World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on 5 June every year and is the United Nations principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging from environmental issues to marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.
World Environment Day has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. Each year, WED has provided a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments, and all celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.
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World Environment Day was established in 1972 by the United Nations on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, resulting from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. Two years later, in 1974 the first WED was held with the theme “Only One Earth”. Even though WED celebrations have been held annually since 1974, in 1987 the idea for rotating the center of these activities through selecting different host countries began.
This year is the theme is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist., and is hosted in Colombia in partnership with Germany.
Colombia is one of the largest “Megadiverse” nations in the world to hold 10% of the planet’s biodiversity. Since it is part of the Amazon rain forest, Colombia ranks first in bird and orchid species diversity and second in plants, butterflies, freshwater fish, and amphibians.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene