International Observance: World Environment Day

SUNDAY, JUNE 5: Take a deep breath and thank the trees around you today, as the world marks World Environment Day (WED) 2011: “Forests: Nature at Your Service.” WED began in 1973 with the United Nation’s call to global environmental awareness and resulting political action, but this day is personal, too: WED focuses on every individual’s power to make a contribution.

NOW, this is fascinating! Take a look at the global WED website’s list of projects around the world. You’ll find tree planting projects in Afghanistan, for example, and a mind-expanding array of other efforts. Use the “View Activities by Country” drop-down box to check out various parts of our planet.

Keep this inspiration going through the summer! Enjoy our stories about the Goodwin family, who devoted an entire year to exploring their own environmental impact in the world. Organize a cleanup in your neighborhood and make an effort to change your lifestyle permanently! Whether recycling more, using cloth bags at the grocery store, investing in green energy, walking to work or planting a tree, every effort counts.

World Environment Day is held each summer in the Northern Hemisphere and each winter in the Southern Hemisphere in honor of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment. Each year, a different location hosts the international exposition with this year’s host being India. (Wikipedia has details.) In a country with 1.2 billion people and mounting pressure on natural resources, India’s government has instituted an international tree-planting system with multiple functions; it has begun a tracking system for animals and other wildlife; and it is in the midst of planning of the most extensive green energy projects in the world. While underlining the vital link between healthy forests and quality of life, this year’s theme reflects the UN’s International Year of Forests.

Originally published at, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.

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