The past year hasn’t been the best one for the environment. Global carbon emissions jumped to an all-time high and the United Nations (UN) declared that we are the last generation that can stop the climate change catastrophe.
Over in India, the disastrous Kerala floods, the death of Ganga activist GD Agarwal, and the hunting of tigress Avni gave us reason to mourn.
But amidst all those gloomy stories that made us feel like it was the end of the world, there were a still few positive environment-related news stories to cheer us…
Sikkim became the first completely organic state in the world
Sikkim beat over 25 countries to receive the prestigious UN Future Policy Award in 2018 for becoming the world’s first 100 percent organic state.
By bolstering efforts towards sustainable living, the northeastern state has been able to convert over 75,000 hectares of land into certified organic farms.
Starting 2003, Sikkim started reducing the subsidy on chemical fertilisers and pesticides by 10 percent every year and completely banned them in 2014.
The state’s organic farming policy didn’t just benefit over 66,000 farming families; it also led to a 50% growth in agro-ecology and boosted incoming tourism as well.
55 tonnes of waste removed from the Ganga
This year, Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest, took on another uphill mission: to clean the Ganga.
Pal and a 40-member team, including Everest climbers Premlata Agarwal (first Indian woman to climb all the seven summits of the world), Binita Soren, Hemant Gupta, and employees of Tata Steel, kick-started the volunteer initiative, ‘Mission Gange’.
The team travelled 1500 km from Haridwar to Patna on a month-long expedition, and was able to clean up over 55 tonnes of waste from the sacred river.
While that may not seem a lot, given the amount of pollution in the Ganga, it is nothing less than astonishing, considering that it was accomplished by a volunteer team in just a month.
God’s knows why successive governments and after putting in so much of money we are still far away from a clean Ganga ;o(
Reference- The Guardian, TOI, The Weather Channel