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FAO to support annual Earth Day Italia Concert in Milan on 22 April

Fiorella Mannoia and FAO Goodwill Ambassador Khaled will headline the concert

Photo: ©NASA
FAO will be supporting annual Earth Day Italia Concert on 22 April, in Milan.

18 April, 2013, Rome - For the third time, FAO will be supporting the annual Earth Day Concert in Italy, to be held on 22 April.  FAO Goodwill Ambassador Khaled, an Algerian  musician of world renown, will be performing on stage with Italian singer Fiorella Mannoia at the "Concert for the Earth" in Milan. 

Next Monday, more than one billion people around the world will take part in the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. The theme for this year's Earth Day is The Face of Climate Change. It aims to raise awareness of the devastating impacts of climate change, such as prolonged droughts, frequent flooding, cyclones, sea-level rises and others, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people worldwide. It encourages people to call upon their leaders to take urgent action to protect our planet.

This year's concert is organized by Earth Day Italia together with FAO. The event and related activities are also supported by Italian farmers' association Coldiretti, which is a primary partner for Earth Day Italia's green-earth projects.  

"The aim of Earth Day is to inspire awareness of, and appreciation for the Earth's environment. I can hardly think of a more worthy aim," said FAO Assistant Director-General for Forestry Eduardo Rojas-Briales speaking at a press conference on Earth Day Italia Concert today at FAO Headquarters. He was recently named Commissioner-General for the United Nations' preparations for EXPO 2015, which aims to promote the exchange of ideas on culture, economy, science and technology.

Sustainable food systems and ecosystems

"World Expo 2015 will also have a theme of great global relevance: "Feeding the planet, energy for life". FAO and other members of the United Nations family will be enthusiastic participants in the Expo. Our challenge is to provoke thought and inspire action through such events as the International Day of Forests, Earth Day and World Expo 2015, as we seek to create sustainable food systems and ecosystems, and ensure a healthy planet," he added.

The President of Earth Day Italia Pierluigi Sassi said: "On the 43rd World Earth Day, Earth Day Italia launches a three-year campaign in the run-up to the upcoming 2015 Milan Universal Exposition which will highlight the importance of healthy planet and humanity. Following this path together with FAO is not only a great privilege for us but it is also an opportunity to remind the international community that a healthy environment is a keystone to sustainable food production."

"Amid the overconsumption that we must fight against in order to feed the planet, is most certainly one which preys on, without scruples, our ecosystem."

Decisive role of farmers

"On Earth Day, Italian farmers are making a commitment to stop land-use conversion and land degradation, to prevent transgenic contamination and industrial pollution, to provide safe and healthy food and to create, and pass on to future generations, an effective and more sustainable development model," said David Granieri, President of Coldiretti Lazio.

Granieri added that Italian farmers can preserve the major part of agricultural land and ensure environmental and social sustainability for food security.

Saving the planet for future generations

Fiorella Mannoia noted: "We act as if the planet belongs only to us and we keep forgetting that life is transient, that we are only passing through. Our responsibility is to hand it over to future generations in better shape than we found it, so that they can enjoy its beauty. Unfortunately, this gift of nature has been largely disregarded by human greed, like Attila, destroying everything in his way. Now we can and we must fight because everyone has responsibilities and everyone should act according to their conscience to do no harm to what we have."

In a video message, Khaled said: "By taking part in this concert we would like to pay tribute to our unique planet. It is a call for action against the indifference of people towards natural resources and ecosystems that are essential for our future and for the future of our children. As somebody said before me and better than me: the earth is not a heritage of our parents, it is a loan from our children. Joining hands to protect our planet, the planet of our children, is urgent and it is everyone's business."

The concert will be live-streamed and broadcast on Sky Uno and SkyUnoHD on 22 April at 00:10, on Thursday, 23 April, at 16:30 and on Friday, 26 April, at midnight.