World Environment Day (WED) or Eco Day was 1st initiated in Stockholm, Sweden at United Nations Conference On The Human environment ( 5-16 June) in 1972. After two years of this conference, the official Eco Day was celebrated on 5th June 1974 and that was Conducted with the theme “Only One Earth”. It’s one of the largest events that is being celebrated worldwide by various countries planning to shield the nature. As the name suggests this campaign was established for raising the worldwide awareness on rising environmental problems like marine pollution, population, global warming, etc. The importance of the campaign is to protect the environment.
Various Themes for Environmental Day
Every year The Eco Day is hosted in numerous countries. Every World Environmental Day has the same motive however have totally different themes. These themes are determined by the United Nations. A number of various important themes used for Eco Day in different years along with their host countries are explained below
1977- “Ozone Layer Environmental Concern; Lands Loss and Soil Degradation” – Sylhet, Bangladesh
This day was celebrated for highlighting the problem of the Ozone Layer. As a result of it an agreement was made which was named as Montreal Protocol. This agreement was basically created to prevent ozone layer depletion substances.
1981- “Ground Water; Toxic Chemicals in Human Food Chains” – Sylhet, Bangladesh
In 1981, the theme of World Environment Day was related to the issue of polluted water. This campaign addressed problems related to toxic chemicals found in groundwater and food chains. The campaign results in Montevideo Program. The program was introduced to eliminate the use of dangerous chemicals.
1986- “A Tree for Peace” – Ontario, Canada
In 1986, the theme basically focuses on the plantation of trees. Various leaders including Indian Prime Minister and French President also actively participated in this global campaign by planting various trees.
1993- “Poverty and the Environment: Breaking the Vicious Circle” – Beijing, China
The main purpose of the celebration of WED in 1993 year was to spread awareness among the world’s populous countries. After 1993 the event again returned to China which was hosted by the city of Shenzhen in 2002.
1998- “For Life on Earth: Save Our Seas” – Moscow, Russian Federation
World Environment Day for the first time in 1998 highlights threats to our marine ecosystems. This was done to carry the international year of the ocean and to increase the protection measures for oceans and seas and the marine life.
2003- “Water – Two Billion People are Dying for It!” – Beirut, Lebanon
The campaign raise awareness about one of the most sensitive issue i.e. save water. The theme chosen for this campaign was for supporting the International Year of Fresh Water.
2007- “Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?” – London, England
The celebration was done to support the International Polar Year which brings the world’s attention towards melting ice. For three consecutive years, the significance was given on climatic changes. The campaign generally focused on the effects that are caused due to the climatic changes in polar ecosystems and other snow-covered areas of the world.
2011-“Forests: Nature at your Service” – New Delhi, India
In 2011, India got this wonderful opportunity to hosted the environment day for the very first time. More than 4000 activities were organized worldwide, which includes beach clean-ups, various concerts, film festivals, tree plantings, and many more. For the first time actor “Don Cheadle” also actively participated in the event to attract his online followers.
2014- “Raise Your Voice Not the Sea Level!” – Bridgetown, Barbados
The theme has been decided to support the International Year of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). The main aim behind the selection of themes was to highlight the development Challenges of the SIDS. Ian Somerhalder was selected as the Goodwill Ambassador for WED 2014.
2018- “Beat Plastic Pollution” – New Delhi, India
The theme was chosen in the hope that people may change their everyday routine of using plastic. The theme also aims to reduce the heavy use of plastic resulting in the reduction of plastic pollution. People should be free from the over-reliance on single-use or disposables, as they have severe environmental consequences. The Indian government has decided to eliminate even the single-use of plastic in India by 2022.
2020- “Celebrate Biodiversity”
The theme of World Environment Day 2020 is “Celebrate Biodiversity”. This year, Columbia will host the World Environment Day on Biodiversity. Columbia is one of the world’s “megadiverse”. Biodiversity refers to the variation of Earth’s terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species, as well as their habitats. As 1 million species are facing extinction, this is the important time to focus on the biodiversity. The aim of the theme basically focuses on the preservation of biodiversity.
The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.
Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message:
To care for ourselves we must care for nature.
It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices.
It’s time to build back better for People and Planet.
This World Environment Day, it’s Time for Nature.
How We people may contribute to nature?
As earlier discussed World Environment Day is celebrated in order to protect our environment. we as individuals can also take some steps in order to protect our environment.
- Plantation of trees is the first and most important step that can help in preserving our environment. It can help in reducing global warming.
- Today in every household there is a heavy consumption of electricity. We can save it by switching off unnecessary light or fans or by shifting towards solar energy.
- Fuel used for cars is very harmful to the environment. The use of personal cars should be avoided and carpool should be done.
- Recycling is another step that we can take for preserving our environment. There are many garbage disposal companies that are offering recycling services.
- Also, companies should stop the emission of harmful gases or chemicals. This will help to reduce air pollution.