We just celebrated Earth Day on April 22, 2020, as ironic as it may be. In light of all the things happening all over the world, rarely do we find something still worth celebrating and commemorating.
In the 1960s and ‘70s, environmental conservation groups have actively voiced out their concerns for the safeguarding of the planet. Since then a lot of movements have been recognized and accomplishments made for the preservation and protection of the planet.
The Environmental Protection Agency was born as well as the Green Movement. Environmental legislations were also passed. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and Federal Pesticides Act.
These laws and movements have brought awareness to the public about the reality of the planet’s condition and future if left neglected. This awareness led to people reducing the use of substances that leave significant traces of carbon footprint and the use of recycling-repurposing facilities to help reduce waste.
From a small company purchasing a cardboard compactor machine to an individual observing proper waste disposal, a lot of environmental protection work has been done since then that has improved the planet’s condition.
The Montreal Protocol
In 1987, leaders of the world came together and agreed on phasing out numerous substances that are harmful to the planet’s ozone layer. They called this treaty the Montreal Protocol.
On January 1, 1989, the Montreal Protocol was put in place and enacted worldwide. It is the only treaty in the world ever to be ratified by every country making it also the most successful treaty put in place by the United Nations.
In the 30 years of its existence, the Protocol has successfully helped countries eliminate 98% of all ozone-depleting substances which has prevented an estimated two million people every year from acquiring skin cancer.
Because of the said reduction of harmful substances, the Earth’s ozone layer has been healing gradually over the past three decades. Scientists have observed a significant amount of recovery since the Protocol took effect.
Most recently, in light of the lack of movement throughout the world caused by the quarantines and lockdowns, most people noticed cleaner skies and waters. Reports of the Earth’s ozone layer were also brought up because of the environmental impact that the global crisis has caused.
However, scientists and experts claimed that the reduction in the size of the ozone hole has nothing to do with the current crisis but is, in fact, the direct result of three decades of countries working together to enact the U.N. treaty.
At the rate that things are going, with all the publicity generated around environmental issues, the enactment and continuous improvement of the Protocol, and the cooperation of the public, we’re looking at seeing the ozone layer completely healed in our lifetime. All we need to do is stay on track.
While the Protocol still has some unfinished business, it has proven itself to be highly efficient in environmental and human health protection. As improvements in addressing environmental issues continue to be made, it’s only a matter of time that the ozone will fully recover and along with it, improve the living conditions all over the world.