June 5 is World Environment Day

June 5, 2012.  Today marks World Environment Day.
Forty years ago, at the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, the United Nations established June 5 as the day of special dedication to Mother Earth in order 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
  • advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

Since the World Environment Day (WED) is a global event, it is one of the essential vehicles through which the United Nations effectively raise global awareness, encourages political attention, and motivate peoples from all walks of life to actively participate in the fight against the escalating environmental issues throughout the world.  Participated by more than a hundred countries, this year’s commemoration carries the theme,

“Green Economy: Does it include you?”

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) clarifies the meaning of the theme as,

“one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.”

World Environment Day 2012

Furthermore, according to a UNEP’s publication, a Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

This year’s event is hosted by the Federative Republic of Brazil, and it is believed that the country is going to lead what promises to be the biggest ever celebrations in the WED’s 40 years history.  In fact, UNEP’s official site, www.unep.org/wed, has already registered almost 8,000 activities, and still counting, across the world for June 5.

The global environmental issues concern you and me.  Every little gesture, and every little step towards sustainable development counts in this initiative, and World Environment Day relies on you and me to make this happen!  Let’s organize a neighborhood clean-up, refrain from using plastic bags, dispose of our garbage properly, plant a tree, walk to work, or start a recycling drive.

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