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World Environment Day (WED)
Date 5 June
Related to Earth Day

World Environment Day ('WED') is celebrated every year on 5th June to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action. It is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

It was the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was from 5–16 June 1972. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972.[1] The first World Environment Day was in 1973. World Environment Day is hosted every year by a different city with a different theme and is commemorated with an international exposition in the week of 5 June. World Environment Day is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere and fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

"Stockholm was without a doubt the landmark event in the growth of international environmentalism", writes John McCormick in the book Reclaiming Paradise. "It was the first occasion on which the political, social and economic problems of the global environment were discussed at an intergovernmental forum with a view to actually taking corrective action."

World Environment Day is similar to Earth Day.

Recent eventsEdit

Theme 2012 Edit

File:World Environment Day 2012 LOGO.jpg

Green Economy: Does it include you?

Brazil Named Global Host of World Environment Day 2012

Nairobi (Kenya), 22 February 2012 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced that Brazil, with one of the fastest growing economies in the world, will host World Environment Day 2012 (WED) on 5 June. This year's theme 'Green Economy: Does it include you? invites everyone to both assess where the Green Economy fits in their daily lives and evaluate whether development through these pathways towards a Green Economy can deliver the kinds of social, economic and environmental outcomes needed in a world of seven billion people, climbing to over nine billion in 2050. Brazil had previously hosted WED in 1992, on the eve of the first Earth Summit, when world leaders, government officials and international organizations met to refocus, recalibrate and deliver a route map towards sustainable development.

"In celebrating WED in Brazil in 2012, we are returning to the roots of contemporary sustainable development in order to forge a new path that reflects the realities but also the opportunities of a new century," said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.

"Three weeks after WED, Brazil will host Rio+20 where world leaders and nations will gather in order to design a future that takes sustainable development from theory and patchy success to the locomotive of transformational change-a pathway that can grow economies and generate decent jobs without pushing the globe past planetary boundaries," he added.

With a country of 200 million people, Brazil is the fifth most populous nation in the world and has the fifth largest land mass on the planet with 8.5 million square kilometers

In recent years Brazil has taken enormous steps to tackle issues such as deforestation in the Amazon through enforcement efforts and monitoring initiatives by the Brazilian government.

Indeed by some estimates, Brazil recently realized one of the biggest greenhouse gas emission reductions in the world as a result of its achievements in reducing deforestation rates.

According to UNEP's Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, the country is also at the forefront of building an economy that includes recycling and renewable energy and the generation of green jobs.

Brazil's recycling industry generates returns of US$2 billion a year while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million tonnes. Recycling in all its forms already employs 12 million people in three countries alone: Brazil, China and the United States.

Brazil is also the world leader in sustainable ethanol production for fueling vehicles and is expanding into other renewable areas such as wind power and solar heating systems.

The recent construction of 500,000 new homes in Brazil with solar heating systems generated 30,000 new jobs. "We are very pleased to host this global celebration for the environment. The World Environment Day will be a great opportunity in Brazil to showcase the environmental aspects of sustainable development in the warm up to the Rio+20 conference," said Brazil's Minister of Environment, Izabella Teixeira, who this week is attending UNEP's Governing Council meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.

"The history of Brazil, the complexion of its diverse and dynamic economy with its natural and nature-based resources allied to its industries and its current and future role in international relations, offer a lens and a unique perspective through which a broad-based, transformational outcome is possible at Rio+20," said Mr Steiner. "Brazil's b commitment to social and equity issues nationally and regionally and its responsibilities towards developing and least developed economies can also guide and shape the debates," he added. "The contemporary direction of sustainable development was born in Brazil - in many ways its future health, maturity and ability to respond to the challenges and opportunities of a markedly different world will be forged in Brazil in four months' time," said Mr Steiner. The WED celebrations in Brazil on 5 June are part of thousands of events taking place around the globe. WED 2012 will emphasize how individual actions can have an exponential impact, with a variety of activities ranging from a marathon, to community clean-ups, car-free days, green blogging competitions, exhibits, green petitions, nationwide green campaigns and much more.

Kia Motors Corporation, the oldest and second largest automobile manufacturer in the Republic of Korea, today also donated five vehicles to UNEP as part of its response to the 2012's WED theme 'Green Economy: Does it include you?'

The cars include Kia Rios and one 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid which were chosen for their fuel efficiency.

The official signing ceremony took place at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and marked Kia's continued commitment to environmental sustainability.

