World Environment Day (WED) is set to take place on the 5th June. It's an event that has taken place every year since 1973 and just one way in which the UN promotes awareness of environmental issues in the global community. More significantly, it's a day when the people of the world are encouraged to come together and work towards a more environmentally sustainable future.
World Environment Day is hosted in a different city with a different theme each year. In 2011, the event will be hosted by New Delhi and the focus will be on the world's forests. Entitled Forest: Nature At Your Service, the theme is particularly apt considering the role forests play in the battle against climate change by storing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Current statistics suggest an area of forest equivalent to the size of Portugal is lost each year.
India has been chosen to host the event, as it is a country of some 1.2 billion people who continue to put considerable stress on forested areas through agriculture and overgrazing. However, the country is already taking action through the implementation of a massive national tree planting programme to combat land degradation and desertification.
Speaking on the decision for New Delhi to play host to WED this year, Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director said: ''Over close to the 40 year history of WED, India's cities and communities have been among the most active with a myriad of events undertaken across the country each and every year, so it is only fitting that the rapidly developing economy is the host in 2011.''
Across the globe, there are already thousands of events planned for World Environment Days, ranging from school tree planting schemes and clean up initiatives to car-free days and other green campaigns.
If you'd like to organise your own event, visit World Environment Day - United Nations Environment Programme for some inspiration on what you can do to celebrate World Environment Day. After all, who hasn't enjoyed a rest under the shade of a tree on a warm day? World Environment Day is an opportunity to give something back, ensuring a cleaner and greener environmentally sound future for us all.