World Environment Day
June 5 is World Environment Day, an holiday proclaimed in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly on the occasion of the United Nations Environment Program. The first time it was celebrated was 1974, with the slogan "Only One Earth", because we only have one land. A claim that today sounds like a warning, now that the effects of climate change become difficult to predict and where the biodiversity of seas and oceans fights with a sea of plastic. Change is necessary, and today, without any doubt, we are aware of it.
Associations such as the WWF are fighting every day for the defense of biodiversity and natural ecosystems, governments around the world are looking to the future by investing in renewable energies, and the citizens are familiar with the concept of sustainability, and with what this choice of life implies in everyday life. Recycling, waste reduction, attention to the environment even choosing our holiday destination, and also choosing how to travel: by train, on foot, on public transport.
Meanwhile, the United Nations 2030 Agenda has set targets we need to reached to stop the countdown, because, returning to that first, fundamental World Environment Day, we have only one Earth.
For the 2019 edition, China will host the World Day of Environment celebrations, and the theme will be air pollution. The head of the Chinese delegation, the deputy minister of ecology and the environment Zhao Yingmin and Joyce Msuya, deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) at the level of Deputy Secretary-General, underline how every year, 7 million people suffer the effects of air pollution, of which 4 million are found in Asia Pacific.
Governments, industry, communities and people are invited to attend events, conferences and seminars to explore the possibilities that renewable energy and green technologies actually can improve air quality in cities and regions around the world. The main events will be held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
China has shown its great leadership in dealing with air pollution at national level, committing itself to promoting the circulation of electric public transport. Hosting World Environment Day 2019, it thus demonstrates its commitment and its efforts towards green progress. We too, in our own small way, can do something right away. For example, keeping ourselves informed about the events organized for this date, and sharing information on social media, thanks to the official hashtag #BeatAirPollution. To build a better future, and to protect what is "Only One Earth".