"Through participation in environmental partnerships such as with UNEP we aim to support steadfast efforts to solve global environmental challenges," said Soon-Nam Lee, Director of Overseas Marketing, Kia Motors Corporation. "This year's 'Green Economy' theme bly resonates with our core environmental management objectives of achieving low carbon emissions, resource efficiency and placing the environment at the forefront of all our business activities."

Mr Steiner said: "I would like to thank KIA for their support-together we will shortly be launching a competition where organizations and groups working at the grassroots of the Green Economy in all the regions of the world can stand to win one of the vehicles in order to further their important work."

Theme 2011 Edit

File:World Environment Day 2011 Logo.jpg

Forests-Nature At Your Service-cover one third of the earth’s land mass, performing vital functions and services around the world which make our planet alive with possibilities. In fact, 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. They play a key role in our battle against climate change, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide. Thousands of activities were organized worldwide, with beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events and much more. This year's global host, India, is a country of wide biodiversity.[2]

Theme 2010 Edit

'Many Species. One Planet. One Future', was the theme of 2010.

It celebrated the diversity of life on Earth as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. This year's global host, Rwanda – a country of exceptional biodiversity that has made huge strides on environmental protection – lead the celebrations with three days of keynote events.

Thousands of activities were organized worldwide, with beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events and much more.[3]

Each continent (except Antarctica) had a "regional host city", the U.N. chose Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the host for all North. [2]

Theme 2009 Edit

File:WED 2009 Logo.jpg

The theme for WED 2009 was 'Your Planet Needs You – UNite to Combat Climate Change'. It reflected the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.

WED 2009's host was Mexico which reflected the growing role of the Latin American country in the fight against climate change, including its growing participation in the carbon markets.

Mexico is also a leading partner in UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign. The country, with the support of its President and people, has spearheaded the pledging and planting of some 25 per cent of the trees under the campaign. Accounting for around 1.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the country is demonstrating its commitment to climate change on several fronts.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón stated that the WED celebration will "further underline Mexico's determination to manage natural resources and deal with the most demanding challenge of the 21st century – climate change."

Pittsburgh, was selected as the North American host city by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to join World Environment Day-2010.The theme of this year was "Many Species: One Planet, One Future." Highlighting theme "Biodiversity- Ecosystem Management and the Green Economy".

Theme 2008Edit

File:World Environment Day logo 2008.jpg

The host for World Environment Day 2008 was New Zealand, with the main international celebrations scheduled for Wellington. The slogan for 2008 was "CO2, Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy." New Zealand was one of the first countries to pledge to achieve carbon neutrality, and will also focus on forest management as a tool for reducing greenhouse gases.[4] Activities based around the event have been planned in the Wellington region between 28 May and 13 June.

Volunteers appeared around the Auckland region in New Zealand on World Environment Day 2008. These volunteers were located primarily at major transport hubs (such as train stations)and advertised World Environment Day, as well as handing out eco-friendly products such as eco-friendly light-bulbs and eco-friendly shopping bags. Volunteers at public transport hubs also handed out stickers with the slogan I'm reducing my carbon footprint! World Environment Day, Thursday 5 June 2008 as well as providing free entertainment as an act of gratitude to public transport users.

A website has been set up by the ministry of education to support in-school initiatives. efs.tki.org.nz. It encourages school pupils to make short term and longer term pledges to minimize emissions. The list of pledges can be found on a typical school profile's page

The Chicago Botanic Garden served as the North American host[5] for World Environment Day on 5 June 2008. The daylong celebration featured activities for everyone in the family along with presentations by local and national organizations in the areas of food, shelter, energy, education, transportation, and public awareness.

A relatively new way of making environmental causes popular is through online games.
File:Carbonchomper.JPG
This trend has gained popularity in recent times.

An online game by an independent publisher was launched for WED 2008 with this year's theme "CO2, Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy." the game was called Carbon chomper and can be played for free at this link [3]. Similar envionmental issue related and conservation themed games can be found at cleanuptheworld.org [4] and gamesforchange.org [5]

2007Edit

File:WED 2007 LOGO.jpg
The topic for World Environment Day for 2007 was "Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?" During International Polar Year, WED 2007 focused on the effects that climate change is having on polar ecosystems and communities, on other ice- and snow-covered areas of the world, and the resulting global impacts.

The main international celebrations of the WED 2007 were held in the city of Tromsø, Norway, a city north of the Arctic Circle self-styled as "The Gateway to the Arctic".[6]

The UNEP statement on WED 2007 states:

The day's agenda is to give a human face to environmental issues; empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development; promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership, which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future. World Environment Day is a people's event with colourful activities such as street rallies, bicycle parades, green concerts, essays and poster competitions in schools, tree planting, as well as recycling and clean-up campaigns.

