Today is World Environment Day, and hundreds of thousands of people are gearing up across the globe to take part in what has become one of the biggest and most widely celebrated days for positive environmental action.
GLOBE-Net, June 5, 2013 – Today is World Environment Day, and hundreds of thousands of people are gearing up across the globe to take part in what has become one of the biggest and most widely celebrated days for positive environmental action.
World Environment Day celebrations began in 1972 and have grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
These celebrations enable the UN to personalize environmental issues and enable people in many parts of the world to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.
World Environment Day celebrations take place on June 5 each year in countries around the world, although events take place before and after this date.
In Canada World Environment Day is part of Environment Week celebrations that take place in many cities during the first week of June. Environment Week was established through the initiative of former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1971, and sparked the establishment of World Environment Day by the United Nations the following year
This year the main World Environment Day event is being hosted by the government of Mongolia, and focuses on the new UNEP and UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) campaign Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint, which is aimed at slashing food waste.
Food Waste – A Global Problem
According to UN reports, each year, an estimated one third of all food produced ends up spoiling in the bins of consumers, retailers, farmers and transporters. This 1.3 billion tonnes, worth around US$1 trillion, is enough to feed the 870 million people who go hungry each day several times over.
This unconsumed food, much of which can be cut out through simple measures, wastes both the energy put into growing it and the fuel spent on transporting produce across vast distances. Additionally, significant amounts of the powerful greenhouse gas methane emanate from food decomposing on landfills, while livestock and forests cleared for food production contribute to global warming.
The Think.Eat.Save campaign harnesses the expertise of organizations such as WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), ‘Feeding the 5,000’, and other partners, including national governments, who have considerable experience targeting and changing wasteful practices. It aims to accelerate action and provide a global vision and information-sharing portal for the many and diverse initiatives currently underway around the world. Visit www.thinkeatsave.org
As part of the celebrations, UNEP and partners including the World Resources Institute and the International Fund for Agricultural Development will launch two reports: one presents a menu of solutions to reduce food waste and loss, and the other highlights how smallholder farmers have the potential to lift one billion people out of poverty given the right support and enabling conditions.
The Think.Eat.Save. campaign has already made inroads into spreading the message that every individual and organization can make a difference, and aims to further reinforce this idea. Over half a million people have already been registered on www.unep.org/wed. Register your activity on the website and take part in a WED Thunderclap, which will send a resounding message to the world, at http://www.unep.org/wed/thunderclap.
Further information on World Environment Day is available here.
The Future of Global Food Security will be a major topic at GLOBE 2014, the next in the celebrated GLOBE Series Conferences on the business of the environment taking place in Vancouver Canada, March 26-28, 2014. Reserve your place now. Check here for more details.