What Makes a Healthy Planet?
Awareness to take care of our Earth is on the rise. As issues and crises pile up, people start to realize the need for a healthy planet. What aspects are involved in it?
- Biodiversity & Ecosystems
When talking about Earth, most people would immediately think of animals and the environment. From wildlife to rainforests to coral reefs, the restoration, conservation, and protection of our biodiversity and ecosystems are critical for a healthy planet.
This aspect deals with the continued well-being of animals, plants, and other species and their habitats. It includes domestic animals like dogs, wild animals like tigers and elephants, bodies of water like oceans and rivers, landscapes like mountains and deserts, and many others.
Efforts and progress for our biodiversity and ecosystems have been made across the globe, such as for underwater kelp forests in Australia, tigers in Nepal, whale migrations, steppe in Kazakhstan, and orangutans in Indonesia.
As inhabitants of Earth, humans are an important aspect of a healthy planet. The human population is massive and widespread, giving us power and responsibility. For centuries, many human activities have been harming the planet due to their exploitative and wasteful nature. These have led to climate change, global warming, pollution, and a myriad of other issues.
A healthy planet must be home to a healthy society. ‘Healing’ the Earth is incomplete without ensuring everyone can live well in safety and prosperity. Therefore, addressing inequalities in society is crucial. This aspect involves issues such as ending poverty & hunger, providing quality education & healthcare for all, etc.
Humans have autonomy, so it’s well within our rights and responsibility to change things for the better. We have a long way to go, but there’s progress. Some of them are about workplace anti-discrimination laws in Singapore, inclusive education in ASEAN countries, and women’s healthcare.
- Sustainable Living
People and the environment are always connected. Humans use and take from nature to survive – to eat and make shelter, among other things. So, it’s essential to make sure the way humans live doesn’t harm our environment. Having a healthy planet means keeping the connection between humans and nature healthy and sustainable.
This aspect requires systemic transitions from exploitative practices of human activities to more sustainable ones. It includes topics such as sustainable agriculture, sustainable consumption & production, sustainable transport, sustainable cities & human settlements, sustainable supply chain, and even sustainable tourism.
Examples of sustainable living issues include net-zero buildings, food loss/waste reduction, clean energy, sustainable fashion, etc.
If you find this article insightful, subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter to stay up-to-date with sustainable development news and stories from multistakeholder communities in the Asia Pacific and beyond.
Naz is the Manager for Editorial Asia at Green Network. She performs the role of Editor for Green Network Asia and Reviewer for Green Network ID.