2006Edit

File:WEDlogo2006.jpg
The topic for WED 2006 was Deserts and Desertification and the slogan was "Don't desert drylands".

The slogan emphasised the importance of protecting drylands, which cover more than 40% of the planet's surface. This ecosystem is home to one-third of the world's people who are more vulnerable members of society. The main international celebrations of the World Environment Day 2006 were held in Algeria.

2005Edit

File:SFWed2005Maddruid.jpg

The theme for the 2005 World Environment Day was "Green Cities" and the slogan was "Plan for the Planet!".[7]

Today, the majority of the world's people live in cities. Recognizing this historic moment, Mayor Gavin Newsom has invited Mayors from around the globe to San Francisco for United Nations World Environment Day to forge a collective path towards a sustainable urban future.
Mayors are emerging as the most powerful and flexible agents of change. They are able to respond quickly to environmental issues and are uniquely accountable to their citizens. Their enormous purchasing power is shaping markets and making environmental sustainability a manufacturing consideration. They are tackling the globe's most challenging environmental issues and their visionary solutions provide inspiration and serve as models to all sectors of society.


Previous events Edit

World Environment Day celebrations have been hosted in the following cities:[8]

Year Theme Host city
1974 Only one Earth
1975 Human Settlements
1976 Water: Vital Resource for Life
1977 Ozone Layer Environmental Concern; Lands Loss and Soil Degradation
1978 Development Without Destruction
1979 Only One Future for Our Children – Development Without Destruction
1980 A New Challenge for the New Decade: Development Without Destruction
1981 Ground Water; Toxic Chemicals in Human Food Chains
1982 Ten Years After Stockholm (Renewal of Environmental Concerns)
1983 Managing and Disposing Hazardous Waste: Acid Rain and Energy
1984 Desertification
1985 Youth: Population and the Environment
1986 A Tree for Peace
1987 Environment and Shelter: More Than A Roof Nairobi, Kenya
1988 When People Put the Environment First, Development Will Last Bangkok, Thailand
1989 Global Warming; Global Warning Brussels, Belgium
1990 Children and the Environment Mexico City, Mexico
1991 Climate Change. Need for Global Partnership Stockholm, Sweden
1992 Only One Earth, Care and Share Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1993 Poverty and the Environment – Breaking the Vicious Circle Beijing, People's Republic of China
1994 One Earth One Family London, United Kingdom
1995 We the Peoples: United for the Global Environment Pretoria, South Africa
1996 Our Earth, Our Habitat, Our Home Istanbul, Turkey
1997 For Life on Earth Seoul, Republic of Korea
1998 For Life on Earth – Save Our Seas Moscow, Russian Federation
1999 Our Earth – Our Future – Just Save It! Tokyo, Japan
2000 The Environment Millennium – Time to Act Adelaide, Australia
2001 Connect with the World Wide Web of Life Torino, Italy and Havana, Cuba
2002 Give Earth a Chance Shenzhen, People's Republic of China
2003 Water – Two Billion People are Dying for It! Beirut, Lebanon
2004 Wanted! Seas and Oceans – Dead or Alive? Barcelona, Spain
2005 Green Cities – Plan for the Planet! San Francisco, United States
2006 Deserts and Desertification – Don't Desert Drylands! Algiers, Algeria
2007 Melting Ice – a Hot Topic? Tromsø, Norway
2008 Kick The Habit – Towards A Low Carbon Economy Wellington, New Zealand
2009 Your Planet Needs You – UNite to Combat Climate Change Mexico City, Mexico
2010 Many Species. One Planet. One Future Kigali, Rwanda
2011 Forests: Nature at your Service New Delhi, India
2012 Green Economy: Does it include you? Brazil

Television campaignsEdit

Some news channels are also taking part in World Environment Day, Zee News launched 'My Earth, My Duty’ campaign. This campaign has entered the Limca Book of Records for a novel effort: for planting more than 73 lakh trees in one single day across 34 cities and 2.5 lakh villages on 25 August 2010. NDTV launched "Greenathon" Campaign. This campaign was launched in the year 2008 and served as India’s first ever-nationwide campaign to save the environment. The campaign aims at spreading awareness about environmental problems and other issues related to it. In the first year NDTV Greenathon had catered a race from Ahmedabad to Mumbai and it was termed as Green Run.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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