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It’s time to raise our voices to tell the world that we need action now.

This World Environment Day, it’s time for nature.

In the lead up to World Environment Day, we're featuring updates from United Nations System, from partners and from others helping to to call attention to the fact that the future of humanity depends on action now.

 

Montréal is the North American Host City for World Environment Day!

Press Release by the City of Montreal on May 21st, 2020.

press release

Valérie Plante, mayor of Montréal, happily announced that this vibrant city is the host for this years World Environment Day on June 5th.

Valérie Plante

“Montréal is proud to be the North American host city of this year’s World Environment Day. It is a valuable token of recognition of our consistent efforts to promote environmental protection, the preservation of biodiversity on our territory, and our action towards the ecological transition. This recognition does, however, bestow a major responsibility upon Montréal: that of conveying the message locally, nationally and internationally, that urgent action is required to preserve biodiversity in our increasingly urbanized world. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as we are being forced to rethink our rapport with nature, and as climate change and the loss of biodiversity are becoming a real concern, cities must take concrete action, along with society as whole, because their residents aspire to greener surroundings. By taking action to protect the environment and biodiversity, as well as by presenting creating a greater balance between the natural and built environments, we can improve the quality of life of current and future generations, all while preserving our natural environment,” stated Mayor Valérie Plante.

“Nowhere is this year’s World Environment Day theme ‘Time for Nature’ better exemplified than in Montréal, the North American host city for 2020,” said Barbara Hendrie, Director, North America for the United Nations Environment Programme. “Montréal has an impressive and long tradition of environmental care and innovative use of nature-based solutions with it’s leader, Mayor Valérie Plante, a staunch defender of sustainable urban development “.

“Montréal is a shining example in the North American region of sustainable urban development and is engagement across local, regional and international networks to promote the protection of nature. As the host city for our headquarters, we benefit greatly from this and are very proud to have our Secretariat here in Montreal,” said

Richard Morgan, Executive Director, North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

“The World Environment Day is also an opportunity to reflect, to raise awareness and to mobilize society to take action for the protection of nature and biodiversity, the importance of which we also highlight during the International Day for Biodiveristy, celebrated on May 22. Let’s take the time to think collectively, to take action individually, and to act globally for our environment. I invite all citizens, civilian organizations and municipal governments both in North America and worldwide, to take immediate action and make concrete commitments to protect the environment and biodiversity,” concluded Mayor Valérie Plante.

For more information, visit this link.

Conversation on the power of personal choice and its impact on the planet

Instagram Live image

 

What: A conversation about the power of personal choice and the long-lasting impacts we can have on our planet.

When: Wednesday 27 May 2020; 9:30 PM IST 

Speakers: UN Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassadors, Dia Mirza and Adrian Grenier.

Event link here.

Watch Kristine Tompkins’ TED talk

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Earth, humanity and nature are inextricably interconnected. To restore us all back to health, we need to "rewild" the world, says environmental activist Kristine Tompkins. Tracing her life from Patagonia CEO to passionate conservationist, she shares how she has helped to establish national parks across millions of acres of land (and sea) in South America -- and discusses the critical role we all have to play to heal the planet. "We have a common destiny," she says. "We can flourish or we can suffer, but we're going to be doing it together."

Watch her full Ted talk here.

ICLEI & CitiesWithNature: World Environment Day 2020

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Cities house the majority of people living on the planet today and consume around 75 per cent of the resources that come from nature. Cities have a huge role to play in preserving the planet’s finite resources and providing services for people.
This year, UNEP asks #cities to LEARN, SHARE & ACT #ForNature to take part in World Environment Day 2020.

ICLEI and CitieswithNature have collected useful resources for cities and local authorities on how they can get involved.

 

Kenya will ban single-use plastics in protected areas on World Environment Day

Nearly 3 years after Kenya’s monumental ban on plastic bags, Kenya is set to ban the use of single-use plastics in national parks, forests, beaches and conservation areas. The ban, officially launching on World Environment Day June 5th, prohibits visitors from carrying plastic water bottles, disposable plates and cups, cutlery, and straws into protected areas, with the aim of curbing the growing plastic pollution.

Plastic bottle in lion's mouth

The Flipflopi, the world’s first sailing boat (“dhow”) made entirely from plastic waste collected from towns and beaches in Kenya wholeheartedly supports the ban. The Flipflopi and its supporters are now calling for East African Community to continue to work together to reduce single use plastics with the region.

 “The preservation of our environment is tied to our wellbeing and the wellbeing of future generations. This ban is yet another first in addressing the plastic pollution catastrophe facing Kenya and the world, and we hope that it catalyses similar policies and actions from the East African community.” Said Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife.

The ban comes into effect this World Environment Day whose theme is biodiversity and comes at a time when it has never been more urgent to protect nature from the catastrophic decay and deterioration that has been caused by human action.

For more information, please contact: Davina Ngei: info@theflipflopi.com

The Beethoven Pastoral Project - an Artists Declaration

An invitation to the online Beethoven Pastoral Project

When: June 5th, 2020 at 17:00 CEST

What: The Beethoven Pastoral Project, an initiative by the BTHVN2020, with UN Climate Change, ICLEI and Earth Day, is dedicated to promoting action on climate change and the environment in this 250th anniversary year of Beethoven's birth. We invite artists, musicians and creatives from around the world to join in a call for a world where humanity can again live in harmony with Nature.

