“Every breath of air we take, every mouthful of food we eat, depends upon a healthy natural world.” This statement by Sir David Attenborough is a simple and effective description of the delicate balance between man and nature. A balance that Bollywood actress Dia Mirza has been focussing on in her conversations on environmentand wildlife conservation in India.
May 22, which has been observed as International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) by the United Nations since the last 20 years, presents a theme,‘Our solutions are in nature’ that is more relevant now than ever before. As the invisible virus engulfs the globe, Dia reiterates that much of what is happening to mankind, bears unmistakable ties with nature and the environment. “All of our solutions have always been in nature. It’s a message we have heard numerous times before but as a planet are recognising it only now,” she says.
According to the UN, around 25 per cent of all animal and plant species are threatened with extinction globally. The International Day for Biological Diversity is an effort to create conversations on the importance of biodiversity and draw attention to the biodiversity loss we are faced with.
As the world battles the coronavirus, this day and its theme emphasises hope, solidarity, and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature. “Today, more than ever, we, as a planet, are called to reflect on our relationship with the natural world. The pandemic has unmistakably highlighted how our bond with the environment has existed well-before everything else. Everything we do, are and will be, is ultimately tied to nature to create one people and the planet,” says Dia.
Last year, she launched the ‘Not all animals migrate by choice’ awareness campaign with UN Environment India and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of India. The effort targeted illegal wildlife trade in the country with displays at major airports across the country to create awareness about the issue.
The UN has also shared a message to “Build back better” after the tumultuous start of 2020. Dia believes that while all of this seems really difficult right now, it is, in fact, an opportunity to reflect and find solutions. She says, “I truly believe that nature repairs itself and never stops giving. But we must learn to give back as well because only then can people and the planet coexist in pure harmony.”
The actor-producer has been an active champion of nature, which is evident in the number of initiatives she has taken up over the years. Recently, she started #DownToEarthWithDee-- a series of dialogues to reconnect with nature through conversations with individuals who have made their own unique contributions towards sustainability.
Dia intends to continue this dialogue until World Environment Day on June 5. R Madhavan, Zoya Akhtar, SwanandKirkire, AshwinyIyer Tiwari, Gaur Gopal Das, Ankur Tiwari are a few names featured in this series so far.