Celebrations and events took place around the globe on the occasion of World Environment Day (WED), which convened under the theme, ‘Seven Billion Dreams.
Consume with Care.' The theme encouraged consumers to rethink their lifestyles and decrease impacts on natural resources by making one change towards more responsible resource consumption and conscious consumer decision-making.
5 June 2015: Celebrations and events took place around the globe on the occasion of World Environment Day (WED), which focused on the theme, ‘Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.’ The theme encouraged consumers to rethink their lifestyles and decrease impacts on natural resources by making one change towards more responsible resource consumption and conscious consumer decision-making.
Italy hosted the global WED celebrations at Expo Milan, including a forum with ministers of agriculture on ‘Agriculture to Feed the World,’ classes by celebrity chefs on cooking with leftover food and the Earth Evening, a zero emissions music concert.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, Italy’s Minister of Environment Gian Luca Galletti, and football star and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Yaya Touré hosted a WED press conference and participated in an event to raise awareness on food waste, where they collaborated with school children to use leftover vegetables as stuffing for traditional Italian Ravioli.
At the press conference, Steiner launched a handbook, titled ‘Sustainable Consumption and Production: A Handbook for Policy Makers.’ The guidebook contains SCP case studies highlighting policy instruments, implementation processes, monitoring and evaluation methodologies and indicators for increasing resource efficiency and sustainable public procurement through SCP, and illustrating the benefits of sustainable public procurement and resource efficiency.
In a message for the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for “shifting our consumption patterns towards goods that use less energy, water and other resources, and by wasting less food…becoming more conscious of our ecological impact…[and] the environmental consequences of the choices we make.”
UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Executive Secretary Braulio De Souza Dias highlighted the impacts of unsustainable natural resource exploitation and use and underscored the importance of SCP, including through reducing waste at all stages of production and consumption, the adoption of sustainable practices by the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors, and the sustainable use of water resources.
In his message, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Taleb Rifai highlighted the role of tourists in environmental protection, calling on all “to make their actions count while traveling.”
Other global celebrations included: a documentary screening and photo exhibit on ‘Human-wildlife conflicts in mountain regions’ in Austria; the Youth Action Island Summit in the Bahamas, which explored how island nations are addressing marine litter; a week of public awareness events on sustainable consumption in Brazil; a seminar on sustainability and the private sector in Japan; a green week to sensitize UN staff on reducing plastic waste and reducing environmental impacts of food choices at the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya; and the launch of Africa’s first project on food waste reduction in Pretoria, South Africa. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) highlighted the impact of climate change on traditional foods through its Recipes for Change campaign.
UNEP named musician Jack Johnson a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador at the 5 Gyres SEA Change Youth Summit in the Bahamas. Johnson said, “I see this relationship with UNEP as a way to reach and inspire more people to be active in their local communities.” He will focus on addressing marine litter and promoting sustainable food systems and plastic free initiatives.
WED is celebrated annually on 5 June as a day for positive environmental action. [UNEP Press Release, 29 May] [UNEP Press Conference] [UNEP Press Release, 5 June] [UN Press Release] [UNECE Press Release] [UN Office in Geneva Press Release] [GEF Video on WED] [Greening the Blue Press Release] [IAEA Press Release] [IFAD Press Release] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [UNEP Executive Director Editorial] [CBD Executive Secretary Statement] [UNWTO Secretary-General Statement] [UNEP Press Release on the Handbook] [Publication: Sustainable Consumption and Production: A Handbook for Policy Makers] [WED Website] [UN Expo Website]