World Environment Day

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.

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B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by Sudhir Ch on Wed, 01/06/2022 - 14:52


I am from Pakistan. In Pakistan no proper construction of homes, agriculture lands are going to close and housing societies are flourish. the worst position of Karachi sea, no maintenance, people cut the tree from forest and burn in winter, court ban on use of plastic product but companies prepare and sold it in market and citizens use freely. they need to awareness of harm full act of these things. in these days a lot peoples use old engine motor car, bikes, trucks and other vehicle's. no planning of constriction road, bridges and concrete buildings any where. the but not least its a bad condition of environment in Pakistan and my city Lahore is most pollution city of the world.

Submitted by alphazero on Sat, 14/05/2022 - 05:16


The main problem we are facing is global warming as it has caused so many dire consequences to human's lives globally such as rising sea levels in Arctic, which results in flooding in many deltas. Besides, temperatures in many countries like India, the USA are breaking their records. There is a lot of activity we can involve in to protect our planet such as reducing the use of plastic bags and cycling or using public transport can definitely contribute to the resilience of the environment.

Submitted by takayashu on Wed, 11/05/2022 - 22:33


I think the main problems are plastic waste and deforestation.

Submitted by sithutun on Thu, 09/12/2021 - 03:47


Plastic waste and deforestation are the main issues in current moment. We must reduce using one-use plastic as possible as we can to prevent plastic pollution. Instead of using one-use plastic bags, try to use paper bags or something else. To solve the problem of deforestation, local government must provide a policy regarding illegal trading of wood.

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Mon, 02/08/2021 - 05:11

The main problem that is facing the environment at the moment is gas emissions. It can cause global warming that causes our environment to get weak day by day. The way to overcome this problem is some factories should recycle their gas before the emission.

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Sun, 30/05/2021 - 07:35

I think the main problems are plastic waste and cutting many forests.We all are facing the global warming because of these issues.We should recycle our daily finitures.We should plant many trees.

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Thu, 25/02/2021 - 12:51

The main problems that are facing the environment at the moment is plastics. Nowadays , plastics be a big problem for our environment . It bring back a damage for our earth. Even plastics bags are replace with some alternative way, still we cannot dispose plastic bags from use. The best way to keep away from using plastics bags is just D.I.Y bags. Avoid to use plastic bags.
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Submitted by danisep on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 23:18

The main problem is the human being, we are focused on hold rich societies and impulsive the consumption to keep working the actual economic system, there is a deep problem because care the environment involves lose money and governments and companies want more not less. The change starts for us, buying fewer unnecessaries things decreasing the consumption our behavior can change laws and systems production.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Sat, 02/01/2021 - 14:51

There are many problems that we must face about the environment, but I think it's extremely important we are all fully aware of the mutual reliance of our behaviours for the safety of the environment.
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Submitted by Marwa.Ibrahim on Mon, 27/07/2020 - 20:26

THE PROBLEM WITH PLASTIC BAGS Plastic shopping bags on land are one of the most common types of litter. Producing huge quantities of plastic bags which block the local drainage systems, especially in developing countries. Plastic bags are a major source of waste and pollution in our society. We should learn about how plastic shopping bags damage the environment. We have to find alternatives instead of using plastic shopping bags. We should educate ourselves about how plastic bags affect the world, we have to learn how to use reusable shopping bags, we can find stores that offer a credit for using reusable bags. I think from my point of view it is a problem worth to work on it and find solutions for helping our environment.

Submitted by Omarkingofnubia on Sat, 06/06/2020 - 12:28

This problem will probably never be solved due to humans behaviours I'm expecting a significant change from humans

Submitted by Khun Chit Myo Thu on Fri, 05/06/2020 - 09:08

Eventually our earth become weak and damage because of not only human beings and nature disaster.

Submitted by unagi on Fri, 05/06/2020 - 07:14

It is great to read various opinions in this comment box. I think we should play a more active role in combating global warming. At first, we should share appropriate information about it. We can also make a regulation or a co2 reduction target like the Paris Agreement. Although we can not stop the economic activity, we can utilize scientific techniques for reduction co2.

Submitted by parisaach on Sun, 18/08/2019 - 10:13

Human is the most selfish creature in the world they destroy everything to make better life for themselves, They kill animals, cut trees, kill each other. In fact the most wild animal is human. people in my country produce so much waste, They don't care about seperating their trashes to the recyclable and non recyclable. They waste so much water and energy . They destroy gardens and cut trees to build buildings and there is no governmental authority who care about that . They totally destroy the environment they killed endangered species. there is no rule to stop them. Today I watch so sad video about some psycho people who torture poor dogs some of these psycho people are governmental authorities, for example one of municipalities burned some dogs last year, I really hurt when I watch these kind of videos. On the opposite hand there are some people who really try to save the green life. They spend their life to make a better environment one of these great people was Dr.GholamAli Baski who was died yesterday and that was the second sad news I heard this week. Today we have serious environmental issues plastic waste, increasingly killing animals, cutting trees, air pollution , etc. I really like to do something to save our poor earth but I don't know what to do . Dr.Baski said a beautiful sentence: He said we shoud plant a tree whenever a child is born. He wanted to burned under a tree and said don't put a stone over my grave because I want grasses grow over my grave

Submitted by Mazen AL Siyabi on Thu, 27/06/2019 - 09:01

I think, this problem will never have a solution, since our need is based on the factories that produce our stuff to continue our life. So, the solution is to return back to the ancient age and never use of the new technologies and that will never happen.
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Submitted by Angélique on Thu, 06/06/2019 - 15:24

For me the main problems that are facing the environment at the moment are plastics waste and global warming. We can reduce plastics waste for example : use reusable bags, glass when we have picnic, stop throwing in the forest. For the glabal warning we can reduce the use cars when we have little distance. We can use bicycle, on foot...
To add to you proposed solutions towards reducing global warming, i think if we all could plant a tree by just throwing the seeds of even the fruits we eat where they could grow will help to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere there by reducing the greenhouse gas and global warming