The theme for this year’s WED is Forests: Nature at Your Service, and the two-day celebration will include the launch of a United Nations report on forests, youth events and a consultation with leaders in the environmental community on the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Joining UNEP as a partner in the WED celebrations is Evergreen Brick Works, a LEED Platinum national education center for exploring urban sustainability. While the main events will take place on June 6 and 7 in Toronto, Evergreen and UNEP’s Regional Office for North America are working together to stimulate environmental awareness and action and to promote WED throughout Canada.
For the fourth year in a row, Bayer will partner with UNEP on WED by sponsoring the youth programs to be held on June 6 at Evergreen. The events include: the opening of a special exhibition of UNEP’s International Children’s Painting Competition (ICPC), an award ceremony for the North American winners of ICPC and an interactive environmental workshop for Toronto students on this year’s theme.
“By selecting Toronto, we are acknowledging the efforts of the people of Toronto in greening their city,” says Amy Fraenkel, director of UNEP’s Regional Office for North America. “We are especially pleased about the host city this year, as this is the first time that the North American World Environment Day celebrations will be held in Canada,” explained Ms. Fraenkel.
Some of the environmental commitments of Toronto’s citizens include policy development work on issues such as climate change and biodiversity, as well as efforts to support energy efficient building retrofits, green roofs and waste diversion streams.
“Evergreen is delighted to collaborate with UNEP in this effort, and some of the activities being organized deal with the green economy,” says Geoff Cape, executive director of Evergreen Brick Works. “For the first time in the history of humankind, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities, and the winning economy in the 21st Century will be the green economy, because it is in cities where we can effect deep environmental and social change that positively benefit the economy,” added Mr. Cape.
Created by the United Nations in 1972, WED is considered one of the largest environmental events of its kind, with thousands of events organized in UNEP’s six regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and West Asia.