This year’s World Environment Day is focused on “connecting people to nature”, inviting us to think about how we are a part of nature and how much we depend on it.
World Environment Day, held on 5 June every year, is the United Nation’s annual event for positive environmental action.
This year is all about connecting people to nature. That means encouraging people to get outdoors and appreciate the beauty of the planet in a bid to show people the importance of protecting it for future generations.
The theme was chosen by this year’s host country – Canada – which will be the centre of World Environment Day activities.
Around the world people will be planting trees, cleaning up their neighbourhoods and taking action against wildlife crimes.
The day itself is all about raising awareness about nature and the importance of protecting it so anything that has people embracing the outdoors is a small step towards helping.
The World Environment Day website explains: ‘In recent decades, scientific advances as well as growing environmental problems such as global warming are helping us to understand the countless ways in which natural systems support our own prosperity and well-being.
‘For example, the world’s oceans, forests and soils act as vast stores for greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane; farmers and fisher-folk harness nature on land and under water to provide us with food; scientists develop medicines using genetic material drawn from the millions of species that make up Earth’s astounding biological diversity.
‘Billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.
‘Nature’s gifts are often hard to value in monetary terms. Like clean air, they are often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce. However, economists are developing ways to measure the multi-trillion-dollar worth of many so-called ‘ecosystem services’, from insects pollinating fruit trees in the orchards of California to the leisure, health and spiritual benefits of a hike up a Himalayan valley.’
To get involved you can join the global album by sharing a photo or video of your favourite place in nature using #WorldEnvironmentDay or #WithNature.
You can also join over 1,000 events taking place across the globe, or even organise your own. Or why not help build the world’s largest nature database by recording the wonders of biodiversity in your local environment.
World Environment Day has partnered with the iNaturalist global network to record all contributions, which will be shared with scientific data repositories.
For information on how to get involved visit: www.worldenvironmentday.global or to download the iNaturalist app click here.