(CNS): The Human Rights Commission has stressed the importance of environmental awareness and climate change education in schools in order to foster a community that protects the environment and promotes sustainability. Marking Earth Day, which takes place on Saturday, HRC Chair James Austin-Smith said, “Every one of us has a duty to protect the Earth and its natural resources.”
The human rights attorney added that the Constitution mandates the government to “adopt reasonable legislative and other measures to protect the heritage and wildlife and the land and sea biodiversity of the Cayman Islands”.
“The Commission proudly supports and commends local organisations and government agencies such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Environment and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands on their efforts to raise awareness for Earth Day,” he said.
Earth Day is celebrated annually on 22 April and was first celebrated in 1970. Earth Day activities are now held in more than 193 countries and globally coordinated by the Earth Day Network (EDN). This year’s theme, ‘Environmental and Climate Literacy’, is a three-year campaign coordinated by the EDN and focused on promoting mandatory environmental and climate literacy, civic engagement and sustainable economic development.
Dan Abrams, Director of Earth Day for the EDN, said, “As we face the realities of climate change – unpredictable temperatures, endangered species, and an increasing number of severe weather events – ensuring that our children are prepared to become environmentally literate citizens is more essential than ever.”
Earth Day 2016 marked a significant achievement as it was the day that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed by the United States, China and approximately 120 other countries. The signing of this Agreement committed signatories to work toward restricting the increase of global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.
Details on how Earth Day is celebrated by the EDN can be found here.