June 2016 is Environment Month

Event date: 
2016-06-01 10:38



31 May 2016 - The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa and Mr Andries Gamede, MEC for Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs in Mpumalanga will lead the combined World Environment Day (WED) and World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) celebration at the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality in Mpumalanga on Friday 03 June 2016.



Introduction and background 

The celebration of the Environment Month is an annual event on the calendar of South Africa’s environment sector.  Every year, the Republic of South Africa observes the June Environment Month which is organised and coordinated by the Department of Environmental Affairs.  During the June Environment Month, South Africa is able to give a human face to environmental issues and enable people to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development. 

Environment Month is a month of advocating partnerships among all stakeholders among all species living on this one planet and sharing a common future.  DEA aims to use Environment Month to promote the activities and programmes of different branches within the department. World Environment Day (WED), which is a key driver of this month-long celebration,  is an annual event widely considered the most celebrated global day for positive action in the environmental sector. While environmental activities take place year-round, World Environment Day is marked annually on 5 June.  World Environment Day was declared by the United Nations in 1972, and was celebrated for the first time in 1974. 

South Africa's celebration

The department aims to utilise the 2016 celebrations of the Environment Month programme to promote the activities and programmes of different branches within DEA and its agencies, namely; SANBI, iSimangaliso, SANParks and SAWS.  The main event will be the World Environment Day event to be held on the 3rd June 2016 in joint partnership with the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, Mpumalanga.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.


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The June Environment Month activity list is as follows:


2016 World Environment Day celebrations (05 June - celebration on 03 June)


world environment day
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.  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.


World Oceans Day - 08 June (WOD)

world ocenas day For 2015-2016, the United Nations adopted the World Oceans Day theme "Healthy oceans, healthy planet". Owing to the fact that members of the public are often not aware that coastal litter is generated further inland, it is therefore proposed that South Africa adopt the following extended theme: “From mountains, catchments and rivers, to the ocean floor – a nation at work towards healthy oceans and a healthy planet”.




2015 World Day to Combat Desertification - 17 June (WDCD) 


2015 World Day to Combat Desertification
The 2016 WDCD will demonstrate how Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) can be a critical element for achieving other sustainable development goals, especially for promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth. This year’s WDCD advocates for the importance of inclusive cooperation to restore and rehabilitate degraded land and contribute towards achieving the overall Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). .


Environment Month coincides with Youth Month


youth month Youth Month coincides with Environment Month and DEA would like to take this opportunity to highlight its efforts aimed at job creation and empowering the youth in the environment sector. This period provides a great opportunity to raise awareness on the environment, environmental education, job opportunities in the sector and the green economy.


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