Under the theme “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with care”, World Environment Day (WED) this year took centre stage on 5 June at Expo Milano 2015, as one of the United Nation’s international celebrations.
On 5 June, the official opening ceremony at the Expo Centre began with UNEP’s official video, followed by a video message of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and the remarks, among others, by UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, transcripted here.
The celebrations included a cooking class with left overs for kids and the traditional Expo Mascot Parade dedicated to this UN Day. Watch this video for highlights on the events which took place at Expo Milano 2015.
On 4 June, on the eve of celebrations, the Italian Minister of Environment, Gian Luca Galletti, and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, held a press conference. During it the launched the Sustainable Production and Consumption Handbook and signed the “Carta di Milano” (Charter of Milan).
For more news on the World Environment Day celebrations, you can visit its official webpage.
Background on WED 2015
There is evidence that the rate of consumption of the planet’s resources is now unsustainable and possibly at a tipping point where Earth’s natural regenerative capacity could be lost forever. Today, the human race consumes resources the equivalent of 1.5 planets. This means that in now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we consume in a year. By 2030 we will need two planets to sustain our ways of living if the current consumption and production patterns remain the same, and with a rising population.
This year’s theme for WED – Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care – therefore expresses the challenge of creating opportunities for inclusive and sustainable economic development, while attempting to stabilise the rate of resource use and reduce environmental impacts. What is the one thing you pledge to do in order to restore our planet’s natural regenerative ability? Bike to work, change your light, fix leaky pipes or recycle old devices? If seven billion people were to each make one positive change towards a sustainable lifestyle, what would our world be like?
This year, World Environment Day challenged everyone to re-imagine their dreams for a good life de-linked from excessive consumption. The public was invited to celebrate World Environment Day on 5 June by sharing their vision for a life of wellbeing on a sustainable planet. Make a pledge. Register your activity – all at WED website.
World Environment Day is the United Nations’ campaign for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a 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, inspiring individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.