What is it? And how does it differ from Earth Day on April 22nd? The global day for earth awareness - World Environment Day (WED), was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to celebrate the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.
Commemorated each year on June 5th, the global WED is one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
WED works to 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 towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership, which will ensure all nations, and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.
The theme for WED 2009 is 'Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change'. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.
Each year, a different country hosts WED and this year’s host is Mexico. “This reflects the growing role of the Latin American country in the fight against climate change, including its growing participation in the carbon markets,” explains the UN.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon explained that the WED celebration will “…further underline Mexico's determination to manage natural resources and deal with the most demanding challenge of the 21st century – climate change.”