UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for commitment to restoring the planet and to making peace with nature, in his message to mark International Earth Day on Thursday.

This year’s observance takes place at a time when the planet is “at a tipping point”, while humanity continues to abuse the natural world, the UN chief said in the message.

“We heedlessly plunder the earth’s resources, deplete its wildlife and treat air, land and seas as dumping grounds. Crucial ecosystems and food chains are being pushed to the brink of collapse,” Xinhua news agency quoted Guterres as saying.

“This is suicidal. We must end our war on nature and nurse it back to health,” he noted.

Ending the war, said the Secretary-General, calls for bold climate action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, stronger steps to protect biodiversity, and reducing pollution and waste.

Guterres assured that these steps will not only safeguard the planet, “our only home,” but also “create millions of new jobs”.

“Recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is a chance to set the world on a cleaner, greener, more sustainable path,” he said.

“Let us all commit to the hard work of restoring our planet and making peace with nature,” he said on the annual observance.

–IANS

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