World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated globally on June 5, to create awareness of environmental issues and encourage action from all levels of society. This year is no different. Today, we will celebrate WED under the theme: Go Wild for Life.
Let’s just imagine that for one second if all of us were to go wild for life and practise the common phrase “wild meat is the sweetest meat we eating”, what would happen to all of our wildlife (the various animal species)?
Imagine if everyone cuts one tree every day to roast wild meat or address other needs, what would happen to our precious ecosystem? Nippily, the natural ecosystems would reach a breaking point where all our resources would be consumed. The simple truth is that the illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding earth’s precious biodiversity, robbing us of our natural heritage and driving many species to the brink of extinction.
Smuggling of wildlife is also undermining economies and ecosystems, fuelling organized crime, feeding corruption and insecurity across the globe. Our adverse impact on the environment is increasing, there’s no denying that. Therefore, we need to quickly come to consciousness and make a desperate effort to better understand and manage our impact on the environment.
In this regard, every effort must be made to counter the illicit trade of wildlife including the implementation of targeted policies; we need to increase awareness campaigns and investments in community conservation and law enforcement. Many species remain at risk and it will take a dedicated and sustained effort by each and every one of us to turn the tide.
How can we do it? Citizens need to understand the damage illicit wild life trading and overindulgence are doing to our environment, livelihoods, communities and security. We must change our habits and behaviour so that demand for illegal wildlife products falls. Through increased awareness and action, push governments and international bodies to introduce and enforce tougher laws to combat those still willing to engage in illicit activities that would jeopardize our environment.
On the other hand, it is time we recognize the critical role standards can play in preserving the environment. The ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System (EMS) standard, for example, contributes significantly in reducing environmental impact even as it enlightens users on the effect the environment has on businesses. Implementing the requirements of this international standard is an important step towards preservation since it covers all environmental challenges related to water, air, soil, waste, biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate challenges. The standard helps organizations to manage all aspects of the environment in a holistic manner.
As society struggles with issues such as natural disasters, deforestation, wildlife extinction, climate mitigation and adaptation, companies are continuing to recognize the need to manage their environment.
Achieving certification to the ISO 14001 standard certainly delivers commercial value to organizations, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and streamlined waste management systems, as well as providing a better handle on business risk.
The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) will continue to support the care of the environment by promoting related standards so as to help stakeholders to take actions that will reduce environmental degradation and encourage preservation for future generations.
For further information, please contact the GNBS on telephone numbers: 219-0069, 219-0065, 219-0062.
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