On April 22 Guyana and the rest of the world observed Earth Day. This annual event raises awareness of the pertinent issues affecting the Earth and to take action. Since its establishment in 1970, EARTHDAY.ORG has added some 75,000 partners in over 190 plus countries which resulted in an overwhelming drive to take positive actions for our planet. These actions range from combating poor air quality caused by manufacturing industries to land and water pollution spurred on by population increase and agricultural operations. The theme “Restore Our Earth” for Earth Day 2021 is so relevant because of the impact of last years’ more than ninety-nine (99) wild fires killing over three (3) billion animals in Australia alone, and the Amazon wildfire in our neighboring country of Brazil where thousands of animals were killed, including the endangered jaguar and their habitat destroyed.
Recognizing that our society paid little or no emphasis on our rich biodiversity and more specifically the importance of bees. However, it is said that you can tell the state of your biodiversity by the state of the bee population. Where there is increase deforestation and land degradation, the nexus can be drawn that there is a decrease in the habitat of insects, especially the bees. Thus, without bees there will be no pollination, no flowers, and fruits, then no crop and no food production, no beautiful aesthetics, and a reduction of breathable fresh air, thus, reducing the quality of human livelihood.
The Agency, therefore, used Earth Day as a springboard to once again initiate that conversation on appreciating our environment and its rich biodiversity and stimulate action for better environmental management. To this end, a week of activities was conducted in observation of Earth Day 2021, in an effort to bring awareness to the invaluable contribution bees to our daily lives as follows:
Monday, April 19 – launch of Citizen Science’s app data collection completion this app allows for students to capture pictures and classify the type of bees in their yard for a week. The winners were selected from the most bees photographed for the week;
Thursday, April 22 – streaming of a Facebook live with panelists on the topic “The importance of bees to the restoration of our Earth.” This engagement saw contributions from Entomologist/ Agriculturist, Ecologist, and a Livestock Development Officer – FAO as professional in their right presenting diverse views on the topic; and
Friday, April 23 – streaming of a Facebook live session with beekeepers discussing the topic “Beekeeping for sustainable livelihoods” with sub-areas as hive management, handling bee, rescuing bee hives, harvesting honey, and employment opportunities in the industry.
Additionally, throughout the week there were several television and radio interviews and quizzes aired along with the publications of children engaging games and articles in the national newspapers. Our earth is the only one of its kind in the universe that sustains life. It is therefore our responsibility to care for it as it has been doing for us.