World Environment Day 2015
World Environment Day (WED) is the biggest, most globally celebrated day for positive environmental action. The celebration of WED began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations encourages positive action for the environment.
Through WED, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) enables everyone to realize not only the responsibility to care for the Earth, but also reminds one and all of their individual power to become agents of change. Every action counts, and when multiplied by a global chorus, becomes exponential in its impact. WED is a big celebration, engaging millions across the globe through events on the ground in over 70 countries. Every year, participants, young and old, organize clean up campaigns, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, and concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests themed around caring for the planet.
The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. Evidence is building that people are consuming far more natural resources than what the planet can sustainably provide. Many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.
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.
The WED theme this year is "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care". Living within planetary boundaries is the most promising strategy for ensuring a healthy future. Human prosperity need not cost the earth.
Living sustainably is about doing more and better with less. It is about knowing that rising rates of natural resource use and the environmental impacts that occur are not a necessary by-product of economic growth. The theme for 2015 is how the well-being of humanity, the environment and economies ultimately depends on the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources.
The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. And yet, evidence is building that people are consuming far more natural resources than what the planet can sustainably provide.
Many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.
Every year the South African Government leads the celebration of World Environment Day through the Department of Environmental Affairs. Each year's commemoration has its own set objectives aligned with the priorities of the government particularly those that affect the environment sector. This year's objectives are as follows:
- To inform, engage and mobilise stakeholders into action in recognition of the threats faced by our environment unless we act in unison
- To empower communities to take a sense of ownership to protect the environment
- Promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to change attitudes towards environmental issues
- To sensitise communities of imminent desertification if counter measures aren’t implemented
- To raise awareness on climate change mitigation interventions and adaptations
- Change perspective by encouraging individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and its role as a food source with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations
- To learn about the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats and to be sensitive in our daily actions which affect them as part of the ecosystem in which human beings are also interconnected
- To change our ways by taking care of our backyards and making other small modifications to our everyday habits in order to protect the ocean
- Mobilise the scientific community to work together on the ocean’s role in the climate system in order to better inform United Nations institutional representatives, Member States and decision-makers in the lead up to the Paris Climate Conference 2015,
- Create a political momentum for the Ocean and Climate topic that will lead to an engagement of United Nations’ institutions and member states for an enhanced consideration of the ocean within the climate change negotiations and the parallel process in the UNFCCC,
- Provide a forum for the international civil society, youth and scientists to dialogue on the role of the ocean in the climate system, in the lead up to the UNESCO scientific conference “Our common future under climate change” on 7-10 July 2015,
- Increase public awareness, with exhibitions on the Ocean and Climate links, and
- Promote the development of sustainable, ocean sensitive solutions via a better collaboration between science, policy and society to mitigate climate change.
Minister Edna Molewa and Northern Cape Premier lead the World Environment Day Celebration in Kimberley
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs B E E Molewa, today, June 6 2015, called on all South Africans to embrace the environment if the nation wanted an economically stable and sustainable future for all. The Minister, together with the head of the United Nations Environment Programme in Africa, Mrs Cecilia Njenga, and member of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on the Environment, Mr Patrick Mabilo, led World Environment Day celebrations in Kimberley, Northern Cape on Saturday, 06 June 2015.
Minister Edna Molewa and Northern Cape Premier lead the World Environment Day Celebrations in Kimberley
On 06 June 2015, DEA will partner with the Northern Cape Province to celebrate World Environment Day under the theme ''Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.'' Joining the celebration will be the SA National Parks (SANParks), SA Weather Service (SAWS) and the SA National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and other provincial structures.
Environment Month Celebrations to focus on Sustainable Development
Sustainable Development will take centre stage as South Africa prepares to celebrate national Environment month. This year celebrations will unfold under the overarching theme, "Seven Billion Dreams, One Planet. Consume with Care."Environment Month is an annual event on South Africa’s environment calendar.