I interrupt my walk report to ask did anyone out there know it was World Environment Day? I just read it on a blog written by a group of students who are trying to save an ancient forest, pretty much on their own by the sound of things, who wished me a happy one; World Environment Day that is. This is the same place I learned it was World Sparrow Day a few weeks back, as it happens. Their blog and the cause are well worth hearing about by the way: we think we have problems with developers here, but not on the scale they are dealing with. The blog is titled Save Mangar Bani – Aravalli’s Ancient Forest Grove. Here’s the link http://mangarbani.wordpress.com

Anyway, back to World Environment Day and good old Wikipaedia who do know about it:

World Environment Day (‘WED’) is celebrated every year on 5 June to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action. It is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

It was the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was from 5–16 June 1972. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. The first World Environment Day was in 1973. World Environment Day is hosted every year by a different city with a different theme and is commemorated with an international exposition in the week of 5 June. World Environment Day is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere and fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

Theme 2013

The 2013 theme for World Environment Day is Think.Eat.Save.

The campaign addresses the huge annual wastage and losses in food, which, if conserved, would release a large quantity of food as well as reduce the overall carbon footprint. The campaign aims to bring about awareness in countries with lifestyles resulting in food wastage. It also aims to empower people to make informed choices about the food they eat so as to reduce the overall ecological impact due to the worldwide production of food items. World Environment Day (WED) is observed on June 5 every year to promote awareness on the importance of preserving our biodiversity, the need to identify problems related to the environment and ways to take corrective action. It was on this day in the year 1972 that the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was formed. First celebrated in 1973, World Environment Day, also popularly known as Environment Day, is a means to tackle environmental challenges that include climate change, global warming, disasters and conflicts, harmful substances, environmental governance, ecosystem management and resource efficiency.

World Environment Day has received tremendous support from the public, non-profit organizations and governments around the world. Various awareness campaigns – beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events and much more – are organized to spread the message, which is to improve the quality of life of all living beings on this planet without harming nature. All the activities of World Environment Day are carried out to spread eco-awareness and increase green footprint.

Each year, World Environment Day is hosted in a different city with a different theme for one week that kicks off on June 5. A World Environment Day theme is selected along with an Environment Day slogan, which aims to emphasize the importance of protecting our planet and promote an understanding that they each individually can play a significant and effective role in tackling environmental issues.

With blogs becoming an effective means of communication, on World Environment Day, the UNEP has started organizing blogging competitions to encourage people to protect the environment. Thousands of entries were received this year from different parts of the world. After reviewing all entries, budding engineer, Ximena Prugue of Florida, USA, was declared the winner for her blog on the effects of deforestation in rural India.

The UNEP also confers international awards – The ‘Champions of the Earth’, ‘UNEP Sasakawa Prize’, ‘The Seeds Awards’, among others – to individuals or organizations on World Environment Day based on their innovation, vision and performance in protecting or benefiting the environment.

I’m not sure what I would have done if I had known, but wasting food, especially the stuff people throw away based on the ‘use-by date’ rather than using their own common sense and judgement, and the mountains of good food ‘skipped’ by supermarkets is one of those subjects that does baffle and frustrate me. Anyway,  Happy World Environment to us all – clean plates tonight, please ……