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World Environment Day 2017: Connecting People to Nature

World Environment Day 2017: Connecting People to Nature
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Every year June 5th is observed as World Environment Day (WED). The Day aims to motivate more people than ever before to take action to prevent the growing strain on planet Earth’s natural systems from reaching the breaking point.

‘Connecting People to Nature’, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.

World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. This year’s host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet.

World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events, from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests.

This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

WED 2017 Theme: Connecting People to Nature

World Environment Day

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Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2017, ‘Connecting People to Nature’, urges us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

Billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.

Nature’s gifts are often hard to value in monetary terms. Like clean air, they are often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce. However, economists are developing ways to measure the multi-trillion-dollar worth of many so-called ‘ecosystem services’, from insects pollinating fruit trees to the leisure, health and spiritual benefits of a hike up a valley.

Host Country: Canada

World Environment Day

Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. This year it is Canada.

Its rich and spectacular natural heritage is a source of pride and identity for Canadians. Abundant natural resources also support the country’s economic prosperity – through tourism as well as sustainable use – and the health and well-being of its 36 million inhabitants.

World Environment Day is an important part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. As part of the festivities, Canada offers free passes for its national parks throughout 2017

The value of nature

In recent decades, scientific advances as well as growing environmental problems such as global warming are helping us to understand the countless ways in which natural systems support our own prosperity and well-being.

For example, the world’s oceans, forests and soils act as vast stores for greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane; farmers and fisher-folk harness nature on land and under water to provide us with food; scientists develop medicines using genetic material drawn from the millions of species that make up Earth’s astounding biological diversity.

Billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.

Nature’s gifts are often hard to value in monetary terms. Like clean air, they are often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce. However, economists are developing ways to measure the multi-trillion-dollar worth of many so-called ‘ecosystem services’, from insects pollinating fruit trees in the orchards of California to the leisure, health and spiritual benefits of a hike up a Himalayan valley.

Hit the park

World Environment Day

This year’s World Environment Day is an ideal occasion to go out and enjoy your country’s national parks and other wilderness areas. Park authorities in some countries may follow Canada’s example and waive or reduce park entry fees on June 5 or for a longer period.

Once you are there, why not set yourself a challenge (seek out a rare mammal, identify five butterflies, reach the remotest corner of the park). Record what you see, and send us a photo of yourself and/or your discoveries so we can post it on our digital channels and encourage others to go exploring too.

You could join the growing number of citizen scientists. More and more smartphone apps help you log your sightings and connect with others who can identify the species. The records feed into conservation strategies and map the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

Nature up close

Connecting to nature can involve all the physical senses: why not take off your shoes and get your feet (and hands) dirty; don’t just look at the beautiful lake, jump in! Take a hike at night and rely on your ears and nose to experience nature.

You can also connect with nature in the city, where major parks can be a green lung and a hub of biodiversity. Why not do your bit to green the urban environment, by greening your street or a derelict site, or planting a window box? You could put a spade in the soil or lift a paving slab and see what creatures live beneath.

Wherever you are, you could vow to pick up 10 (or 100) pieces of trash, or take inspiration from the citizens of Mumbai, India, and organize a mass beach clean-up.

Your activity doesn’t have to take place on 5 June itself. UN Environment, for instance, will soon begin testing your knowledge and raising your appreciation of a healthy environment with competitions and online quizzes and provide a whole menu of ideas to help you celebrate the day.

In the age of asphalt and smartphones and among the distractions of modern life, connections with nature can be fleeting. But with your help, World Environment Day can make clearer than ever that we need harmony between humanity and nature so that both are able to thrive.

Massive waste management campaign in 4000 cities on June 5 by Indian PM Narendra Modi

World Environment Day

A massive waste management campaign will be launched in 4000 cities across the country on June 5, the World Environment Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced.

Under the campaign, waste bins of blue and green colours would be distributed in these cities along with an awareness drive.

“I have a firm belief that we will develop a culture and the new steps that we take towards achieving cleanliness will continue. Only then will we achieve the dream of Gandhiji, achieve the kind of cleanliness that he had dreamt of,” Modi said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

He said the central government, in association with the state governments and municipal representatives, will launch a “massive and important campaign of waste management” in 4000 cities on the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5.

“Two types of waste bins will be available — one of green colour and the other blue coloure…. If we follow discipline, then the waste bins that are going to be placed in these 4000 cities will collect dry garbage in blue waste bins and liquid garbage in green waste bins,” Modi said.

He explained what kind of waste should be put in green colour bins and what in blue colour bins.

The prime minister, who has been driving the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign for over two years, said that even if a single individual decides, a huge public campaign can be built.

In this context, he referred to one such cleanliness drive on the Versova beach in Mumbai.

“You must have heard that the Versova beach in Mumbai, which was infamous for its filth, has now transformed into a clean and beautiful beach. People toiled for about 80-90 weeks, extracting thousands of tonnes of waste and today Versova beach is clean and beautiful,” he said.

Modi said this mission was started by one Afroz Shah in October 2015 and gradually people joined it.

