World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on 5 June every year, and is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment. This Day highlight that the protection and health of the environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world. 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. Each year, WED has a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments, and all celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.
World Environment Day is celebrated in many ways in countries; Activities include street rallies and parades, as well as concerts, tree planting, and clean-up campaigns. In many countries, this annual event is used to enhance political attention and action towards improving the environment. This observance also provides an opportunity to sign or ratify international environmental conventions. The UN World Environment Day is not a public holiday, so public life is not affected.
History of World Environment Day –
The year 1972 marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics: the first major conference on environmental issues, convened under the auspices of the United Nations, was held from June 5-16 in Stockholm (Sweden). Known as the Conference on the Human Environment, or the Stockholm Conference, its goal was to forge a basic common outlook on how to address the challenge of preserving and enhancing the human environment.
Later that year, on 15 December, the General Assembly adopted a resolution designating June 5 as World Environment Day and urging “Governments and the organizations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment, with a view to deepening environmental awareness and to pursuing the determination expressed at the Conference.” The date coincides with the first day of the landmark Conference.
Also on 15 December, the General Assembly adopted another resolution that led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the specialized agency on environmental issues.
Since the first celebration in 1974 with the theme “Only One Earth”, the World Environment Day has helped UNEP to raise awareness and generate political momentum around growing concerns such as the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification, and global warming. The Day has developed into a global platform for taking action on urgent environmental issues. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping drive change in our consumption habits, as well as in national and international environmental policy.
The main colors featured in many promotions for this event are natural colors depicting nature, the Earth and its natural resources. These colors are often softer shades of green, brown and blue. Images of natural the Earth’s features, such as snowy mountains, clean beaches, unpolluted rivers, and photos of natural flora and fauna, including fern leaves, are used to promote campaigns supporting the day.
UNESCO has an important track record in advancing ecological sciences through pioneering work on ecosystems, biosphere reserves, capacity building, scientific assessments and policy briefs to assist decision-makers in managing natural resources sustainably. UNESCO mobilizes the knowledge, know-how and practices of local communities and indigenous peoples to support their inclusion in environmental decision-making. Its World Network of Biosphere Reserves demonstrate ways to safeguard natural ecosystems and biodiversity through science, education and participatory approaches while promoting innovative economic development that is environmentally sustainable and socially and culturally appropriate.