Thursday, 4 June 2020 (United Nations) – Every year the world celebrates World Environment Day on 5 June, a day dedicated to focusing efforts of the governments, businesses and citizens on pressing environmental issues.
This year’s theme is biodiversity — a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world. However, nature is sending us a message. There is an urgent and existential concern due to recent events around the world from bushfires to locust infestations to a global pandemic. All of those demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life in which they exist.
The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Today, it is estimated that, globally, about one billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from diseases caused by coronaviruses; and about 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic, meaning that they are transmitted to people by animals.
Above all, World Environment Day offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. It recognizes that global change requires a global community. It pushes for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models; for farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably; for governments to safeguard wild spaces; for educators to inspire students to live in harmony with the Earth; and for youth to become fierce gatekeepers of a green future. It requires all of us.
On this occasion the UN in Lebanon collaborated with TBWA\RAAD advertising agency to launch a communication campaign entitled #MakeItRight. It is a wake-up call for mankind to address the earth’s environmental challenges, to be the cure to nature’s suffering and to act responsibly, together in solidarity, in order to #MakeItRight.
“Lebanon is considered a regional hotspot for biodiversity, hosting a percentage of plant species much larger than its geographical size,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim Claudio Cordone. “To reimagine our relationship with nature, we must all scale up our efforts to help Lebanon preserve its natural landscape and remarkable richness in fauna and flora, combat air and water pollution, and properly manage its solid waste and wastewater,” Cordone added.
The main element of the campaign is a film that portrays the suffering and different symptoms inflicted upon the earth and its species, as a result of human negligence, ending with a call to action that reveals the responsibility of every citizen of the planet to help cure nature’s suffering.
“COVID-19 has been a wake-up call on all fronts, for all of humanity”, said Walid Kanaan, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA\RAAD. “Its symptoms on humans are similar and even more painful to the earth. The remarkable decrease in pollution levels that resulted from lockdowns is a lesson to all mankind: There is no better time to start respecting nature more, to learn from our mistakes and try to make things right, adopting healthier ways of living, for us and for the environment. Because after all, we are the cure. We are truly honoured by this collaboration with the United Nations, which has allowed us to put our creativity at the service of the planet, fighting for a noble and urgent cause that impacts everyone.”
The film is accompanied by a series of social media visuals that depict the different challenges that biodiversity is facing, encouraging people to act and give nature the right treatment.