Photo: Palo Verde in Bloom
June 5 is World Environment Day. Hashtag: #WorldEnvironmentDay
The theme for 2020 is biodiversity, a solid choice for focusing attention. Given the current global pandemic of COVID19 and growing racial injustice protests in the USA, we are making a special call for examples and stories of environmental conservation and social justice.
Other stories we are paying attention: the open letter to Mexico’s President from leaders of the environmental ministries and organizations since the 1990s.
Questions = Preguntas
- How do we improve understanding of biodiversity?
- Besides email, are there other ways to communicate with the organizers?
- How is ‘World Environment Day’ translated in other languages?
- Are there WED events happening in Colombia?
- What would insiders like outsiders to know about UNEP?
- What is the theme of 2021’s World Environment Day?
In 1972 the United Nations General Assembly established the first World Environment Day to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Another resolution led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
UNEP: Making the announcement on the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain, Ricardo Lozano, Colombia’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Jochen Flasbarth, Germany’s State Secretary for Environment, and Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, stressed that with one million plant and animal species facing extinction, there has never been a more important time to focus on the issue of biodiversity.
2020 is a critical year for nations’ commitments to preserving and restoring biodiversity, with China scheduled to host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming. Next year also provides an opportunity to ramp up to the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), intended to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems to fight the climate crisis and enhance food security, water supply and biodiversity.
“In Colombia we will face an important challenge in 2020, and it is to host the 3rd and last OEWG [open-ended working group] meeting of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework before the COP in China. In Colombia, we are willing to work together to reach an agreement that allows us to move forward positively towards ambitious results in the COP that will meet us in China; we welcome Germany’s gesture of support in this global effort and look forward to a successful collaboration,” said Ricardo Lozano, Colombia’s Environment Minister.
Listed as one of the world’s “megadiverse” countries and sustaining close to 10 percent of the planet’s biodiversity, Colombia ranks first in bird and orchid species diversity and second in plants, butterflies, freshwater fish and amphibians. The country has several areas of high biological diversity in Andean ecosystems, with a significant variety of endemic species. It also has part of the Amazon rainforest and the humid ecosystems of the Chocó biogeographical area.
According to a landmark report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems are projected to undermine progress towards 80 per cent of the assessed targets of the Sustainable Development Goals related to poverty, hunger, health, sustainable consumption and production, water, cities, climate, oceans and land.