June 4th, 2012: World Environment Day

June 29, 2012

People have been aware that the earth is not an unlimited source of supplies for decades. In fact, the U.N.’s World Environment Day program began back in 1972 and has only grown stronger since. Thanks to media developments regarding issues like global warming, the ice caps melting, thousands of species being in danger of extinction, etc., worldwide sensitivity toward all things environmental has vastly increased. Countries left and right can be seen working to lower their carbon emissions and waste percentages through innovative approaches to building, transportation, agriculture, production, power and more.

There are too few areas in which so many countries are willing to unite, and that is what makes World Environment Day such a heartwarming success. Each year on June 5th, the central events are held in different cities across the globe, from Beirut to San Francisco to Seoul to Barcelona. Where they cannot agree about politics or socioeconomic practices, these nations can certainly agree about the environment and the work we have ahead of us. Each year, the festivities continue to improve.

2012 was no exception with the theme “Green Economy: Does it Include You?” The challenge posed by the United Nations Environment Programme was met with gusto all over the world, especially in the country chosen as this year’s host, Brazil. This South American wonderland of biodiversity and renewable energy lead the way with several inventive projects, like the Green Passport initiative, which distributed documents for travelers containing helpful guidelines and tips for environment-friendly travel.

On June 4th, Rio de Janeiro played host to native supermodel Gisele Bündchen, the U.N.E.P.’s Goodwill Ambassador, as she launched her design to plant a 50,000-tree forest in her homeland. Ms. Bündchen also presented the U.N. Champion of the Earth awards for environmental progress that evening. June 5th saw an all-out ecofriendly fiesta taking place at the Presidential Palace in Brasilia. At the celebration, President Dilma Rousseff divulged some big-time plans for multiple national projects and the announcement of a special meeting of the Brazilian Senate.

Enthusiasm was widespread in other countries as well. In Washington D.C., a younger crowd pitched in with the International Children’s Painting Competition, which displayed visual representations of the children’s’ solutions to global environmental concerns. One talented thirteen-year-old from California even took first place out of over 13,000 paintings submitted from all over the world.

Libya’s children also took action together with UNICEF and the Libyan Ministry of Education to plant trees in Tripoli. UNICEF representatives stressed the importance of educating kids about global issues, like excessive waste and pollution, deforestation, and lacking resources like renewable energy and water.

Even the tiny state of Manipur in northern India displayed their solidarity with a gathering of 140 fishermen and their families in canoes on Loktak Lake. Members of the All Loktak Lake Area Fishermen’s Union spoke out about ecological recovery and conservation in the wake of mass displacement of these families from their fishing livelihoods in 2011.

With news of other lively events from every part of the global community, this year’s World Environment Day has undoubtedly been the most poignant one to date. Participants have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of our responsibility as a species in preserving and helping the earth. Even with all the problems facing humanity, witnessing this level of world unification cannot help but give hope to those who strive for change. Contribute further to the environment by recycling your electronics with CJ Environmental.

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