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5 June is World Environment Day: we celebrate our (one and only) home

The 2017 edition of World Environment Day aims to promote a more conscious and healthier relationship with the environment, highlighting the fragile beauty of nature and our dependence on it.

‘Home’ can mean a number of things according to each of us but ultimately it evokes a sense of safety and well-being. It’s an ancestral space where our memories and experiences lie. Planet Earth is our home. It’s the place where our species took its first steps, and evolved throughout millennia.

Just a few hundreds of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) survive in the wild. These primates have a vegetarian diet: they feed on roots, fruit, sprouts, bark and pulpwood. Photo by Brent Stirton/Edit by Getty Images
Just a few hundreds of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) survive in the wild. These primates have a vegetarian diet: they feed on roots, fruit, sprouts, bark and pulpwood. Photo by Brent Stirton/Edit by Getty Images

World Environment Day

Unlike any other animal species we share the planet with, humans demand more than the environment can provide, leading to its inevitable destruction. A WWF study shows how the world’s wildlife is ever more threatened: two thirds of the animal species could become extinct over the next four years. No other species had such an impact as Homo sapiens, which heavily altered life on Earth in no time becoming protagonist of the sixth extinction and modifying irreversibly the climate and chemical balance of the atmosphere and the oceans. With the objective of stirring our consciences, World Environment Day (WED), instituted by the United Nations in 1972, is celebrated on the 5th of June.

Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica, is home to 2.5% of the planet's biodiversity Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica, is home to 2.5% of the planet’s biodiversity Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

How UNEP was established

The 5th of June marks the first important international summit on the environment: the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1972. That meeting allowed the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). World Environment Day aims to increase people’s awareness on the importance of the environment, and promote good practices able to generate an exponentially positive impact on our planet.

Connecting people with nature

The 2017 edition, under the slogan Connecting People with Nature, aims to highlight the crucial role we play in protecting the Planet, to which we are closely linked and depend on. World Environment Day represents an occasion to strengthen our relationship with the environment, discovering its fragile beauty and commiting to safeguarding it through small daily actions.

WED 2017 is hosted by Canada © Ingimage
WED 2017 is hosted by Canada © Ingimage

The host of the 2017 edition is Canada 

This year’s official celebrations will take place in Canada, which has been elected the host of 2017. Canada, thanks to its incredible natural heritage, is a perfect example of how conservation and economic growth can, and should, go hand in hand. In fact, Canada’s natural resources support the country’s economic development thanks to tourism and a sustainable use of resources. World Environment Day is also an important part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the country. On that occasion, Canada announced that its 47 national parks will be free of charge for the hole of 2017.

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