World Environment Day
The United Nations General Assembly established World Environment Day in 1972 to commemorate the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. On the same day, the General Assembly created the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which is now the United Nations’ principal agency for environmental action.
Since then, World Environment Day has been celebrated every year on June 5. It has become one of the United Nations’ primary ways to raise global awareness of environmental issues and to help stimulate political attention, public action, and personal commitment to environmental preservation.
The agenda for World Environment Day 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.
- Advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.
Each year, the UNEP chooses a new theme for World Environment Day. The organization also designates a host country and a North American host city for World Environment Day.
The United Nations describes World Environment Day as “a people’s event.” While the UNEP addresses environmental issues on a global scale, on World Environment Day the UN encourages people worldwide to think and act locally to improve environmental conditions in their own communities.
On World Environment Day, various activities take place in countries and communities around the world from parades, street rallies and concerts to tree planting, recycling and community clean-up campaigns. This is coordinated to bring attention to a wide range of environmental issues and to help people learn how they can get involved and make a difference.