World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated annually on 5 June and encourages awareness and action for the protection of the environment. It is supported by many non-governmental organizations, businesses, government entities, and represents the primary United Nations outreach day supporting the environment.[1][2]

World Environment Day
Official nameUN World Environment Day
Also calledEco Day, Environment Day, WED (world environment day)
TypeInternational
SignificanceEnvironmental issues awareness
ObservancesEnvironment Protection
Date5 June
Next time5 June 2025 (2025-06-05)
First time5 June 1973; 51 years ago (5 June 1973)
World Environment Day in India

First held in 1974, it has been a platform for raising awareness on environmental issues as marine pollution, overpopulation, global warming, sustainable development and wildlife crime.[3] World Environment Day is a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually, incl. participation from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa and the United States.[citation needed] Every year, the program has provided a theme and forum for businesses, non government organizations, communities, politicians and stars to advocate environmental causes.[4][5]

History

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World Environment Day was established in 1972 by the United Nations at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment (5–16 June 1972), that had resulted from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. One year later, in 1973, the first WED was held with the theme "Only One Earth".[6]

Host cities

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World Environment Day celebrations have been (and will be) hosted in the following cities:[7]

Year Theme Host city
1972 Stockholm Conference on Human Environment Stockholm,United Nations
1973 Geneva, Switzerland[8]
1974 Only one Earth during Expo '74[9] Spokane, United States
1975 Human Settlements Dhaka, Bangladesh
1976 Water: Vital Resource for Life Ontario, Canada
1977 Ozone Layer Environmental Concern; Lands Loss and Soil Degradation Sylhet, Bangladesh
1978 Development Without Destruction Sylhet, Bangladesh
1979 Only One Future for Our Children – Development Without Destruction Sylhet, Bangladesh
1980 A New Challenge for the New Decade: Development Without Destruction Sylhet, Bangladesh
1981 Ground Water; Toxic Chemicals in Human Food Chains Sylhet, Bangladesh
1982 Ten Years After Stockholm (Renewal of Environmental Concerns) Dhaka, Bangladesh
1983 Managing and Disposing Hazardous Waste: Acid Rain and Energy Sylhet, Bangladesh
1984 Desertification Rajshahi, Bangladesh
1985 Youth: Population and the Environment Islamabad, Pakistan
1986 A Tree for Peace Ontario, Canada
1987 Environment and Shelter: More Than A Roof Nairobi, Kenya
1988 When People Put the Environment First, Development Will Last Bangkok, Thailand
1989 Global Warming; Global Warning Brussels, Belgium
1990 Children and the Environment Mexico City, Mexico
1991 Climate Change. Need for Global Partnership Stockholm, Sweden
1992 Only One Earth, Care and Share Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1993 Poverty and the Environment – Breaking the Vicious Circle Beijing, People's Republic of China
1994 One Earth One Family London, United Kingdom
1995 We the Peoples: United for the Global Environment Pretoria, South Africa
1996 Our Earth, Our Habitat, Our Home Istanbul, Turkey
1997 For Life on Earth Seoul, Republic of Korea
1998 For Life on Earth – Save Our Seas Moscow, Russian Federation
1999 Our Earth – Our Future – Just Save It! Tokyo, Japan
2000 The Environment Millennium – Time to Act Adelaide, Australia
2001 Connect with the World Wide Web of Life Torino, Italy and Havana, Cuba
2002 Give Earth a Chance Shenzhen, People's Republic of China
2003 Water – Two Billion People are Dying for It! Beirut, Lebanon
2004 Wanted! Seas and Oceans – Dead or Alive? Barcelona, Spain
2005 Green Cities – Plant for the Planet! San Francisco, United States
2006 Deserts and Desertification – Don't Desert Drylands! Algiers, Algeria
2007 Melting Ice – a Hot Topic? London, England
2008 Kick The Habit – Towards A Low Carbon Economy Wellington, New Zealand
2009 Your Planet Needs You – Unite to Combat Climate Change Mexico City, Mexico
2010 Many Species. One Planet. One Future Rangpur, Bangladesh
2011 Forests: Nature at your Service Delhi, India
2012 Green Economy: Does it include you? Brasilia, Brazil
2013 Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2014 Raise your voice, not the sea level Bridgetown, Barbados
2015 Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care. Rome, Italy
2016 Zero Tolerance for the Illegal Wildlife trade Luanda, Angola
2017 Connecting People to Nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator Ottawa, Canada
2018 Beat Plastic Pollution[10] New Delhi, India
2019 Beat Air Pollution[11] People's Republic of China
2020 Time for Nature[12][5] Colombia
2021 Ecosystem restoration[13] Pakistan
2022 Only One Earth Sweden
2023 Solutions to Plastic Pollution Côte d'Ivoire
2024 Land restoration, desertification and drought resilience[14] Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2025 Ending plastic pollution[15] Republic of Korea
2026 tbd Azerbaijan[16]

Annual themes and major initiatives and accomplishments

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For almost five decades, World Environment Day has been raising awareness, supporting action, and driving changes for the environment. Here is a timeline of key accomplishments in WEDs' history:

2005

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Standard WED banners hung in San Francisco in May 2005

The theme for the 2005 World Environment Day was "Green Cities" and the slogan was "Plant for the Planet!".[17]

2006

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The topic for WED 2006 was Deserts and Desertification and the slogan was "Don't desert drylands".[18]

The slogan emphasised the importance of protecting drylands. The main international celebrations of the World Environment Day 2006 were held in Algeria.[citation needed]

2007

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The topic for World Environment Day for 2007 was "Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?" During International Polar Year, WED 2007 focused on the effects that climate change is having on polar ecosystems and communities, on other ice- and snow-covered areas of the world, and the resulting global impacts.[citation needed]

The main international celebrations of the WED 2007 were held in the city of Tromsø, Norway, a city north of the Arctic Circle.[19]

Egypt issued a postage stamp for the 2007 World Environment Day.[20]

2008

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The host for World Environment Day 2008 was New Zealand, with the main international celebrations scheduled for Wellington. The slogan for 2008 was "CO2, Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy." New Zealand was one of the first countries to pledge to achieve carbon-neutrality, and will also focus on forest management as a tool for reducing greenhouse gases.[21]

The Chicago Botanic Garden served as the North American host[22] for World Environment Day on 5 June 2008.

2009

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The theme for WED 2009 was "Your Planet Needs You – UNite to Combat Climate Change", and Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" was declared "World Environment Day Song". It was hosted in Mexico.[23]

2010

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"Many Species. One Planet. One Future", was the theme of 2010.[24]

It celebrated the diversity of life on Earth as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. It was hosted in Rwanda. Thousands of activities were organized worldwide, with beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events and much more.[25] Each continent (except Antarctica) had a "regional host city", the U.N. chose Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the host for all North.[26]

2011

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The theme for 2011 was 'Forests – Nature At Your Service'. Thousands of activities were organized worldwide, with beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events, tree plantings[27] and much more. It was hosted by India.

2012

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The theme for the 2012 World Environment Day was Green Economy.[28]

The theme aimed to invite people to examine their activities and lifestyle and see how the concept of a "Green Economy" fits into it. The host country for the year's celebrations was Brazil.[28]

2013

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The 2013 theme for World Environment Day was "Think.Eat.Save".[29]

The campaign addressed 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 aimed to bring about awareness in countries with lifestyles resulting in food wastage. It also aimed 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.[29] The host country for the year's celebrations was Mongolia.[30]

2014

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The Theme of the 2014 WED was International Year of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). By choosing this Theme the UN General Assembly aimed to highlight the development Challenges and successes of the SIDS. In 2014, the World Environment Day focused on global warming and its impact on ocean levels.[32] The Slogan of the WED 2014 is "Raise your voice not the sea level", as Barbados hosted the global celebrations of the 42nd edition of the World Environment Day.[33][34] The UN Environment Programme named actor Ian Somerhalder as the official Goodwill ambassador of the WED 2014.[35]

2015

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The Slogan of the 2015 edition of the World Environment Day was "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care". The slogan was picked through a voting process on social media.[36][37] In Saudi Arabia, 15 women recycled 2000 plastic bags to crochet a mural in support of the WED 2015.[38] In India, Narendra Modi planted a Kadamb sapling to celebrate the World Environment Day and raise awareness for Environment.[39][40] Italy is the host country of the 43rd edition of the WED. The celebrations took place as part of Milan Expo around the theme: Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life.[41]

2016

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The 2016 WED was organized under the theme "Go wild for life". This edition of the WED aimed to reduce and prevent the illegal trade in wildlife.[42] Angola was chosen as the host country of the 2016 WED during the COP21 in Paris.[43][44]

2017

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Activities for World Environment Day in Bhopal, India

The theme for 2017 was "Connecting People to Nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator". The host nation was Canada.[45]

2018

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The theme for 2018 was "Beat Plastic Pollution". The host nation was India.[46] By choosing this theme, it is hoped that people may strive to change their everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution. People should be free from the over-reliance on single-use or disposables, as they have severe environmental consequences. We should liberate our natural places, our wildlife and our own health from plastics.[47] The Indian government pledged to eliminate all single use of plastic in India by 2022.[48]

2019

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The theme for 2019 was "Beat Air Pollution". The host nation was China. This theme was chosen as air pollution causes about 7 million premature deaths annually.[49]

In Réunion Island, Miss Earth 2018 Nguyễn Phương Khánh from Vietnam delivered her speech during World Environment Day with the theme "How to fight global warming".[50]

2020

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The theme for 2020 was "Time for Nature", and was hosted in Colombia in partnership with Germany.[12]

Colombia is one of the largest megadiverse countries in the world and holds close to 10% of the planet's biodiversity. Since it is part of the Amazon rainforest, Colombia ranks first in bird and orchid species diversity and second in plants, butterflies, freshwater fish, and amphibians.

