World Environment Day 2013
Introduction and background
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.
Theme and purpose of the day
Media related products
- Media statement: The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs launches the Youth Jobs in Waste Programme.
- Speech: Minister Edna Molewa's speech at the launch of the Youth Jobs in Waste Programme.
- Gallery: The launch of the Groen Sebenza Project.
- Media statement: Groundbreaking Groen Sebenza Project is launched by the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs
- Speech: Minister Edna Molewa's speech at the launch of Groen Sebenza Jobs Fund Partnership Project and World Environment Day Celebration
- Fact Sheet: Groen Sebenza Jobs Fund Project
- Media statement: The Department of Environmental Affairs urges the public to Think. Eat. Save. as part of Environment Month celebrations in June 2013
- Media statement: Launch of the Groen Sebenza Project in Celebration of World Environment Day
- June is Environment Month - a poster [pdf]
- SANParks: World Environment Month activities
- Limpopo: World Environment Month celebration schedule
- Mpumalanga: World Environment Day Month activities
- Northern Cape: World Environment Day Month activities
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