Published on Jun 04, 2024

Curated by Vikrom Mathur

This year on World Environment Day, the focus is on taking off the blinkers of doomsday prophecies to look at the beacons of hope lit by many ideas and actions for accelerating land restoration, drought resilience, and preventing desertification.  

World Environment Day is fortuitously in the same month that a new government will be formed in India; to achieve the goal of zero-emissions India by 2070 and help protect and empower those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, new ideas and innovative solutions must inform and shape the policies and decisions of the new government. Real, sustainable climate action is inextricably tied to social and economic justice for the population, long-term food security, public health and sustainable economic growth.

This inspiring and optimistic compendium of thoughts and stories underlines the core idea: No, it is not the end of the world. With introspection and mindful, just action governments, institutions and organisations can–and must. Small communities with little or no power and with the most to lose, have demonstrated how to take climate and environmental action that is sustainable, efficient and inclusive; like good science, it is replicable. They have demonstrated the success of collaborations between individuals, communities, organisations, and governments. 

In this essay series, the contributors have elaborated upon these aspects, clearly and concisely. Forests are excellent carbon sinks and need to be protected and restored – the new government urgently needs to redefine what constitutes a forest, design and implement robust policies on forest management and prevent diversion of forest land to non-forest purposes. The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the fight against desertification is explored, and the challenges to its use are examined. The importance of transforming food systems for climate resilience, and how to do it, are explained. The impact of extreme weather events and changing climate on public health is set out clearly. As each facet of this multidimensional problem is examined, pondered and understood, the solution is found as well.

A Pandora’s Box of environmental troubles beset the planet – but they can be fought, for there is still hope.


Curated by

Vikrom Mathur

Vikrom Mathur