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World Environment Day (WED) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. WED is hosted every year by a different city and commemorated with an international exposition through the week of June 5. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), also created in 1972, uses WED to stimulate awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and public action.

"Stockholm was without doubt the landmark event in the growth of international environmentalism," writes John McCormick in the book Reclaiming Paradise. "It was the first occasion on which the political, social and economic problems of the global environment were discussed at an intergovernmental forum with a view to actually taking corrective action."

Recent events


Standard WED banners hung in San Francisco in May 2005.
The theme for the 2005 World Environment Day was "Green Cities" and the slogan was "Plan for the Planet!".

Today, the majority of the world's people live in cities. Recognizing this historic moment, Mayor Gavin Newsom has invited Mayors from around the globe to San Franciscomarker for United Nations World Environment Day to forge a collective path towards a sustainable urban future.

Mayors are emerging as the most powerful and flexible agents of change. They are able to respond quickly to environmental issues and are uniquely accountable to their citizens. Their enormous purchasing power is shaping markets and making environmental sustainability a manufacturing consideration. They are tackling the globe's most challenging environmental issues and their visionary solutions provide inspiration and serve as models to all sectors of society.


World Environment Day logo for 2006.
The topic for WED 2006 was Deserts and Desertification and the slogan was "Don't desert drylands".

The slogan emphasised the importance of protecting drylands, which cover more than 40% of the planet’s surface. This ecosystem is home to one-third of the world’s people who are more vulnerable members of society. The main international celebrations of the World Environment Day 2006 were held in Algeriamarker.


World Environment Day logo for 2007.
topic for World Environment Day for 2007 was "Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?" During International Polar Year, WED 2007 focused on the effects that climate change is having on polar ecosystems and communities, on other ice- and snow-covered areas of the world, and the resulting global impacts.

The main international celebrations of the WED 2007 were held in the city of Tromsømarker, Norwaymarker, a city north of the Arctic Circle self-styled as "The Gateway to the Arctic".

The UNEP statement on WED 2007 states:
The day's agenda is 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; and advocate partnership, which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future. World Environment Day is a people's event with colourful activities such as street rallies, bicycle parades, green concerts, essays and poster competitions in schools, tree planting, as well as recycling and clean-up campaigns.


World Environment Day logo for 2008.
The host for World Environment Day 2008 was New Zealandmarker, with the main international celebrations scheduled for Wellingtonmarker. The slogan for 2008 was "CO2, Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy." New Zealand was one of the first countries to pledge to achieve carbon neutrality, and will also focus on forest management as a tool for reducing greenhouse gases. Activities based around the event have been planned in the Wellington region between the 28th of May and the 13th of June.

Volunteers appeared around the Aucklandmarker region in New Zealand on World Environment Day 2008. These volunteers were located primarily at major transport hubs (such as train stations)and advertised World Environment Day, as well as handing out eco-friendly products such as eco-friendly light-bulbs and eco-friendly shopping bags. Volunteers at public transport hubs also handed out stickers with the slogan I'm reducing my carbon footprint! World Environment Day, Thursday 5 June 2008 as well as providing free entertainment as an act of gratitude to public transport users.

A website has been set-up by the ministry of education to support in-school initiatives. It encourages school pupils to make short term and longer term pledges to minimize emissions. The list of pledges can be found on a typical school profile's page

The Chicago Botanic Gardenmarker served as the North American host for World Environment Day on June 5, 2008. The daylong celebration featured activities for everyone in the family along with presentations by local and national organizations in the areas of food, shelter, energy, education, transportation, and public awareness.

A relatively new way of making environmental causes popular is through online games.
CarbonChomper cover screenshot.
This trend has gained popularity in recent times.An online game by an independent publisher was launched for WED 2008 with this year's theme "CO2, Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy." the game was called Carbon chomper and can be played for free at this link[139061]. Similar envionmental issue related and conservation themed games can be found at[139062] and[139063]


World Environment Day logo for 2009.
Your Planet Needs You - UNite to Combat Climate Change.
The theme for WED 2009 is 'Your Planet Needs You - UNite to Combat Climate Change'. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.

WED 2009’s host is Mexico which reflects the growing role of the Latin American country in the fight against climate change, including its growing participation in the carbon markets.

Mexicomarker is also a leading partner in UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign. The country, with the support of its President and people, has spearheaded the pledging and planting of some 25 per cent of the trees under the campaign. Accounting for around 1.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the country is demonstrating its commitment to climate change on several fronts.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon states that the WED celebration will “further underline Mexico's determination to manage natural resources and deal with the most demanding challenge of the 21st century – climate change.”

Previous events

World Environment Day celebrations have been hosted in the following cities:
Year Theme Host city
1974 Only one Earth
1975 Human Settlements
1976 Water: Vital Resource for Life
1977 Ozone Layer Environmental Concern; Lands Loss and Soil Degradation
1978 Development Without Destruction
1979 Only One Future for Our Children - Development Without Destruction
1980 A New Challenge for the New Decade: Development Without Destruction
1981 Ground Water; Toxic Chemicals in Human Food Chains
1982 Ten Years After Stockholm (Renewal of Environmental Concerns)
1983 Managing and Disposing Hazardous Waste: Acid Rain and Energy
1984 Desertification
1985 Youth: Population and the Environment
1986 A Tree for Peace
1987 Environment and Shelter: More Than A Roof Nairobimarker, Kenyamarker
1988 When People Put the Environment First, Development Will Last Bangkokmarker, Thailandmarker
1989 Global Warming; Global Warning Brusselsmarker, Belgiummarker
1990 Children and the Environment Mexico Citymarker, Mexicomarker
1991 Climate Change. Need for Global Partnership Stockolmmarker, Swedenmarker
1992 Only One Earth, Care and Share Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazilmarker
1993 Poverty and the Environment - Breaking the Vicious Circle Beijing, People's Republic of Chinamarker
1994 One Earth One Family Londonmarker, United Kingdommarker
1995 We the Peoples: United for the Global Environment Pretoriamarker, South Africa
1996 Our Earth, Our Habitat, Our Home Istanbulmarker, Turkeymarker
1997 For Life on Earth Seoulmarker, Republic of Koreamarker
1998 For Life on Earth - Save Our Seas Moscowmarker, Russian Federationmarker
1999 Our Earth - Our Future - Just Save It! Tokyomarker, Japanmarker
2000 The Environment Millennium - Time to Act Adelaidemarker, Australia
2001 Connect with the World Wide Web of Life Torinomarker, Italymarker and Havanamarker, Cubamarker
2002 Give Earth a Chance Shenzhenmarker, People's Republic of Chinamarker
2003 Water – Two Billion People are Dying for It! Beirutmarker, Lebanonmarker
2004 Wanted! Seas and Oceans – Dead or Alive? Barcelonamarker, Spainmarker
2005 Green Cities – Plan for the Planet! San Franciscomarker, U.S.marker
2006 Deserts and Desertification - Don't Desert Drylands! Algiersmarker, Algeriamarker
2007 Melting Ice – a Hot Topic? Tromsømarker, Norwaymarker
2008 Kick The Habit - Towards A Low Carbon Economy Wellingtonmarker, New Zealandmarker
2009 Your Planet Needs You - UNite to Combat Climate Change Mexico Citymarker, Mexicomarker

See also


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