U.N. urges world to act on Environment Day
This year's theme is "Our Earth-Our Future-Just Save It!"
June 4, 1999
Web posted at: 4:20 PM EDT
The United Nations Environment Program is encouraging people and communities throughout the world to join one another in celebration of World Environment Day Saturday.
This year's theme "Our Earth Our Future Just Save It!" calls on every sector of society to work together to establish solutions to the environmental ills facing our planet.
"Once a species is extinct, no wishful thinking can bring it back. Not the best landscaping can resurrect the beauty and the majesty of the mountain that has been stripped of its forest and vegetation," says United Nations Environment Program Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer.
"Hunger, disease, poverty, air and water pollution, land degradation, ozone layer depletion and all the environmental problems with which we struggle every day can be corrected, but we need to take adequate steps to achieve this end, adds Toepfer."
Broadly, the agenda of the event is to:
Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, World Environment Day is an event that encourages governments, individuals and community groups to participate proactively in countless activities to improve the environment.
- give a human face to environmental issues;
- empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development;
- promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes toward environmental issues; and
- advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples to enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.
In many countries, the event has enhanced political attention and action, providing a spotlight opportunity for countries to sign or ratify international environmental treaties. Pledges have been made by international leaders, which have lead to the establishment of permanent government structures to deal with environmental management and economic planning.
Hosting this year's event is Tokyo, Japan. Some of the activities planned by the government include:
The main event Saturday will culminate with the presentation of UNEP's Global 500 awards to environmentalists from every corner of the world, who have made outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment.
- A World Conference on Global Commons Japan '99, from 3 to 5 June organized by Global Environment Action; and
- A Junior Eco-Club and Pacific Conference on 5 and 6 June, organized by the Learning and Ecological Activities Foundation for Children (LEAF).
"On this special United Nations Day, let us take those adequate steps to stop the careless exploitation and destruction of the environment by making the necessary changes in our own lives, in our own attitudes, and in our own behavior. We don't have another thousand years," warns Toepfer.
Copyright 1999, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved
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