Nairobi/Rome, 7 April 2015 - Italy has today been named host of this year’s World Environment Day (WED) global celebrations on 5 June, in a joint announcement made by the Government of Italy and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The theme of this year's World Environment Day is resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production in the context of the planet’s regenerative capacity, as captured in the slogan ‘Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care’. Affirming WED as a global public outreach platform, this slogan emerged as the top choice by the global community through social media voting.
The 2015 global WED celebrations will be organized at the world famous Universal Exhibition, which attracts over 20 million visitors. Expo Milano 2015 will run from May 1 to October 31 and is expected to include over 140 countries plus a significant number of international organizations.
One of three UN Days that the UN Expo Team has chosen to mark at the Milan Expo this year, WED will support and complement the Expo theme of ‘Feeding the Planet - Energy for Life’, which showcases state-of-the-art technology, ideas and solutions that can help guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium.
“It is an honour for Italy to work together with UNEP in leading the global celebrations for World Environment Day 2015,” said Italian Minister for the Environment Gian Luca Galletti. “This year, WED will focus on the need to respect the carrying capacity of the planet and to manage natural resources efficiently—all aspects that are of utmost importance if really we want to ensure prosperity and wellbeing globally.”
“I firmly believe in the benefits offered by sustainable consumption and production models in terms of economic opportunities, inclusiveness, employment, resiliency and quality of life,” he said. “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.”
Announcing World Environment Day 2015, UN-Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “While industrialized countries account for the bulk of the world’s resource consumption, unsustainable consumption patterns are becoming more prevalent worldwide, with 3 billion middle class consumers expected to be added to the global population by 2030 - many of them from emerging economies.”
“Food production is one of the most obvious examples of unsustainable consumption patterns, with 1.3 billion tons of food being wasted every year, while almost 1 billion people go undernourished,” he added. “This is an issue that UNEP is helping to address with partners like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization through our joint campaign against food waste, Think.Eat.Save. We are glad the Expo’s theme also focuses on sustainable food systems.”
“World Environment Day provides us with an important opportunity to identify solutions for re-engineering our consumer culture to create a sustainable society in which everyone has enough to live well while staying within the planet’s regenerative capacity. It is time to look seriously at what our appetite-for-more is costing the planet, our health, our future, and the future of our children.” he said.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea of Italy, the UN Expo Team and the Milan Expo, this year’s WED programme will involve various activities organized with partners such as FAO, International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme, Slow Food, WWF Italy, Cinemambiente and the Green Film Network, and the national delegations and other international organizations that will be present at the Expo.
About World Environment Day
World Environment Day (WED) is the largest, most celebrated global day for positive environmental action. Established by the UN General Assembly in 1972, WED is celebrated every year on 5 June. WED is the principal vehicle through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment, and encourages political attention and action. WED gives a human perspective to environmental issues, empowers people to become active agents of sustainable development and advocates multi-stakeholder partnerships in support of the environment.