World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.
In support of the UN designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), WED this year will adopt SIDS in the broader context of climate change as its theme. Our objectives are to help build momentum towards the Third International Conference on SIDS in September and encourage a greater understanding of the importance of SIDS and of the urgency to help protect the islands in the face of growing risks and vulnerabilities, particularly as a result of climate change. We believe WED will be an excellent opportunity to raise a call for solidarity with the islands.
|اليوم العالمي للبيئة، ارفع صوتك، وليس مستوى سطح البحر. 5 يونيو 2014.|
|Dia Mundial do Meio Ambiente, Augmente sua voz, nao o nivel do mar. 5 de Junho.|
|Journée Mondiale de L'environment, Elevez votre voix, pas le niveau de la mer. 5 Juin|
"Planet Earth is our shared island, let us join forces to protect it."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the launch of the 2014 International Year of Small Islands and Developing States
World Environment Day 2014 falls during the International Year of Small Island Developing States, declared by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness of the special needs of this diverse coalition as part of the global discussion on how to achieve a sustainable future for all.
The world’s small island nations, which are collectively home to more than 63 million people, are renowned as prized destinations: places of outstanding natural beauty, vibrant culture and music appreciated around the globe. While small in total, the land size of small island nations does not reflect their importance as stewards of nature’s wealth on land and sea. They play an important role in protecting the oceans and many are biodiversity hotspots, containing some of the richest reservoirs of plants and animals on the planet.
Despite these assets, Small Island Developing States face numerous challenges. For a significant number, their remoteness affects their ability to be part of the global supply chain, increases import costs – especially for energy – and limits their competitiveness in the tourist industry. Many are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – from devastating storms to the threat of sea level rise.
Small Island Developing States have contributed little to climate change. Their combined annual output of greenhouse gases is less than one per cent of total global emissions, but their position on the front lines has projected many to the fore in negotiations for a universal new legal climate agreement in 2015. Others are leaders in disaster preparedness and prevention or are working to achieve climate neutrality through the use of renewable energy and other approaches.
Small island nations share a common understanding that we need to set our planet on a sustainable path. This demands the engagement of all sectors of society in all countries. On World Environment Day, millions of individuals, community groups and businesses from around the world take part in local projects –from clean up campaigns to art exhibits to tree-planting drives. This year, I urge everyone to think about the plight of Small Island Developing States and to take inspiration from their efforts to address climate change, strengthen resilience and work for a sustainable future. Raise your voice, not the sea level. Planet Earth is our shared island. Let us join forces to protect it.
- Message of the UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner
- Message of the H.E. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados
- Message of Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
Every Action CountsWED is the opportunity for everyone to realize not only the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change.
WED 2013 generated global coverage and publicity with about 200,000 blog posts and more than 26,000 articles published on WED between 1 and 10 June 2013 alone. Our videos on WED were viewed by close to 120 million people on digital screens in Times Square in New York, Piccadilly in London, and at Live Windows (Benetton stores) in Milan, London, Munich, Barcelona and Almaty. On social media, among Twitter’s reported 200 million active users, WED was among the top 10 most talked about topics in at least 15 countries on 5 June, with an estimated 47.6 million impressions on the Day itself.
Join the Forum : World Environment Day, June 5.
Register Your Activity Today and Be CountedHow will you make your voice heard this year for the environment? The call this year is to recognize that we all face the same challenges and are connected and united by our common goal of a sustainable and prosperous life for all on this planet. The call is to raise our voice in solidarity with one another, particularly with the citizens of the small island states. Whether it is to organize clean up campaigns, food waste reduction initiatives, walk-to-work days, plastic bans, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests - every action counts. When multiplied by a global chorus, our individual voices and actions become exponential in its impact.
World Environment Day 2014 Activities.