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The day was 14th March 1997 in Curitiba, Brazil. Tension had been building up since the 1970s. Environmentalists, human rights activists, indigenous people, fishermen and socialists alike were all tired of large dams. For all these people, dams became a symbol of destruction and corruption. It displaced communities and destroyed land and aquatic natural ecosystems. Anti-dam movements started becoming a global phenomenon. However, a lot of these movements were successfully thwarted. Did this discourage these activists groups? No, instead it helped them realize that unity was the only way forward. So, anti-dam movement representatives from 20 countries decided to meet in Curitiba, Brazil for the first “International Meeting of People Affected by Dams”.
It was a day to start building local and international networks within the anti-dam movements. They wanted to recognize this momentous calendar day as “The International Day of Action against Dams, for Rivers, Water and Life”, which is now commonly known as “International Day of Action for Rivers”. A day to raise our voice in unison against destructive development projects, river pollution and mismanagement of waterways.
If you think human influence is felt at every corner of the earth, you are absolutely right. A plastic bag was found in the Marina Trench, which is the deepest point in the ocean stretching to almost 10,975 meters (36,000 feet). Every year humans produce a whooping 5 trillion single-use plastic bags. How are these plastic wastes entering our oceans?
This reckless action of ours is killing our beautiful river and oceanic ecosystem and causing irreparable damage. The least we can do is break our cycle of utilizing single-use plastic. If every one of us acts now, we may just be able to steer away from what seems like an inevitable catastrophe.
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