World Environment Day: It’s Time for Nature

The food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature. Since 1974, World Environment Day has been celebrated on 5 June to engage governments, businesses, organizations and the public for the need to take positive environmental action. #WorldEnvironmentDay

This year’s theme is biodiversity. Recent events from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life. Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on Earth and affects every aspect of our health. Our actions, including deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture, and acceleration of climate change, have pushed nature beyond its limit. If we continue on this path, biodiversity loss will have severe implications for humanity, including the collapse of food and health systems. #ForNature

We invite you to take part in the week-long celebration for World Environment Day and spread the message, “It’s time for nature!”

Activities in Geneva include:

The Earth School adventure, launched on Earth Day by UNEP and TED-Ed – with the support of educators and partner organizations – to allow our youth to learn #ForNature in the run-up to World Environment Day, when not allowed to be outside, is ending this week. Join the platform to learn about the most powerful tools for protecting our planet: collective action and collaboration. These Quests will illuminate the path forward for us all to be conscious, nature-minded citizens of Earth, and invite others in our communities to join the fight to protect it. #EarthSchool

COVID-19 & the Environment

The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that affects everyone. As the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said

The pandemic has exposed the fragility of our societies and economies to global shocks, such as disease or climate disruption.  As we recover, we must build back better for people and for the planet.

The Secretary General keeps reminding us, that we have a framework for action – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Don’t miss the Geneva Environment Dialogues special COVID-19 series, discussing the impacts of the pandemic on the global environmental agenda.

Our “Latest updates on COVID-19 and the environment” page, lists relevant information, research, data and press releases on the environmental origins and impacts of the pandemic. Among the press releases and articles issued last week:

Additional ‘Live’ Events

During the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down, relevant live events organized by organizations around the world, contributing to the global environmental agenda, have also been included in the newsletter.

Online events this week, include:

See all upcoming events.

New Dates for Major Environment Negotiations

Secretariats of Multilateral Environmental Agreements have started announcing with the hosts of major upcoming negotiations new dates for the meetings initially scheduled to take place this year. Read our update!

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

Stay Tuned for Additional News

Please note that the list of events and vacancies provided in our weekly newsletter is non-exhaustive. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Videos and documents of past GEN events are available online.

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