World Environment Day

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on 5 June every year, and is the United Nations' principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on environmental issues emerging from marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. World Environment Day has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. Each year, WED has provided a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and all celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.[1][2]

Environment day
Official nameUN World Environment Day
Also calledEco Day, Environment Day, WED (world environment day)
SignificanceEnvironmental issues awareness
ObservancesEnvironment Protection
Date5 June
First time5 June 1974; 46 years ago (5 June 1974)
World Environment Day in India


World Environment Day was established in 1972 by the United Nations on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, resulting from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. Two years later, in 1974 the first WED was held with the theme "Only One Earth". Even though WED celebration have been held annually since 1974, in 1987 the idea for rotating the centre of these activities through selecting different host countries began.[1][2]

Annual themes and major initiatives and accomplishmentsEdit

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:


The theme for 2020 was "Time for Nature", and was hosted in Colombia in partnership with Germany.[3]

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.


The theme for 2019 was "Beat Air Pollution". The host nation was China. This theme was chosen as air pollution kills about 7 million people annually.[4]

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".[5]


The theme for 2018 was "Beat Plastic Pollution". The host nation was India.[6] 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.[7] The Indian government pledged to eliminate all single use of plastic in India by 2022.[8]


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.[9]


The 2016 WED was organized under the theme "Go wild for life". This edition of the WED aims to reduce and prevent the illegal trade in wildlife.[10] Angola was chosen as the host country of the 2016 WED during the COP21 in Paris.[11][12]

Activities for world environment day in Bhopal, India


The Slogan of the 2015 edition of the World Environment Day is "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care". The slogan was picked through a voting process on social media.[13][14] In Saudi Arabia, 15 women recycled 2000 plastic bags to crochet a mural in support of the WED 2015.[15] In India, Narendra Modi planted a Kadamb sapling to celebrate the World Environment Day and raise awareness for Environment.[16][17] 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.[18]


The Theme of the 2014 WED is : 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.[19] 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.[20][21] The UN Environment Programme named actor Ian Somerhalder as the official Goodwill ambassador of the WED 2014.[22]


Stage in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Environmental Festival 2011
World Environment Day 2011 in Donetsk, Ukraine
US Consul CG Yee, along with the Mayor of Thessaloniki Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, the Prefect of Thessaloniki Panagiotis Psomiadis, and many others participating in World Environment Day on the waterfront, Bike Path
Trees planting during the World Environment Day 2012 in Konso – Ethiopia.

The 2013 theme for World Environment Day was Think.Eat.Save.[23]

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.[23] The host country for the year's celebrations was Mongolia.


The theme for the 2012 World Environment Day was Green Economy.[24]

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.[24]


The world environment day of 2011 was hosted by India. It was the 1st time for India to host the day. 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[25] and much more.


'Many Species. One Planet. One Future', was the theme of 2010.

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.[26] Each continent (except Antarctica) had a "regional host city", the U.N. chose Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the host for all North.[27]


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.[28]


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.[29]

The Chicago Botanic Garden served as the North American host[30] for World Environment Day on 5 June 2008.


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.

The main international celebrations of the WED 2007 were held in the city of Tromsø, Norway, a city north of the Arctic Circle.[31]


The topic for WED 2006 was Deserts and Desertification and the slogan was "Don't desert drylands".[32]

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


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!".[33]

Host citiesEdit

World Environment Day celebrations have been (and will be) hosted in the following cities:[34]

Year Theme Host city
1974 Only one Earth during Expo '74 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 – Plan 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 Kathmandu, Nepal
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[35] New Delhi, India
2019 Beat Air Pollution[36] China
2020 Time for Nature[3][2] Colombia

WORLD Environment Day AnthemEdit

An Earth Anthem penned by poet Abhay K is sung to celebrate World Environment Day.[37]

Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the continents and all the oceans
united we stand as flora and fauna
united we stand as species of one earth
different cultures, beliefs and ways
we are humans, the earth is our home
all the people and the nations of the world
all for one and one for all
united we unfurl the blue marble flag.


