Actor, producer, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador and advocate for the United Nations Secretary-General for the SDGs, Dia Mirza has frequently tweeted, blogged and talked about environmental degradation. She has repeatedly tried to draw attention to the fact that climate change is a clear and present reality, as evidenced by the frequent natural disasters that unfold around the world, ranging from flash floods to raging fires , snowstorms and extreme weather changes.
Closer to home, Uttarakhand is currently battling 40 active forest fires with courageous workers trying to reduce their spread. The fire has already affected forests in Garhwal and Kumaon regions and is believed to be the worst since 2016.
A few days ago, Dia Mirza tweeted hoping the region would receive adequate assistance. Pained by the devastation, Dia took to the microblogging site and wrote, “As of January of this year, there have been 983 wildfire incidents in the state affecting 1,292 hectares of land. #Uttarakhand fights 40 active forest fires, IAF sends help. I hope the state will receive adequate aid.
“As of January of this year, there have been 983 wildfires in the state, affecting 1,292 hectares of land.”#Uttarakhand fighting 40 active forest fires, the IAF sends aid.
I hope the state will receive adequate adequate aid https://t.co/TBxzzgb1Oa
– Dia Mirza (@deespeak) April 5, 2021
Now Dia Mirza adds: “I once quoted Baba Dioum, a Senegalese forest engineer in a blog where the main thing was that in the end we will only keep what we like. Whether we love our forests enough to protect them is a question that concerns me whenever such devastation occurs in Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand is the birthplace of the Ganges and its forests supply many important river systems that are the source of life for millions of people. “
She continued, “It is a state with 71% forest cover, over 743 species of birds (this represents around 60% of India’s avian biodiversity), 102 mammals, 72 species of reptiles and 439 species. of butterflies. It is also the home of around 340 wild tigers in two nature parks, Rajaji and Corbett National Park. So this state literally rocks our future. And to see it ignite like that over and over is very painful because I have been in these forests and I have absorbed their serenity and majesty.
Dia Mirza also reminds everyone that every fire represents a huge risk for flora and fauna, for firefighters and forest rangers, one of whom told her about the role that the timber mafia often plays in the cause of such tragedies. She adds: “There is also neglect and a lack of awareness that precipitates the intensity of such a crisis. Our management of natural resources must be better. As everyone I have spoken to in Uttarakhand once told me, we need to be more aware of the reasons that cause deforestation, pollution of rivers, illegal mining and soil erosion. We need to understand how closely human existence and mother nature are interdependent. Rivers dry up if the forests that feed them are not protected. It will take the active participation of public and private partnerships to secure our natural resources. “
Dia Mirza regularly talks about environmental issues that are not mainstreamed and also produces a series of short films that will expand the importance of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) with compelling narratives. These films aim to highlight the importance of the interrelated SDG goals that were designed to achieve a more sustainable future and a healthier planet for all.
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