The World Environment Day on 5 June is drawing near, with the theme “7 billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care”. This day offers an opportunity to discuss and address environmental topics –particularly those dealing with sustainable production and consumption– through a variety of events.
Over the years this day has grown to become a great global platform to raise awareness and is celebrated in over 100 countries, with a different host country chosen each year. On April 7 of this year, the Italian government and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), announced that Italy was chosen as the host country for the 2015 edition.
The Italian Minister for the Environment Gian Luca Galletti explained the importance of the day, saying: "We have a unique opportunity to take advantage of the international and multidimensional arena represented by EXPO 2015 to stimulate greater thinking and action on these topics in view of the crucial decisions that will be taken later this year: the launch of the post-2015 development agenda in September, and the new agreement on Climate Change in December."
"Food production is one of the most obvious examples of unsustainable consumption patterns, with 1.3 billion tonnes of food being wasted every year, while almost 800 million people go undernourished," said the UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. "This is an issue that UNEP is helping to address with partners like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through our joint campaign against food waste, Think.Eat.Save. We are glad the Expo's theme also focuses on sustainable food systems."
The celebrations that will take place at Expo Milano 2015 will involve a rich program of events. At 3PM, after the conclusion of the International Agriculture Forum which will include the signing of the Milan Charter, the official opening ceremony will take place at the Expo Center with a video message from UN Secretary-General ban Ki-Moon, and speeches from Minister Galletti, the FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, and the UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner.
Immediately following the opening, from 3:40-4:30 PM, the presentation of the competition for the Expo greenest pavilions/practices and sustainability features of big events, Towards a Sustainable Expo, will take place. This event will be followed by the Mascot Parade at 4:30 PM with students from the School Project participating.
Among those attending the celebration at Expo Milano 2015 will be Ivorian footballer Yaya Touré, midfielder for Manchester City. As UNEP’s Goodwill Ambassador, Touré will also participate in the new Rai Tre program, The Cooking Show, alongside the Danish movement Stop Waisting Food, Michael Museth, and the Slow Food star chef, Moreno Cedroni.
Counted amongst the events for World Environment Day is the roundtable event on 3 June, from 3:00 to 6:30 PM, titled “The multiple values of European mountain forests: which perspectives in a green economy?” organized by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and UNECE/FAO.
The week will conclude with the Waste reduction award ceremony on Saturday 6 June in the Biodiversity Park, which will be attended by the Italian organizations and administrations that participated in the European Week on Waste Reduction; the event will conclude with a dinner of left overs.
Watch UNEP's official video for World Environment Day 2015 here.