On World Environment Day people from countries all around the world come together to take action to defend our planet. Find out about some of the things people are doing to celebrate this special day.

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People celebrate World Environment Day (WED) in many different ways all over the world: planting trees, cleaning up local beaches, organising meetings, joining online protests. Each year the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) chooses a particular issue to focus on. One year it might be forests, another year it might be wildlife. And each year there is a new host; a city which is the centre point for all the celebrations.

How it first started

The United Nations (UN) named 5 June as international World Environment Day at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. The idea was to draw attention to the many problems that are facing our environment. They wanted to include as many people, organisations and governments, both local and national, as possible. They wanted to show that positive change is possible when people work together to fight for a common cause.

The first World Environment Day

The first WED was celebrated in 1974 in the city of Spokane in the USA. The slogan for that first year was ‘Only One Earth’ and it was celebrated with the world’s first world fair to be dedicated to the environment. The exhibition lasted for six months.

The hosts

Since 1974 the WED has been hosted by 34 different cities in 25 different countries around the world, from Cuba to Korea, from Belgium to Brazil. Some countries have hosted the main celebrations two or more times, including Bangladesh, Canada and China. But that doesn’t mean that all the celebrations take place in the host country. Every year people from all over the world take part in a huge number of different events to draw attention to the main issue.

The issues

Each year the celebrations focus on a particular problem. Over the last ten years key issues have included wildlife, forests and plastic waste, among other things. Each issue has a slogan. Past slogans include ‘Think. Eat. Save.’, which asked people to think about the issue of food waste, and ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’, to focus on the effect that global warming is having on small island nations around the world. As well as slogans, hashtags have become important for the campaigns too. In a recent campaign the hashtag #WildforLife became a strong symbol for the fight against all kinds of illegal trading in plants and animals.

What you can do

If you want to take part in the celebrations, or support this year’s special cause, here are some things that you can do. You can visit the official website to find out what this year’s slogan is. You can search for the slogan online to find organisations and events in your area or online. You can share information about the cause and the events on social media or form a local action group of your own and organise an event in your community. Whatever you do, you won’t be alone. Millions of people all around the world will be joining the celebrations and fighting for a better future for our planet.

Discussion

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Comments

We need to stop multiply. Because the Earth is only one. There is no enough life resources for endless human's multiplying on the Earth. In opposite case, we need to expand our living territories farther to the outer space. Good example - China's fighting with it's overpopulation.

The main problems that are facing the environment at the moment are the global warming and plastic waste.

I believe that the main problem that facing the environment at the moment is the lack of information of the people about the history and the brittle balance of our atmosphere. Additionally the short-term profit of many companies is against the neccesary protection the enviroment needs and this is also an information and political issue. That we have to do is to spread the knowledge from the official resources, like UN sites, through the the social media and any other chanel accesed accessed by each of us.

I think the issue needs to be addressed in 3rd world countries as well. These countries don't have, neither their citizens, the needed budget to counter issues of the environment.

As human beings we have a responsibility to preserve the actual value of nature both ourselves and for future generations.

Hi
can anyone here help me by correcting this :) thanks
I think that the main problems that are facing the environement at the moment are :
the petrolium industry pollution :
producing petrolium includes a lot of enviroment issues : like the plate forms that pollutes seas and air
the main use of petrolium is in the cars , buses and planes that pollutes the air
this industry collabrates in producting plastic bags forexample that pollutes the seas and kills the sea turtules who eats them confusing them with jellyfish.
These bags are a major part of our domestic rubbish that pollutes the land an the groundwater by infiltrating soils when it rains.
Men should think of to a common policy to ban the use of plastic bags all over the world .

I think this good idea it will be helpful.

Hi ines,

I'm afraid that we don't provide the service of correcting our users' texts, but maybe someone else will offer you some advice, and in any case, thanks for sharing it with us!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

My slogan will be "Planting is charity to humanity"

Hi everyone. I think Big Corporations don't really care about our nature: leaking oil, cutting trees off in a forests, polution, and so on. To solve this problems, I think we must change our thinking and our behave to what's going on a Planet.

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