World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
The World Environment Day slogan for 2008 is Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy. Recognising that climate change is becoming the defining issue of our era, UNEP is asking countries, companies and communities to focus on greenhouse gas emissions and how to reduce them. The World Environment Day will highlight resources and initiatives that promote low carbon economies and life-styles, such as improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption.
The main international celebrations of World Environment Day 2008 will be held in New Zealand. UNEP is honoured that the city of Wellington will be hosting this United Nations day (read the press release).
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.
When did it all begin?
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. Another resolution, adopted by the General Assembly the same day, led to the creation of UNEP.
How can you celebrate World Environment Day?
The World Environment Day Alphabet - 80 Ways to Celebrate
World Environment Day can be celebrated in many ways, including street rallies, bicycles parades, green concerts, essay and poster competitions in schools, tree planting, recycling efforts, clean-up campaigns and much more. In many countries, this annual event is used to enhance political attention and action.
Heads of State, Prime Ministers and Ministers of Environment deliver statements and commit themselves to care for the Earth. Serious pledges are made which lead to the establishment of permanent governmental structures dealing with environmental management and economic planning. This observance also provides an opportunity to sign or ratify international environmental conventions.
On this World Environment Day, let us examine the state of our environment. Let us consider carefully the actions which each of us must take, and then address ourselves to our common task of preserving all life on earth in a mood of sober resolution and quiet confidence.