For more than a decade it has been tradition at CEU to organize special programming in mid-April in acknowledgement of Earth Day, which is recognized as the planet’s most significant annual environmental civic engagement campaign. 2020 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the original Earth Day event, whose legacy has inspired landmark environmental policy development, citizen cooperation, and the acknowledgment of a spirit of unity in addressing the climate crisis.
This year, the acknowledgement of Earth Day is unique in the light of the global health crises caused by COVID19. The impact of the virus in the last few months has encouraged us to focus intensely on our individual health, health of our families, loved ones and local communities. Human health depends on healthy ecosystems. Climate change is not only undermining human health globally but also is a risk multiplier, exacerbating our vulnerability to a range of health threats. We have witnessed a higher frequency of serious cases of COVID in cities with high pollution levels. Tackling future health crises like this needs a holistic view of public health that includes the health of the natural environment. What the pandemic has taught us is that transformative global action is possible when the threat seems immediate; low-income societies, marginalized communities, indigenous communities, women and children face disproportionate impact; and that radical and creative ways of a different kind of life is possible!
In spite of the ongoing challenges, while the topic of community health remains in focus, we encourage you to find time to reflect in the next weeks on the current and future role you can play in contributing to activities which support the enduring health of our planet. The climate crisis issues which will endure long past the suppression of the Covid 19 virus though its effects might appear sooner than expected.
Let’s not forget the pre-Covid 19 momentum of numerous environmental-social movements which have helped make clearer than ever the urgent need for a collaborative global response to the climate crisis, and acknowledgement of responsibility for making climate conscious lifestyle choices.
In commemoration of Earth Day 2020, Human RightS Initiative and Sustainable CEU encourage you to join the Earthday Ecochallenge. Earth Day Ecochallenge connects you to a global community of advocates and changemakers, each doing what we can, in ways that are most relevant to us, to create a healthy, just and equitable society. It provides resources on simple, clear, definitive ways to lead a climate conscious lifestyle.
We have also curated a small list of global and local campaigns, to join and show solidarity within local communities
Online campaigns in Budapest
Please find here a number of blog posts developed by Agroecology and Organic Gardening Systems (AOGS) students in the 2019-2020 academic year as step by step lessons to start gardening at home. Students were encouraged to come up with practical outlines for at home gardening techniques which have particular relevance during the period of social distancing encouraged by the COVID-19 virus, as we were not able to conduct our student-run community-wide rooftop garden workshops this year.