About World Environment Day

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The 51st edition of World Environment Day was a record-breaking success, with an unprecedented 3,854 official events and tens of millions of online engagements across the globe.

About World Environment Day:

  • It is celebrated annually on June 5 to promote more sustainable practices while advocating for the protection of our planet. 
  • Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it is the largest global platform for public outreach to raise awareness and take action on urgent environmental issues – the planet’s most-pressing environmental problems.
  • Theme of World Environment Day 2024: Land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience.
  • History:
    • The United Nations General Assembly declared June 5 as World Environment Day during the Stockholm Conferenceon the Human Environment, held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972 (June 5-16).
    • It was the first world conference to make environmental protection a major issue.
    • The UNEP was established in the same year.
    • World Environment Day was celebrated for the first time in 1973 under the theme 'Only One Earth'.
    • Since then, it has grown into a global platform involving over 150 countries.

Key Facts about United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

  • It is the leading environmental authority in the United Nations system. 
  • UNEP uses its expertise to strengthen environmental standards and practices while helping implement environmental obligations at the country, regional, and global levels.
  • UNEP is driving transformational change by drilling down on the root causes of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution.
  • UNEP’s work is focused on helping countries transition to low-carbon and resource-efficient economies, strengthening environmental governance and law, safeguarding ecosystems, and providing evidence-based data to inform policy decisions.
  • Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Reports published by UNEP: Emission Gap Report, Global Environment Outlook, Frontiers, Invest into Healthy Planet.
  • It provides secretariat functions for numerous multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other entities as follows:
    • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
    • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
    • Minamata Convention on Mercury
    • Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions
    • Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol
    • Convention on Migratory Species

Q1: What is the Minamata Convention?

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a multilateral environmental agreement that addresses specific human activities which are contributing to widespread mercury pollution. Implementation of this agreement will help reduce global mercury pollution over the coming decades.

Source: World Environment Day turns global gaze towards land restoration