World Environment Day marked with various events globally

Watamu's local community has been working to conserve their environment by replanting mangroves. (Image: Joni Els)

World Environment Day is observed every year on 5 June across the globe. The day is considered to be one of the most remarkable ones for environmental action and to create awareness among people.

Annually, the United Nations Environment Programme Environment (UNEP) organises various events but this year, the day is being hosted by Pakistan with the theme ‘ecosystem restoration.’

The UN General Assembly had established World Environment Day on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment. It was held in Sweden from 5 to 6 June in 1972.

World Environment Day was celebrated for the first time in the year 1974 with the theme ‘Only One Earth’. As years passed, countries came together for the Environment Day celebration every year.

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the theme of the 47th World Environment Day is ‘Ecosystem Restoration.’ The focus of this day is on resetting relations with nature.

This important day will kickstart the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) to revive hectares of land from forests to farmlands, from top of the mountains to the depth of the sea.

Meanwhile, the UN Decade is also aiming to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems to prevent the loss of a million species and enhance food security. As the name suggests, ecosystem restoration refers to preventing, halting and reversing the damage caused by mankind.

The restoration of the ecosystem can only happen with measures including planting of trees, greening cities, cleaning up rivers and coasts, and coming up with gardens. The ongoing pandemic has reminded mankind of the harm we have caused to nature and how important it is to protect the environment.

Last year, World Environment Day was hosted by Colombia in partnership with Germany. The theme was ‘Time for Nature’: explore nature around iconic spots. People were asked to focus on providing essential infrastructure, supporting life on earth.