Humans are both creatures and moulders of their environment, which gives them physical sustenance and affords them the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. In the long and tortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when, through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, humans have acquired the power to transform their environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale.
The United Nations, aware that the protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world, designated 5 June as the World Environment Day. The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated all over the world.
“Connecting People to Nature”
Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2017, ‘Connecting People to Nature’, urges us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.
Billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.
Nature’s gifts are often hard to value in monetary terms. Like clean air, they are often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce. However, economists are developing ways to measure the multi-trillion-dollar worth of many so-called ‘ecosystem services’, from insects pollinating fruit trees to the leisure, health and spiritual benefits of a hike up a valley.
Learn more about this year's theme.
Canada, the host country
Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. This year it is Canada.
Its rich and spectacular natural heritage is a source of pride and identity for Canadians. Abundant natural resources also support the country’s economic prosperity – through tourism as well as sustainable use – and the health and well-being of its 36 million inhabitants.
World Environment Day is an important part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. As part of the festivities, Canada offers free passes for its national parks throughout 2017.
Read more about the host country.
The environment and the Sustainable Development Goals
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states our resolve “to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources”. In particular, Goals 14 and 15 focus on protecting under water and on land ecosystems, as well as on sustainably using marine and terrestrial resources.
|Official name||UN World Environment Day|
|Also called||Eco Day, Environment Day, WED|
|Significance||Environmental issues awareness|
|First time||5 June 1974; 43 years ago (5 June 1974)|
World Environment Day (WED) occurs on 5 June every year, and is the United Nations' principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. WED has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. Each year, WED has a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.
World Environment Day [WED] was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 on the first day of Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, resulting from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. Two years later, in 1974 the first WED was held with the theme "Only One Earth". Even though WED celebration have been held annually since 1974, in 1987 the idea for rotating the center of these activities through selecting different host countries began.
Annual themes and major initiatives and accomplishments
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(January 2016)
For almost five decades, World Environment Day has been raising awareness, supporting action, and driving change. Here is a timeline of key accomplishments in WEDs’ history:
The theme for this year is 'Beat Plastic Pollution'.The host nation is India.
The theme for 2017 is 'Connecting People to Nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator'. The host nation is Canada.
The 2016 WED was organized under the theme "Go wild for life". This edition of the WED aims to reduce and prevent the illegal trade in wildlife.Angola was chosen as the host country of the 2016 WED during the COP21 in Paris.
The Slogan of the 2015 edition of the World Environment Day is "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care". The slogan was picked through a voting process on social media. In Saudi Arabia, 15 women recycled 2000 plastic bags to crochet a mural in support of the WED 2015. In India, Narendra Modi planted a Kadamb sapling to celebrate the World Environment Day and raise awareness for Environment. Italy is the host country of the 43rd edition of the WED. The celebrations took place as part of Milan Expo around the theme: Feeding the Planet - Energy for Life.
The Theme of the 2014 WED is : International Year of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). By choosing this Theme the UN General Assembly aimed to highlight the development Challenges and successes of the SIDS. In 2014, the World Environment Day focused on global warming and its impact on ocean levels. The Slogan of the WED 2014 is "Raise your voice not the sea level", as Barbados hosted the global celebrations of the 42nd edition of the World Environment Day. The UN Environement Programme named actor Ian Somerhalder as the official Goodwill ambassador of the WED 2014.
The 2013 theme for World Environment Day was Think.Eat.Save.
The campaign addressed the huge annual wastage and losses in food, which, if conserved, would release a large quantity of food as well as reduce the overall carbon footprint. The campaign aimed to bring about awareness in countries with lifestyles resulting in food wastage. It also aimed to empower people to make informed choices about the food they eat so as to reduce the overall ecological impact due to the worldwide production of food..The host country for the year's celebrations was Mongolia.
The theme for the 2012 World Environment Day was Green Economy: Does it include you?
The theme aimed to invite people to examine their activities and lifestyle and see how the concept of a "Green Economy" fits into it. The host country for the year's celebrations was Brazil.
The theme for 2011 was Forests-Nature At Your Service. 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.
'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. It was hosted in Rwanda. Thousands of activities were organized worldwide, with beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events and much more. Each continent (except Antarctica) had a "regional host city", the U.N. chose Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the host for all North.
The theme for WED 2009 was 'Your Planet Needs You – UNite to Combat Climate Change', and Michael Jackson's 'Earth Song' was declared 'World Environment Day Song'. It was hosted in Mexico.
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.
The Chicago Botanic Garden served as the North American host for World Environment Day on 5 June 2008.
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.
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. The main international celebrations of the World Environment Day 2006 were held in Algeria.
The theme for the 2005 World Environment Day was "Green Cities" and the slogan was "Plan for the Planet!".
World Environment Day celebrations have been (and will be) hosted in the following cities:
|1974||Only one Earth during Expo '74||Spokane, United States|
|1975||Human Settlements||Dhaka, Bangladesh|
|1976||Water: Vital Resource for Life||Ontario, Canada|
|1977||Ozone Layer Environmental Concern; Lands Loss and Soil Degradation||Sylhet, Bangladesh|
|1978||Development Without Destruction||Sylhet, Bangladesh|
|1979||Only One Future for Our Children – Development Without Destruction||Sylhet, Bangladesh|
|1980||A New Challenge for the New Decade: Development Without Destruction||Sylhet, Bangladesh|
|1981||Ground Water; Toxic Chemicals in Human Food Chains||Sylhet, Bangladesh|
|1982||Ten Years After Stockholm (Renewal of Environmental Concerns)||Dhaka, Bangladesh|
|1983||Managing and Disposing Hazardous Waste: Acid Rain and Energy||Sylhet, Bangladesh|
|1985||Youth: Population and the Environment||Islamabad, Pakistan|
|1986||A Tree for Peace||Ontario, Canada|
|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?||London, England|
|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||Rangpur, Bangladesh|
|2011||Forests: Nature at your Service||New Delhi, India|
|2012||Green Economy: Does it include you?||Brasilia, Brazil|
|2013||Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint||Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia|
|2014||Raise your voice, not the sea level||Bridgetown, Barbados|
|2015||Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.||Rome, Italy|
|2016||Zero Tolerance for the Illegal Wildlife trade||Luanda, Angola|
|2017||Connecting People to Nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator||Ottawa, Canada|
|2018||Beat Plastic Pollution||New Delhi, India|
World Environment Day Anthem
An Earth Anthem penned by poet Abhay K is sung to celebrate World Environment Day.
Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl the most beautiful planet in the universe all the continents and the oceans of the world united we stand as flora and fauna united we stand as species of one earth black, brown, white, different colours . we are humans, the earth is our home.
Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl the most beautiful planet in the universe all the people and the nations of the world all for one and one for all united we unfurl the blue marble flag black, brown, white, different colours we are humans, the earth is our home.
It was launched in June 2013 on the occasion of the World Environment Day by Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor, then Union Ministers of India, at a function organized by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in New Delhi. It is supported by the global organization Habitat For Humanity.
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- ^world environment day 2008 host countries
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