What is World Environment Day all about?
World Environment Day was founded in 1974 in order to raise the awareness and protection of our environment. Since it began, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. It also gives people the opportunity to become an agent of change – in this way, you’re contributing to the preservation of our planet.
Every year each WED has its own theme – this year’s being Go Wild for Life. The main purpose of this year’s World Environment Day was to help individuals understand the implications and damage the poaching industry is doing to the biodiversity of Earth and the way it is driving species to the brink of extinction. Due to the killing and smuggling of these animals, it also undermines economies and ecosystems as well as fuelling organised crime.
The Go Wild for Life theme was also used to celebrate the uniqueness of each species facing extinction and to show people it isn’t worth the new bags or shoes. It also aimed to encourage people to take action of their own to help keep endangered species safeguarded for the future generations. You may notice in your own local area that specific animals and plants are threatened – that’s where you could have gotten involved – and still can! Get involved and show zero-tolerance towards the illegal trade; make a difference.
What impact does it have?
World Environment Day is a really effective way to increase the public awareness of environmental issues. It is a great chance for people to get involved and make our world a better place – which many did! From royal families to farmers, politicians to schoolchildren, tens of thousands of people all over the world marked World Environment Day (WED) with events from Bhutan to Honduras to take action against the environmental challenges facing the world today.
The day provided governments all over the world with a platform to launch other initiatives that protect the health of the planet and safeguard the species that live within.
In Britain, for example, WED was used to release the findings of a report that looks at the damage done to marine life from 86 tonnes of tiny pieces of plastic particles – known as micro beads and found in exfoliating scrubs – which are being dumped in Britain every year. The report has prompted calls for a ban on micro beads if cosmetic companies fail to remove them from their products.
Evidentially, if everyone becomes more environmentally friendly individually, eventually it will have a big impact as a whole and we can begin to overcome bigger environmental issues; making the world a more desirable place to live, one carbon footprint at a time.
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