World Environment Day 2019
World Environment Day is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment and is observed on 5th of June every year. It was established by the UN General Assembly in the year 1972 and was first observed in the year 1974. Since then, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime and has become a global platform for public outreach with participation from over 143 countries annually. It is observed each year with a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and individuals worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.
The theme for World Environment Day 2019 is “Air Pollution” with China as the global host. Approximately 7 million people around the world die prematurely each year from air pollution with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific. World Environment Day 2019 will urge governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world.
Closer to home, the deteriorating air quality is evident in the ambient air quality reports of Dimapur and Kohima districts compiled by the Nagaland Pollution Control Board under the National Air Monitoring Programme (NAMP). Graphs illustrating the Annual Average Concentration of Particulate Matter (RSPM) for 4 (four) air monitoring stations in Dimapur and Kohima are given below. The annual average concentration of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) during 2011-2018 shows that the RSPM levels exceed the permissible annual average limit of 60µg/m3.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India has finalized and launched the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) on 10th January 2019 as a time bound national level strategy for pan India implementation to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner. Under the NCAP, the air quality levels 102 cities of India have been identified to have exceeded the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These cities have been classified as non-attainment cities and Dimapur and Kohima are included under the same. In this regard, an action plan has been prepared and shall be implemented by the state in coordination with the Nagaland Pollution Control Board and various stakeholder departments such as Department of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Department of Industries & Commerce, Urban Development Department, Transport Department, Municipal/Town Councils, Traffic Police, Department of New and Renewable Energy, Department of Legal Metrology & Consumer Protection, Town Planning, Border Roads, PWD and District Administration.
The major sources of air pollution in Nagaland can be traced to sources such as road dust from poorly maintained roads, vehicular emissions further enhanced by traffic congestion, burning of waste, emissions from small scale industries and construction and demolition activities. While all stakeholders have their own role to play in controlling the level of air pollution, the theme for this year’s World