The World Health Organization celebrates World Health Day on April 7, 2022, under the slogan: “Our planet, our health.”
“WHO will direct global attention to the interconnectedness between the planet and our [health. This campaign urges] people, communities, governments and organizations around the world to share their stories about the steps they are taking to protect our planet and our health.”
Environmental conditions, the atmosphere, and the bodies of water are essential to live. It is a reciprocal relationship: we take care of the Earth, and she takes care of us.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we noticed how animals, plants, seas, and air conditions seemed to be restored. Human beings adopted social distancing as a protection method, while the environment used our confinement as medicine to heal itself.
What measures can be taken to preserve the planet’s health?
In preparation for hosting the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, UK Presidency set “ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.” Aseguraron que, para poder lograrlo, los países deben: “acelerar la eliminación del carbón, reducir la deforestación, acelerar el paso a los vehículos eléctricos y fomentar la inversión en energías renewables.”
They also urged countries to “adapt to protect communities and natural habitats,” mobilize the “climate finance per year,” and work together to “rise to the challenges of the climate crisis.” Likewise, we must “protect and restore ecosystems,” “build defenses,” and both international financial institutions, governments, businesses, and civil society must do their part to address and overcome this climate crisis.
In Puerto Rico, in a meeting held last year, the Puerto Rico Climate Change Council (PRCCC) discussed the effects we are experiencing on the island as a result of this global problem. “Ernesto L. Díaz, Director of the Coastal Zone Management Program of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources [(DRNA, for its acronym in Spanish) explained] that there are findings that demonstrate the increase in the average atmospheric temperature and surface of the sea in our [area. These] findings confirm that the changes will have profound effects on the beaches, the properties and infrastructure located [infraestructuras localizadas] on the coasts and consequently on socioeconomic activities such as tourism.” The PRCCC urged in the planning and relocation of certain public structures and facilities since leaving them where they are (on the coasts) would represent economic losses.
Together we are healthy
The global development of campaigns for the preservation of the environment is the first step to ensure that both us and the planet are healthy.
Similarly, many other global organizations are working on campaigns aimed at raising environmental awareness, responsible use of plastic bags and recycling, and raising awareness about the various ways to protect the planet.
How do we stay healthy?
Being healthy requires effort and self-commitment. We must start by reevaluating those things that can affect our vitality and make productive changes in how we care for ourselves. This is extremely important because a “healthy lifestyle benefits physical and mental health, increases self-esteem.”
Some health experts recommend: exercise regularly, weight control, eating a healthy diet, do not smoke and do not too much alcohol, take care of your oral hygiene, take care of your mental health, among others.
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