It was launched in June 2013 on the occasion of the World Environment Day by Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor, then Union Ministers of India, at a function organized by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in New Delhi.[39] It is supported by the global organization Habitat For Humanity.[40]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Nations, United. "World Environment Day". United Nations. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "World Environment Day 2020: Theme, History, Quotes, Celebration". S A NEWS. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b Environment, U. N. "World Environment Day". World Environment Day. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  4. ^ "World Environment Day – How the world came together to #BeatAirPollution",, 7 June 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
  5. ^ Hoi, Dao Van (10 June 2019). "Hoa hậu Phương Khánh được báo quốc tế ca tụng vì bài diễn văn tại "Ngày môi trường thế giới" (Miss Phuong Khanh was praised by the international newspaper for her speech at "World Environment Day")". Pháp Luật Plus. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  6. ^ "India Raises Curtain on Historic World Environment Day". 25 May 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Host Nation India Focuses On 'Beat Plastic Pollution' Theme". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  8. ^ "India aims to partner with UN to promote use of solar energy". The Economic Times. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  9. ^ 2017 Host country named as Canada, UNEP, 31 Jan 2017
  10. ^ Hub, IISD's SDG Knowledge. "Event: World Environment Day 2016". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Angola to Host World Environment Day in 2016". Angola Press Agency (Luanda). 14 December 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  12. ^ Programme, Climate Action. "Angola to host World Environment Day 2016". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  13. ^ Hub, IISD's SDG Knowledge. "Event: World Environment Day 2015". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Vote for your World Environment Day 2015 slogan |". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  15. ^ "World Environment Day 2015 :: Our Planet". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  16. ^ "PM plants "Kadamb" sapling on World Environment Day". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Why PM Modi planted 'Kadamb' sapling on World Environment Day?". Microfinance Monitor. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Italy hosts the official World Environment Day celebrations at Expo Milano". TreeHugger. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  19. ^ "World Environment Day 2014 | Department of Environmental Affairs". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  20. ^ Reporter, Staff (5 June 2014). "World Environment Day 2014: Theme, History, Host Country and Observances". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  21. ^ "World Environment Day 2014". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Ian Somerhalder named Goodwill Ambassador for World Environment Day 2014". TreeHugger. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  23. ^ a b ""Think.Eat.Save" World Environment Day 5 June". World Environment Day. United Nations Environment Programme. 5 June 2013. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  24. ^ a b Times News Network (31 May 2012). "World Environment Day 2012: Let's pledge to make earth a better place". Times of India : Environment. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Club news",, 7 Aug 2017. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  26. ^ World Environment Day 2010
  27. ^ The New Emerald City – Pittsburgh Magazine – April 2010 – Pittsburgh, PA
  28. ^ "WED That Was – 2009". Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  29. ^ UNEP Press Release, 1 October 2007, "Kick the Habit – World Environment Day 2008 to be Hosted by New Zealand with Focus on Fostering Low-Carbon Economies", accessed 10 November 2007
  30. ^ world environment day 2008 host countries
  31. ^ Norwegian Polar Institute, World Environment Day 2007–information in English and Norwegian Archived 1 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "UN World Environment Day 2006, in Algiers, to focus on Desertification". UN News. 13 February 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  33. ^ World Environment Day 2005 Official Site, 2005, "About World Environment Day 2005", accessed 28 May 2009
  34. ^ "World Environment Day: driving five decades of environmental action",, no date; has most theme, some host country and a few host city identifications. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  35. ^ Nelliyat, Prakash (21 June 2018). "Beating plastic pollution". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  36. ^ "World Environment Day: Beat air pollution". World Meteorological Organization. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  37. ^ World Environment Day The Nation, Sri Lanka, 30 May 2015
  38. ^ K, Abhay (27 April 2014). "Earth Anthem". Earth Anthem Website.
  39. ^ "Indian diplomat pens anthem for earth". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  40. ^ Habitat for Humanity International gets people to sing Earth Anthem ANI, 30 Aug 2014

External linksEdit