World Environment Day 2019
The year 1972 marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics: the first major conference on environmental issues, convened under the auspices of the United Nations, was held from June 5-16 in Stockholm (Sweden). Known as the Conference on the Human Environment, or the Stockholm Conference, its goal was to forge a basic common outlook on how to address the challenge of preserving and enhancing the human environment.
Later that year, on 15 December, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/2994 (XXVII)) designating June 5 as World Environment Day and urging “Governments and the organizations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment, with a view to deepening environmental awareness and to pursuing the determination expressed at the Conference.” The date coincides with the first day of the landmark Conference.
Also on 15 December, the General Assembly adopted another resolution (A/RES/3000 (XXVII)) that led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the specialized agency on environmental issues.
Since the first celebration in 1974, the World Environment Day has helped UNEP to raise awareness and generate political momentum around growing concerns such as the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming. The Day has developed into a global platform for taking action on urgent environmental issues. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping drive change in our consumption habits, as well as in national and international environmental policy.
World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. Since it began in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.
Each year, World Environment Day is organised around a theme that draws attention to a particular pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019, “Beat Air Pollution,” is a call to action to combat this global crisis. Understanding the different types of pollution, and how it affects our health and environment will help us take steps towards improving the air around us. Often you can’t even see it, but air pollution is everywhere. We can't stop breathing, but we can do something about the quality of our air. Nine out of ten people worldwide are exposed to levels of air pollutants that exceed safe levels set by the World Health Organization. There is little doubt - we are faced with an urgent task.
Minister Ms Barbara Creecy leads World Environment Day in Pretoria
The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Ms Barbara Creecy will lead community clean-up activities to mark World Environment Day in Mamelodi East, Pretoria, on Wednesday 5 June 2019. This year’s World Environment Day will be celebrated under the theme “Beat Air Pollution”. The theme is been informed by reports that approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.
» For background information: https://www.un.org/en/events/environmentday/background.shtml
» Reasons you should care about air pollution: https://www.unenvironment.org/