2021

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The theme for 2021 was "Ecosystem Restoration",[51] and was hosted by Pakistan. On this occasion UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration was also launched.[52][53]

2022

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The theme for 2022 was "Only One Earth" and the event was hosted by Sweden.

2023

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The theme for 2023 was "Solution to plastic pollution" and the event was hosted by Côte d'Ivoire. It is a reminder that people's actions on plastic pollution matters. The steps governments and businesses are taking to tackle plastic pollution are the consequence of this action. It is time to accelerate this action and transition to a circular economy.[54]

Celebrations

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1981 World Environment Day celebration

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On 5 June 1981, World Environment Day 1981 was celebrated.[by whom?][citation needed]

2022 World Environment Day celebration

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On 5 June 2022, millions of people in multiple different countries across the whole world celebrated World Environment Day 2022 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.[citation needed]

World Environment Day edition dates

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1981 and earlier

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Edition number Date Also known as Day of the Week
1st 5 June 1973 World Environment Day 1973 Tuesday
2nd 5 June 1974 World Environment Day 1974 Wednesday
3rd 5 June 1975 World Environment Day 1975 Thursday
4th 5 June 1976 World Environment Day 1976 Saturday
5th 5 June 1977 World Environment Day 1977 Sunday
6th 5 June 1978 World Environment Day 1978 Monday
7th 5 June 1979 World Environment Day 1979 Tuesday
8th 5 June 1980 World Environment Day 1980 Thursday
9th 5 June 1981 World Environment Day 1981 Friday

1982–2021 (Post-1981 and pre-2022)

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Edition number Date Also known as Day of the Week
10th 5 June 1982 World Environment Day 1982 Saturday
11th 5 June 1983 World Environment Day 1983 Sunday
12th 5 June 1984 World Environment Day 1984 Tuesday
13th 5 June 1985 World Environment Day 1985 Wednesday
14th 5 June 1986 World Environment Day 1986 Thursday
15th 5 June 1987 World Environment Day 1987 Friday
16th 5 June 1988 World Environment Day 1988 Sunday
17th 5 June 1989 World Environment Day 1989 Monday
18th 5 June 1990 World Environment Day 1990 Tuesday
19th 5 June 1991 World Environment Day 1991 Wednesday
20th 5 June 1992 World Environment Day 1992 Friday
21st 5 June 1993 World Environment Day 1993 Saturday
22nd 5 June 1994 World Environment Day 1994 Sunday
23rd 5 June 1995 World Environment Day 1995 Monday
24th 5 June 1996 World Environment Day 1996 Wednesday
25th 5 June 1997 World Environment Day 1997 Thursday
26th 5 June 1998 World Environment Day 1998 Friday
27th 5 June 1999 World Environment Day 1999 Saturday
28th 5 June 2000 World Environment Day 2000 Monday
29th 5 June 2001 World Environment Day 2001 Tuesday
30th 5 June 2002 World Environment Day 2002 Wednesday
31st 5 June 2003 World Environment Day 2003 Thursday
32nd 5 June 2004 World Environment Day 2004 Saturday
33rd 5 June 2005 World Environment Day 2005 Sunday
34th 5 June 2006 World Environment Day 2006 Monday
35th 5 June 2007 World Environment Day 2007 Tuesday
36th 5 June 2008 World Environment Day 2008 Thursday
37th 5 June 2009 World Environment Day 2009 Friday
38th 5 June 2010 World Environment Day 2010 Saturday
39th 5 June 2011 World Environment Day 2011 Sunday
40th 5 June 2012 World Environment Day 2012 Tuesday
41st 5 June 2013 World Environment Day 2013 Wednesday
42nd 5 June 2014 World Environment Day 2014 Thursday
43rd 5 June 2015 World Environment Day 2015 Friday
44th 5 June 2016 World Environment Day 2016 Sunday
45th 5 June 2017 World Environment Day 2017 Monday
46th 5 June 2018 World Environment Day 2018 Tuesday
47th 5 June 2019 World Environment Day 2019 Wednesday
48th 5 June 2020 World Environment Day 2020 Friday
49th 5 June 2021 World Environment Day 2021 Saturday

2022 and later

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Edition number Date Also known as Day of the Week
50th 5 June 2022 World Environment Day 2022 Sunday
51st 5 June 2023 World Environment Day 2023 Monday
52nd 5 June 2024 World Environment Day 2024 Wednesday
53rd 5 June 2025 World Environment Day 2025 Thursday
54th 5 June 2026 World Environment Day 2026 Friday
55th 5 June 2027 World Environment Day 2027 Saturday
56th 5 June 2028 World Environment Day 2028 Monday
57th 5 June 2029 World Environment Day 2029 Tuesday
58th 5 June 2030 World Environment Day 2030 Wednesday
59th 5 June 2031 World Environment Day 2031 Thursday

See also

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References

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