Do your bit: Focus on days highlighting international issues International Days and Observances
World Environment Day
WED 2012 Theme:
"Go Wild for Life: Zero Tolerance for Illegal Wildlife Trade"
5 June
World Environment Day (WED), 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.

WED was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Since then, it has been held every year, always on the same date, and with an ever growing list of participating countries.

WED is a people's event with global participation. It has previously been celebrated in many ways, with people all over the world getting involved in street rallies, bicycle parades, concerts, school activities and tree planting as well as recycling and clean-up campaigns.

The day is also marked by a global summit attended by important environmental and governmental representatives, each year held by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at a new host city.

The World Environment Day theme selected for 2012 is "Green Economy: Does it include you?" underpins the concept of an economy that is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. The theme also supports one of the main objectives of the Rio+20 Summit, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012. .

The economic and financial turmoil sweeping the globe is a true wake-up call, sounding an alarm about the need to improve upon old patterns of growth and make a transition to a new era of greener, cleaner development. The theme of this year's World Environment Day - "Your planet needs you" - is meant to inspire all of us to do our part.

The Earth faces the grave threat of climate change. While all countries will suffer, the poor will bear the brunt of the impact. We do, however, also have an opportunity to change course. Crucial climate change talks will take place in Copenhagen in December 2009. Together, we must press governments to "Seal the Deal" for a new climate agreement.

- Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General

Additional Resources:

GDRC has been working on themes related to this international day/observance, in its programmes on (a) Sustainable Development; (b) Urban Environmental Management; and (c) Environmental Decision-Making.

GDRC reaffirms its committment to uphold the objectives of the World Environment Day, and work towards better understanding of, and action on, conserving and protecting the global environment.

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