June 5th was World Environment Day (WED). In an attempt to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment the United Nations introduced this platform. Over the years this celebration has grown into a global phenomenon that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also operates as a ‘people’s day’ empowering individuals to do something positive for the environment, thus creating a collective force that generates a positive impact on the planet.
The UN has also designated 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and because of this WED adopted SIDS in the broader context of climate change as its theme. The United Nations Environment Programme website states that it is hoping to promote “the urgency to help protect the islands in the face of growing risks and vulnerabilities, particularly as a result of climate change. We believe WED will be an excellent opportunity to raise a call for solidarity with the islands.”
World Environment Day is the opportunity for everyone to realise the responsibility of caring for the Earth and to become agents of change.