World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.
The WED theme this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. And yet, evidence is building that people are consuming far more natural resources than what the planet can sustainably provide.
Many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.
Consuming with care means living within planetary boundaries to ensure a healthy future where our dreams can be realized. Human prosperity need not cost the earth. Living sustainably is about doing more and better with less. It is about knowing that rising rates of natural resource use and the environmental impacts that occur are not a necessary by-product of economic growth.
Every Action Counts
WED is the opportunity for everyone to realize the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change.
“Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
Through decades of WED celebrations, hundreds of thousands of people from countries all over the world and from all sectors of society have participated in individual and organized environmental action. WED 2014 received a total of 6,437 pledges and over 3,000 activities were registered online, resulting in a total of about 9,700 which is triple to the previous two years.
– See more at: http://www.unep.org/wed/about.asp#sthash.weHvhDZy.dpuf