World Environment Day

In 1972, the UN General Assembly designated 5 June as World Environment Day (WED). The first celebration, under the slogan “Only One Earth” took place in 1974. In the following years, WED has developed as a platform to raise awareness on the problems facing our environment such as air pollution, plastic pollution, illegal wildlife trade, sustainable consumption, sea-level increase, and food security, among others. Furthermore, WED helps drive change in consumption patterns and in national and international environmental policy.

2020: Biodiversity and Time for Nature

The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is “Biodiversity” with the slogan “Time for Nature” — a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world. One million plant and animal species risk extinction, largely due to human activities. 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 in which they exist. Nature is sending us a message.

Colombia: The Host Country

Every World Environment Day is hosted by a different country, in which official celebrations take place. This year’s host is Colombia in partnership with Germany. World Environment Day urges us to rethink how our economic systems have evolved and the impact they have on the environment. These are issues the world cannot lose sight of even as we tackle the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis. Colombia has one of the highest diversity of species in the world, boasting among many others, 3500 types of orchids and 19 per cent of the world’s bird types. The government has made biodiversity preservation a national priority.

2020: Celebrations in Geneva

Each year, the Geneva Environment Network partners with the various environmental organizations and government authorities in Geneva and its surrounding region to celebrate World Environment Day. Roundtables, briefings, exhibitions, nature outings and other events are organized throughout the first week of June.

Messages from International Geneva Institutions

Outdoors Activities

Birdwatching at Marais de Sionnet

Marais de Sionnet is a nature reserve located in the Geneva Canton and an ideal location to go birdwatching.

The Green Route

The Green Route brings you from Schaffhausen to Geneva in 7 routes, letting you discover six regional natural parks on your bicycle. Route 7 brings you from Le Sentier to Geneva, it is 68.9 km long.

Hike in the countryside of Geneva

From Jussy to Anières, a walking route takes you through one of the most beautiful regions in the Canton of Geneva. Along the way, discover vineyards, mountain views, the lake and, of course, biodiversity with a variety of bird species.

Hike along the Rhône

The hike from Geneva to La Plaine shows the natural beauty of the Rhône and the Moulin-de-Vert nature reserve as well as the charming villages of Cartigny and Avully.

Hike in the Allondon Nature Reserve

The hike starts in Malval and follows the entire course of the Allondon, a tributary of the Rhône and an important floodplain biotope.

Nature Outing La Libellule

Explore and spend the night in nature organized by La Libellue on 6-7 June.

Nature Outing WWF "Libellules et demoiselles"

Discover the world of microorganisms at La Libellue on 10 June from 13:30-17:30.

Sculpture Garden in Geneva

From 12 June to 30 September 2020, the Geneva Biennale’s Sculpture Garden will present 30 projects from artists in public spaces such as the Parc des Eaux-Vives, Parc La Grange, and Quai Gustave-Ador.

Video Programs

Genève Grandeur Nature

Monthly program on Léman Blue on Wednesdays at 20:00.

Discover the natural spaces that surrounds the Geneva area.

Museum at home

Learn about biodiversity in Geneva from scientists of the Muséum d’histoire naturelle with their series Muséum à la maison.

Le Marronier

Cartoon series for children from the Muséum d’histoire naturelle and Terre&Nature about the animals that surround us.

Online Resources

Biodiversity in Geneva

Learn more about the different species of flora and fauna in Geneva.

Bats and COVID-19

Learn about bats and COVID-19 from the Muséum d’histoire naturelle.

InfoSpecies

Learn about the different species of flora and fauna in Switzerland.

Science Guide App

Mobile app to learn about science, biodiversity and nature activities in Switzerland.

IUCN’s Nature for All Discovery Zone

Nature-based resources to connect people with nature.

GENeva Environment Dialogues

GENeva Environment Dialogues | Act #ForNature virtual preparatory forum for UNEA-5

2 June | 9am CEST

The Act #ForNature forum is the first global consultation in support of the 5th Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5), which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya in February 2021. The forum will be convened virtually, from 7 to 10 June 2020, under the leadership of Sveinung Rotevatn, President of the UN Environment Assembly and Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway, and Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.

