is the biggest and most widely celebrated global event held every year to spread awareness about the environment and bring about change in support of and equitable development.Also Read - Six Jharkhand Tribal Students to Study Abroad Under Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda Scholarship Scheme

Origin & History of World Environment Day Also Read - AP ICET Exams 2021 to Begin From Today: Here Are Some Last-Minute Preparation Tips For The Exam

June 5 is being celebrated as the World Environment Day (WED) since 1973. In the United Nations (UN) General Assembly 1972, it was decided that the day when the United Nations Conference on the first convened in Stockholm, Sweden will be celebrated as the WED. Also Read - Students of This University Have Received Over 8500 Job Offers From 1400 Recruiters, Highest Salary Package at Rs 42 Lakh

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113 countries met in the Stockholm Conference and discussed issues like global warming and CFCs for the first time. After the Conference, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was set up which is responsible for running the World Environment Day activities worldwide today.

Reason & Objectives

Recommendation 97 of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment stated that the General Assembly of the United Nations should designate 5 June (first day of the Conference) as World Environment Day.

It was also recommended that on that day every year the United Nations system and the Governments of the world undertake world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the human environment, with a view to deepening environmental awareness and to pursuing the determination expressed at the Conference.”

Resolution

Resolution 2994 (XXVII) of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Resolution No: A/RES/2994(XXVII)) officially designated June 5 as World Environment Day and urged the governments and UN organisations to undertake activities at the global level for preservation and enhancement of the environment. The activities should be designed to determine environmental awareness in the people and pursue the objectives as determined in the Conference. The resolution was taken in the 2113th plenary meeting on December 15, 1972.

World Environment Day Celebrations

The UNEP chooses a special theme for the Environment Day or the Eco Day every year which focuses on the major environmental issue at the time. Since 1987, the UNEP also chooses a host city or country every year where international celebrations of the World Environment Day take place. India was the host country of WED 2011.

Globally, World Environment Day is celebrated in different ways. Some of the ways in which WED is celebrated are:

  • Sporting events like WED marathons, cricket matches, and football games are organised such as ‘Marathon and Motor-Free Day’ in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia which combined fun-run on designated car-free roads, and ‘Race and Clean Up’ in Kenya where families rode together collecting garbage and learn about WED facts and figures.
  • Film festivals like ‘Green Film Festival’ and ‘Cinemambiente’, and photography and painting exhibitions on environment-related themes,
  • Music and dance performances such as live performance of the 200 strong national choir ‘Shakti Sings’ in the UK on WED 2013, and
  • Education & Learning activities to spread awareness about carbon footprints, its environmental impacts and actions that need to be taken. This can be done through community lectures, school and youth activities and projects, spreading awareness about sustainability at work, planting activities and arts and crafts festival on WED related themes.

World Environment Day Anthem

On the occasion of the World Environment Day 2013, then Indian ministers Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor unveiled ‘Earth Anthem’ penned by Indian poet-diplomat Abhay Kumar.

The WED Anthem is available in eight languages – Hindi, Nepali and all the six official languages of the UN (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish).

On October 24, 1971, a hymn was performed by Pablo Casals – the lyrics to which were penned by the poet W H Auden. The then U N General Secretary U Thant had expressed hope that it would serve as the de facto UN anthem but it did not turn out to be one. Other popular anthems related to planet and its well-being are:

  • ‘World Anthem’ by Mindshare Institute and Foundation,
  • ‘Earth Anthem’ by The Turtles,
  • ‘Earth Anthem’ by Dan Fogelberg,
  • ‘Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)’ by Neil Young,
  • ‘Earth Song’ by Michael Hackson’, and
  • ‘Earth Hour Anthem’ by Andrew Huang.

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