World Environment Day (5 June)
“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.
World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.
Why it is important
- well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources
- many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development
- 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption
World Environment Day is not just a day to celebrate the wonders of the earth’s magnificent biodiversity and raise awareness about how we can save our planet from further harm, it is also a day of reckoning – a day to think about what we can do to make this world a better place to live in and how we can make a difference.
How UN observes this day
The WED is hosted every year by different country under a certain theme and commemorated with an international exposition through the week of June 5. The WED theme in 2015 was "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care" and was hosted by Italy.
WED is a big celebration, engaging millions across the globe through events on the ground in over 70 countries. Every year, participants, young and old, organize clean up campaigns, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, and concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests themed around caring for the planet.