World Environment Day
The United Nations designated 5 June as World Environment Day to highlight that the protection and health of the environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world. The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment.
The year 1972 marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics, with the first major conference on environmental issues, known as the Conference on the Human Environment, or the Stockholm Conference. Later that year, on 15 December, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/2994 (XXVII)) designating June 5 as World Environment Day and urging “Governments and the organizations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment, with a view to deepening environmental awareness.”
UNESCO has an important track record in advancing ecological sciences through pioneering work on ecosystems, biosphere reserves, capacity building, scientific assessments and policy briefs to assist decision-makers in managing natural resources sustainably. UNESCO mobilizes the knowledge, know-how and practices of local communities and indigenous peoples to support their inclusion in environmental decision-making. Its World Network of Biosphere Reserves demonstrate ways to safeguard natural ecosystems and biodiversity through science, education and participatory approaches while promoting innovative economic development that is environmentally sustainable and socially and culturally appropriate.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
"We know that the closer people are to their natural environment, the more likely they are to appreciate nature and its biodiversity, to be aware of our common heritage, and to understand the paramount importance of safe air, which we all depend on for life, well-being and for the future of our planet.
This spirit guides UNESCO’s action, embodied in a unique global network of UNESCO-designated sites, designed to bring people closer to nature, and which draws a new map of the world – a map of peace that goes beyond borders, that extends to women and men across generations, and to the living species and the environment around them. "
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, on the occasion of World Environment Day 2019