World Environment Day

World Environment Day

The Environment Trifecta: Earth Hour in March, Earth Day in April and World Environment Day in June!

The United Nations designated June 5th as World Environment Day and it has been celebrated internationally since 1974.  “World Environment Day is the United Nations’ flagship day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years, it has grown to be one of the largest global platforms for public outreach celebrated by over a million people in well over 100 countries. It is the ‘People’s Day’ for doing something positive for the environment. Its aim is to harness individual actions and transform them into a collective power that has a legacy of real and lasting impact on the planet.”

Each year an environmental theme is selected along with a host country.  Many campaigns have resulted in the passage of national and international agreements, protocols and other policies that protect the planet.  Some of the major concentrations covered over the decades include:

  • depletion of the ozone layer
  • toxic chemicals in groundwater and food chains
  • global warming, climate change
  • biodiversity, desertification
  • sustainable consumption and development
  • marine pollution
  • illegal trade in wildlife

On World Environment Day in 2001, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was launched.  The MA resulted in multiple technical reports that provide  “a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide (such as clean water, food, forest products, flood control, and natural resources) and the options to restore, conserve or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems”.

In 2015, hosts Milan, Italy secured a theme that reached Twitter’s most popular subject in 20 countries: Seven Billion People.  One Planet.  Consume with Care.

‘Connecting People to Nature’ is this year’s theme and Canada is the 2017 host.  In honor of this, Canada is offering free passes to its national parks throughout the year.  As an avid hiker of national parks in the United States, it is a theme that resonates profoundly with me.  The awe-inspiring beauty of the expansive natural landscapes humbles hikers and non-hikers alike.  Last November I hiked Utah’s Mighty Five [Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion National Parks] and experiences in nature such as this trek are easy reasons why I emphatically encourage getting outdoors.  Additionally, a tangential benefit of ‘Connecting People to Nature’ is the realization of how dependent humanity is on nature for our existence thus, the need to develop habits that preserve and protect it.

There are nine other months to establish earth events but hopefully society is moving toward celebrating earth day EVERYDAY!  #WorldEnvironmentDay

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