The story behind the World Environment Day

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Introduction

The world in which we live is critical not just for our wellbeing but also for our survival, so we must do whatever we can to protect it. To create awareness and remind the importance of the Planet, World Environment Day is commemorated Every year on June 5. This day is observed to promote environmental consciousness and conservation. “The commemoration of this day provides us with an opportunity to extend the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible behaviour by individuals, businesses, and societies in preserving and enhancing the environment,” according to the United Nations.

Importance of world Environment day

World Environment Day

The key goal of declaring June 5 as World Environment Day is to raise awareness about protecting our environment. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of environmental issues such as global warming, marine pollution, human overpopulation, wildlife conservation, and sustainable consumption. Nature provides us with the foods we consume, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the atmosphere that allows us to live on this planet. For example, marine plants generate more than half of the oxygen in our atmosphere each year. A mature tree cleans our air by consuming 22 kilos of carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen in return. Despite all of nature’s advantages, we continue to deteriorate it. World environment day is renowned as the day for environmental action.

History of world environment day

The United Nations General Assembly declared World Environment Day on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972, following discussions on integrating human experiences and the environment. The first World Environment Day took place in 1974, with the slogan “Just One Earth.” The aim was to bring attention to the numerous issues that face our environment. They hoped to include as many individuals, organizations, and governments as possible, both local and national. They wanted to demonstrate that social change can be achieved when people band together to fight for a common goal. Even though the World Environment Day celebration has been held every year since 1974, the concept of rotating the core of these events by choosing various host countries started in 1987. Every year, the United Nations declares a specific theme for World Environment Day celebrations. The theme for the year 2020 was biodiversity. 

Different hosts 

Since 1974, 34 different cities in 25 different countries have hosted the WED, ranging from Cuba to Korea, Belgium to Brazil. Bangladesh, Canada, and China are among the countries that have hosted the main celebrations two or more times. However, this does not imply that any of the festivities take place in the host country.

What issues have been addressed every year during world environment day?

 

Every year, the festivities center on a different issue. Among the most significant concerns over the last ten years have been biodiversity, forests, and plastic waste, to name a few. There is a slogan for each issue. Previous slogans included ‘Think. Eat. Save.’, which encouraged people to consider the problem of food waste, and ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level,’ which highlighted the impact of global warming on small islands. Hashtags have also become relevant in campaigns. The hashtag #WildforLife became a powerful symbol for the battle against all illicit plant and animal trade types in the latest campaign.

Timeline of achievements of world environment day 

World Environment Day has been raising awareness, encouraging action, and driving environmental change for nearly five decades. The following is a timeline of World Environment Day’s major achievements.

  1. “Green Cities” was the theme of the 2005 World Environment Day, and the slogan was “Plant for the Planet!”
  2. In the year 2006, Deserts and Desertification was the theme of WED 2006, with the slogan “Don’t desert drylands.” The slogan emphasized the value of dryland preservation. Algeria hosted the largest international celebrations of World Environment Day 2006.
  3. “Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?” was the theme for World Environment Day in 2007. WED 2007 centered on the effects of climate change on polar habitats and cultures and other ice- and snow-covered regions of the planet and the associated global impacts during the International Polar Year.
  4. New Zealand hosted World Environment Day 2008, with the largest international festivities taking place in Wellington. The 2008 campaign slogan was “Kick the CO2 Habit! Achieving a Low-Carbon Economy” New Zealand was one of the first countries to commit to carbon neutrality, and it would emphasize forest conservation as a means of lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
  5. WED 2009’s theme was ‘The Planet Needs You – UNite to Combat Climate Change,’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’ was proclaimed the ‘World Environment Day Song.’ 
  6. The theme for 2010 was ‘Many Species—one Planet. One Future,’ As part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, it honoured the richness of life on Earth. Rwanda hosted the event.
  7. India was the host country for the 2011 World Environment Day. It was India’s first time hosting the day. Forests – Nature at Your Service was the theme for 2011.
  8. The 2012 World Environment Day theme was “Green Economy.” The theme aimed to get people to think about their daily habits and lifestyles and see how the idea of a “Green Economy” fits in.
  9. Think.Eat.Save was the theme for World Environment Day in 2013. The campaign focused on the massive annual food waste and losses, which, if reduced, would free up a vast amount of food while also lowering the total carbon footprint.
  10. The International Year of Small Island Developing States was the 2014 World Environment Day (SIDS). The theme of the 2014 World Environment Day was global warming and its impact on ocean levels.
  11. “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care” is the slogan for the 2015 World Environment Day. The slogan was chosen through a social media voting process.
  12. “Go wild for life” was the theme of the 2016 World Environment Day. This edition of the WED aims to minimize and prevent illegal wildlife trade. During the COP21 in Paris, Angola was selected as the host country for the 2016 WED.
  13. ‘Connecting People to Nature – in the City and on the Ground, from the Poles to the Equator was the theme for 2017.
  14. “Beat Plastic Pollution” was the theme for 2018. India was the host nation. It is hoped that by selecting this theme, people will aim to make changes in their daily lives that will help to reduce the heavy burden of plastic waste.
  15. “Beat Air Pollution” was the theme for 2019. China was the host nation. Since air pollution kills approximately 7 million people per year, this theme was chosen.
  16. According to the United Nations official website, the theme for World Environment Day 2020 was biodiversity, which is both urgent and existential. The theme focuses on having ‘time for nature’ and vital infrastructure that supports life on Earth as well as human growth.
The theme for world environment day 2021

In collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, Pakistan declared that it would host World Environment Day 2021. (UNEP). The theme of this year’s World Environment Day will be “ecosystem reconstruction,” with an emphasis on resetting our relationship with nature.

Conclusion

The idea of the conception of world environment day has been a successful one. Various initiatives and environmental concerns have been brought to light through this platform. Various countries have hosted world environment day from time to time and helped create awareness among individuals and remind them of the importance of the environment.

While people will be digitally celebrating world environment day 2021, the earth festival conducted by Buzzonearth is an opportunity for individuals to know about the latest happenings in the field of environment, discussion on the current theme- ecological restoration, leadership web talks, green concert for Prakriti, green storm and much more. Read more on World Environment Day through the years.

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