World Environment Day is a global initiative that celebrates our planet and encourages individuals and communities to take action to protect and preserve the environment. Every year on June 5, World Environment Day raises awareness about ongoing environmental issues and inspires collective efforts to create a sustainable future.
World Environment Day was established by the United Nations in 1972 during a conference in Sweden, in which the General Assembly adopted a resolution ‘XXVII’. This resolution urged, “Governments and the organisations 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 conference also led to the formation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a global organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable development and protecting the environment through international cooperation and policy initiatives.
World Environment Day 2023
Each year, World Environment Day focuses on a specific theme to shed light on critical environmental challenges. The topics are carefully chosen to raise global awareness and encourage collective action. Past themes have included topics such as ecosystem restoration (2021), air pollution (2019), green economy (2013), and nature (2020).
This year, the theme is “beat plastic pollution”. Hosted in the Ivory Coast, governments, businesses, and individuals are asking to “accelerate this action and transition to a circular economy.”
The circular economy is an economic system that aims to reduce waste and make the most of the resources available. Instead of a ‘linear economy’, also known as a ‘take → make → waste’ economy, in which things are used once and thrown away. It focuses on reusing, recycling, and repairing products. This helps save money, protect the environment, and create a more sustainable society.
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and make a difference. You can find ideas and see what others are doing to reduce plastic waste on the World Environment Day tracker, or by searching the #WorldEnvironmentDay hashtag.
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