“For this outstanding work, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) awarded ‘Champion of the Earth’ Award to Mr. Afroz Shah, and thus he has become the first Indian to achieve this distinction,” the prime minister said.

Why World Environment Day is Celebrated?

World Environment Day

World environment day annual celebration campaign was started to address the environmental issues like wastage and losses of food, deforestation, increasing global warming and so many. Every year celebration is planned according to the particular theme and slogan of the year to bring effectiveness in the campaign all over the world.

Some of the objectives of the world environment day are:

  • To make people aware about the environmental issues
  • Encourage common people to actively participate in developing environmental safety measures
  • Encourage people to make their nearby surroundings safe and clean to enjoy safer, cleaner and more prosperous future.
Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land – Aldo Leopold Click To Tweet

World Environment Day Quotes

Some of the famous quotes on WED are mentioned below:

  • “The environment is everything that isn’t me”. – Albert Einstein
  • “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools”. – John Muir
  • “Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth”. – Henry David Thoreau
  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. – Margaret Mead
  • “We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment”. – Margaret Mead
  • “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment”. – Ansel Adams
  • “I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend”? – Robert Redford
  • “Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you”. – John Muir
  • “Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we’ll soon be in trouble”. – Roger Tory Peterson
  • “By polluting clear water with slime you will never find good drinking water”. – Aeschylus
  • “If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either”. – Joseph Wood Krutch
  • “They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse”. – Sitting Bull
  • “Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land”. – Aldo Leopold
  • “After all, sustainability means running the global environment – Earth Inc. – like a corporation: with depreciation, amortization and maintenance accounts. In other words, keeping the asset whole, rather than undermining your natural capital”. – Maurice Strong
  • “Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left”. – Aldo Leopold
  • “You will die but the carbon will not; its career does not end with you. It will return to the soil, and there a plant may take it up again in time, sending it once more on a cycle of plant and animal life”. –Jacob Bronowski
  • “People blame their environment. There is only one person to blame – and only one – themselves”. – Robert Collier
  • “I can find God in nature, in animals, in birds and the environment”. – Pat Buckley
  • “We must return to nature and nature’s god”. – Luther Burbank
  • “The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved”. – Richard Rogers
  • “Journey with me to a true commitment to our environment. Journey with me to the serenity of leaving to our children a planet in equilibrium”. – Paul Tsongas
  • “Environmental degradation, overpopulation, refugees, narcotics, terrorism, world crime movements, and organized crime are worldwide problems that don’t stop at a nation’s borders”. – Warren Christopher
  • “I think the government has to reposition environment on top of their national and international priorities”. – Brian Mulroney
  • “Environmental concern is now firmly embedded in public life: in education, medicine and law; in journalism, literature and art”. – Barry Commoner
  • “Earth Day 1970 was irrefutable evidence that the American people understood the environmental threat and wanted action to resolve it”. – Barry Commoner
  • “The government should set a goal for a clean environment but not mandate how that goal should be implemented”. – Dixie Lee Ray
  • “Why has it seemed that the only way to protect the environment is with heavy-handed government regulation”? – Gale Norton
  • “The most important environmental issue is one that is rarely mentioned, and that is the lack of a conservation ethic in our culture”. – Gaylord Nelson
  • “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed”. – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another”. – Mahatma Gandhi

Whoever you are, and wherever you live, connect to nature and make a difference!

Comments (10)

  • Hey Sonal, Thanks for sharing World Environment Day with us, I will be sure to get out an enjoy the day.. Great Job. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…Start Programming Your Mind For SuccessMy Profile

  • Hi Sonal

    It is great to know about World Environment and how everyone is working towards preserving nature . Thank you for sharing this post. Take care

  • Hi Sonal,
    Great article. Enjoyed reading this, especially since I am a Canadian. “Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. This year it is Canada. ( more info about our 150th birthday this year)
    This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.” I will be sharing this article early this coming week.
    Kathryn Maclean recently posted…Pinterest – Many ways to attract your ideal clientsMy Profile

  • Hi Sonal,

    Amazing post that must have been a labor of love for you. Your timing, after Trump’s antic’s in France, couldn’t be more apt.

    Having grown up on a small farm where we tried to recycle everything we used, I can really relate to the quote of Native American, Sitting Bull. Thanks for doing your part to make our world a better place,
    Edward
    Edward Thorpe recently posted…Five Reasons Yoga Will Extend and Enhance Your LifeMy Profile

  • Hi Sonal,
    You always write such engaging posts. I didn’t know there was a world environment day. Just this past week I finally went downstairs to walk on the ocean sand and dip my feet in the water as I walked. In one direction there were hoards of people. In the other direction, hardly any people. And then I would see 1 bird, alone by itself. One was obviously enjoying the feel of the water on its legs. What a joy to just feel the water on my feet, let my feet sink into the sand, watch the waves come pouring in. Such effortless beauty and peace. That time spent enjoying the ocean and the lone birds quickly calmed my mind and gave me renewed energy for my tasks.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica

    • Author

      Hi Erica

      Thanks for your wonderful feedback. Well I could imagine how much you must have enjoyed. After reading it i just felt like going to the place and feel the moving water and enjoy the beauty of nature.

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