World Environment Day (WED) is the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action and is held on 5 June every year to promote awareness on the importance of preserving our biodiversity.
It also aims to identify issues related to environment and ways to take corrective action.
WED celebrations began in 1972 and have grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
The 2012 theme for World Environment Day is Green Economy: Does it include you? Evidently, there are two parts to this theme and the first tackles the subject of the Green Economy. This is where some people shut off their minds because they find the concept of the Green Economy a little too complex to understand.
On the contrary, the Green Economy is really something that is applicable all around you and it is easy to imagine how you fit in it.
The UN Environment Programme defines the Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
Practically speaking, a Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments need to be catalyzed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes.
But what does all this mean for you? Well, this essentially what the second part of the theme is all about. If the Green Economy is about social equity and inclusiveness then technically it is all about you! The question therefore asks you to find out more about the Green Economy and assess whether, in your country, you are being included in it.
To learn more about the Green Economy bookmark the World Environment Day website, or follow on Twitter and Facebook, and we shall be unraveling the concept of what the Green Economy really is and what it means to you ahead of World Environment Day.
An interactive map of global WED activities can be viewed here Among these are:
3-8 June - Bee Biodiversity Garden
Where: European Parliament, Brussels
What: Thousands of bee-friendly plants exhibited in the plaza outside the European Parliament, with stalls and information booths
2 June - Celebration to mark 10th anniversary of Switzerland's admission to the United Nations, 40th anniversary of UNEP and 20 years of the Rio conference
Where: Parc La Grange, Geneva
What: Exhibits by UNEP, other environmental organizations, Paint Party on Green Economy, competition for the most sustainable picnic, music and games
5 June - UNEP/Mathare Green Heroes: Green Economy Waste Management Initiative
Location: Mathare, Nairobi
What: Waste Management Education and football fun day organized by Maji Mazuri, a youth-run community development organization operating in Mathare, one of the largest slums in the Kenyan capital
5 June - UN-HABITAT WED Art Festival
Location: Hillah Youth Centre, Hillah, Iraq
Festival will include competitions for drawing and essay writing focused on environmental themes
5 June - Green Economy Seminar
What: Hosted by UNEP and the Center for People and Forests , the seminar will take place under the theme 'Green Economy and Thai flooding'.
5 June - Panel Discussion on Sustainable Cities and WED Reception
Location: U.S. Green Building Council Offices, Washington DC
Hosted by UNEP, U.S. Green Building Council and World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the panel will take place under the theme,'Sustainable Cities and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)'
5 June - Documentary Screening: 'What I Grasp and What I See'
Film narrated by the communities in two river basins in Panama. Screening hosted by UNEP, UNDP, National Environment Authority and Panama Canal Authority and to be followed by discussion with director and participants.
Please Weigh in with your own WED activities.
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