GENeva Environment Dialogues | Emerging Infectious Diseases and Ecosystems Health

3 June | 9am CEST

The emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic origin diseases are closely interlinked with the health of ecosystems. The risk of disease emergence and amplification increases with the intensification of human activities surrounding and encroaching into natural habitats, enabling pathogens in wildlife reservoirs to spill over to livestock and humans. Transformative action on protecting and restoring nature and the biodiversity of our planet is urgently needed, as we have much to gain from working with nature.

GENeva Environment Dialogues | The Nature-based Solutions Agenda

4 June | 9am CEST

Before the pandemic, 2020 has been referred to as a “super year for nature” — a unique opportunity to bring nature into development, or biodiversity and climate solutions in a coherent way and at unprecedented scale. Whether it’s food security, climate change, water security, human health, disaster risk or economic development, nature can help us find a way, and this is what nature-based solutions are about. Nature-based solutions have a key role for recovery strategies.

Roundtables

World Environment Day: Sustainable trade after COVID-19: Can we do better?

Thursday 4 June | 10:00-11:45 CEST

This event, convened by H.E. Mr Chad Blackman with the support of the WTO Secretariat on the
occasion of World Environment Day 2020, will bring together perspectives from government, business
and international organizations on the following key questions: What is the role of sustainable trade
after COVID-19?

“It’s Time for Nature” | World Environment Day Online Roundtable

Friday 5 June | 9:00 CEST

To celebrate World Environment Day and as part of the Geneva Environment Network’s online sessions called GENeva Environment Dialogue, a roundtable with the theme “It’s Time for Nature.

Ciné-ONU Live | World Environment Day | Sharkwater Extinction

Friday 5 June | 17:00 CEST

To mark World Environment Day, Ciné-ONU Brussels, Vienna and Geneva, in partnership with the Geneva Environment Network, invite you to a screening of Rob Stewart’s award-winning film, Sharkwater Extinction, followed by a timely panel discussion.

Quiz

World Environment Day Quiz

Thursday 4 June | 19:00 CEST

Live on Zoom

Contest

La biodiversité c'est aussi ça... pour moi

The State of Geneva organizes a Facebook contest in the run-up to World Environment Day: share images, pictures, drawings of the inspiring biodiversity of Geneva and win the amazing final prize.

Humans Locked Down, NATURE UNLOCKED | Global photo contest

On World Environment Day, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe launched a global photo contest on flora and fauna in the time of COVID-19 in the support of restoration of ecosystems.

2010 – 2019

2019

"Beat Air Pollution" — A call for action to combat one of the greatest environmental emerging challenges of our time. Often you can’t even see it, but air pollution is everywhere and affects your health from head to toe. With every breath, you are probably sucking in tiny particles that attack your lungs, heart and brain.

2018

"Beat Plastic Pollution" — The aim was for people to strive and 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. In addition, we should liberate our natural places, our wildlife and our own health from plastics.

2017

"Connecting People to Nature" — In the city and on land, from the poles to the equator, it encourages worldwide awareness for the protection of our environment.

2016

"Go Wild for Life" — The campaign aimed to reduce and prevent the illegal trade in wildlife.

2015

"Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care." — This was the slogan picked through a voting process on social media.

2014

"International Year of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS)" — The UN General Assembly aimed to highlight the development challenges and successes of the SIDS, focusing on global warming and its impact on ocean levels. The slogan was "Raise your voice not the sea level" for this year.

2013

"Think. Eat. Save." — The campaign addressed the huge annual food waste and loss. With the amount added together, it would release a large quantity of food as well as reduce carbon footprint. The theme 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.

2012

"The Green Economy" — The campaign invited people to examine their activities and lifestyle and see how the concept of a "Green Economy" fits into it.

2011

"Forests: Nature at Your Service." — Activities were organized with clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events, tree plantings and much more.

2010

"Many Species. One Planet. One Future." — Celebrating the diversity of life on Earth as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.