlight that "such pressures exceed the regeneration capacity of the biosphere of our planet to recover, with which we would be heading towards an imminent environmental debacle, if a sustainable change in the consumption patterns of natural resources is not achieved" , said Diego Díaz Martín, President of the non-governmental organization VITALIS.

Every second half a hectare of forest is destroyed, global carbon dioxide emissions totaled around 25 billion tons in the late 1990s, almost double the amount recorded in 1950, and more than 4 billion human beings are still lacking. of water…

The situation is alarming, since international agreements are not respected, as happened recently with the decision of US President George Bush (h). To this we must add, the recent announcements that stand out as the Living Planet index, developed by WWF worldwide, has fallen by 33%, particularly in terms of the situation of natural environments of fresh and marine water, in addition to forest ecosystems and coastal areas, recognized for their high sensitivity.

To all this we must add the effect of the accelerated population growth, which this year reaches more than six billion people who demand space, food and energy, with the corresponding generation of waste of all kinds, including some highly pollutants

Global Changes in the Sustainable Development of the Planet

- Expansion of Markets

- Increase in Social Inequity

- Diversification of Environmental Threats

- Application of incompatible development models

- Intense and unsustainable use of Resources

- Macroeconomic Incidents

- Per capita income and internal distribution of wealth

- Conflicting environmentally incidental policies

- High occurrence of changes, without spinning and coherence

- Diversification of markets and demands

- Indicators of Environmental Sustainability

- Social: poverty, structure, access and availability of services

- Environmental: quality of water, air and soils, coverage, availability of natural resources, modalities of use

- Economic: poverty, income, wealth distribution

- Health: Human development, morbidity, mortality

- Environmentally responsible policies and incentives

International organizations such as the United Nations should promote in the registry the activity of the economies of each country, the inclusion of expenses to protect and recover the environment, as well as non-commercial goods and services and the consumption of natural capital. In this way, the negative balance that affects our environment would be evident, and that will invariably affect ourselves. Thus, investments in favor of its conservation would be increased.

Global Agreements to save the planet:

The International Community recognizes this day the importance of saving the Planet, here are some of the world agreements designed for it:

  • Convention for the protection of Flora, Fauna and natural scenic beauties of the countries of America (Washington, 1941) seeks to conserve the species and genera of American flora and fauna, to prevent their extinction.
    Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas. (1961), on the basis of international cooperation, through the action of all the States concerned, seeks to regulate the exploitation of the living resources of the High Seas.
  • Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR, 1971) seeks to ensure the conservation of wetlands, their flora and fauna, harmonizing forward-looking national policies through coordinated international action.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (1977) measures are adopted to protect wild flora and fauna, through international cooperation.
  • Convention on the Prohibition of the Development and Stockpiling of Toxic Bacteriological Weapons (1978) With a view to achieving effective progress towards general and complete disarmament that includes the prohibition and elimination of all types of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (1973/1979) Considering fauna and flora as irreplaceable elements of the earth's natural systems, it is agreed to protect them from commercial exploitation, for present and future generations .
  • Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (1985) It is decided to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects resulting from changes in the Ozone Layer.
  • Montreal Protocol Relating to Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987) Preventive measures are adopted to equitably control the total world emissions of substances that deplete it, with the ultimate goal of eliminating them.
  • Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (1989) it is decided to protect human health and the environment against the harmful effects that may derive from the generation and management of hazardous wastes and other wastes.
  • Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1990) Provides for the establishment of an effective system for the collective protection of cultural and natural heritage of exceptional value.
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) Establish atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, at levels that prevent human activities from dangerously affecting the global climate system.
  • Rio Declaration on Development and Environment (1992) It seeks to establish a new and equitable global alliance by creating new levels of cooperation between States, key sectors of society and individuals.
  • International Convention on Biological Diversity (1994) through the sustainable use of biological resources and a fair and equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources, seeks to conserve Biological Diversity.
  • Kyoto Protocol (1997) It was the Third Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an agreement between the parties is expected to control the emission of gases that produce Greenhouse Effect and therefore the Warming of the earth. To date there is no agreement between the parties.
  • International Convention to Combat Desertification (1998) Establishes a Framework for national, subregional and regional programs to combat the degradation of drylands, including semi-arid grasslands and deserts.

* Prepared by the VITALIS Technical team

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