The Artists Declaration will be found and “signed” here.

The Declaration will be formally launched during a livestream Pastoral event on 5 June 2020. The Declaration will be presented to the world’s governments, through Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, later this year.

The livestream event will be produced and directed by Deutsche Welle.  It will encompass interviews, video clips, musical performances, the premiere of a movie by Deutsche Welle, and more. Find more information here.

Virtual New York City Nature Experiences

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NYCGo is the official destination marketing organization and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City. To celebrate World Environment Day, NYCGo has curated a series of virtual nature experiences unique to New York City.

See what the animals are up to in Bronx Zoo, immerse yourself in the beauty of Central Park or explore the underwater world of the world famous aquarium.

Read on their website for hundreds of ways to connect with your favourite NYC attractions—or discover new ones—from home or wherever you are right now.

Unlocking Human Potential for Biodiversity - Live from Montréal 5 June 2020

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How can we better understand human diversity in order to preserve biodiversity, get closer to nature and orient our future actions?

This question will be addressed at first by Valérie Plante, Mayor of the City of Montréal, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Acting Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Barbara Hendrie, Director for North America, United Nations Environment Program, Richard Morgan, Executive Director, Commission for Environmental Cooperationand Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Director of Space for Life.

Tune in from 9:00AM – 12:00PM (Montreal) on 5 June 2020.

For more info here.

GreenThumb Community Gardens webinars

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NYC Parks GreenThumb is USA's largest urban garden program, with over 600 gardens and thousands of community gardeners throughout New York City. To support World Environment Day, they will be hosting a series of online events from June 1-7 including 2 webinars.

Webinar: The NYC EcoFlora Project and Community Gardens
When: Wednesday 3 June 2020; 12:00-13:00 EST
Event link here.

Virtual Panel: Climate Resilience in Community Gardens
When: Friday 5 June 2020; 13:00-14:00 EST
Event link here.

UNESCO video series promotes Ocean Literacy

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Did you know that there is only one global ocean? Historically, there are four named ocean basins: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic, but the Ocean is still a single body covering 140 million square miles, some 72 per cent of the earth's surface.

To promote Ocean Literacy in the build up to World Oceans Day on 08 June, UNESCO has launched a video series.

Watch via these Facebook or Twitter links.
 

Connect4Climate & World Bank's Immersive Biodiversity Story is online

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What: Connect4Climate and the World Bank are excited to share an immersive story out of Ethiopia showing that investment in nature is investment in people.
The story can be found here.

Youtube link is here.

Launch of Living Chapel - live from Rome 5 June 2020

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What: The launch of the Living Chapel, this World Environment Day is hosted by the Rome Botanical Garden, and will be attended by the UN programs and organisations that are partners with the Living Chapel: FAO, Mountain Partnership, Faith for Earth of UNEP and UNRIC. The Living Chapel is inspired by the UN 2030 Agenda and the Pope Francis Laudato si’ encyclical, with its message to care for nature by inspiring and educating all people to actively protect our common home.

When: 5 June 2020, 17:00 -18.30 CEST

The meeting will be broadcast virtually with only a few speakers physically present at the Botanical Garden. The online audience will include youth, academics, environmental activists, UN colleagues, diplomats, Mountain Partnership members and media.
To watch the proceeding please watch on Facebook here.

For more info: https://livingchapel.com/

#ClimateQuiz - The biodiversity crossword will be out on 1 June 2020

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Looking to test your climate knowledge? We've got just the ticket: Connect4Climate have devised a series of climate-themed crossword puzzles. The puzzles will come out once a month and can be found via this link.

These crosswords are a part of the #ClimateQuiz series that are fun and challenging in equal measure. The June puzzle will have a biodiversity theme in support of UNEP's World Environment Day.
Enjoy!

Connect4Climate is a global partnership program launched by the World Bank Group and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, that takes on climate change by supporting ambitious leadership, promoting transformative solutions and empowering collective action.

Connect4Climate has launched a Collective Poem

Connect4Climate has launched a brand-new collective poem. Individual lines of poetry contributed by a global online audience are collated to form a unified reflection on why it’s time #ForNature. The poem is created through various social media channels and the posts can be found via the links below in order to contribute. The final poem, curated by poet and multi-media artist Ahmed Badr, will be released on World Environment Day, June 5.

#ForNature Collective Poem on Instagram

Find the Instagram post here.

Find the Twitter post here.

 

International Poster Biennial of Mexico - Artists can submit biodiversity designs before 15 June 2020

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In the spirit of harnessing the power of art to inspire environmental action, the 16th edition of the International Poster Biennial of Mexico and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) invite artists all over the world to submit their artworks on biodiversity before 15 June 2020.

For the past 30 years, around 70,000 posters from five continents have been submitted to this exhibition, which takes place in Mexico City.

This year, the contest’s environmental category supports the World Environment Day campaign #ForNature, which calls for urgent action to protect biodiversity.

Video can be watched by clicking here.

More information can be found by clicking here

 

Con el objetivo de aprovechar el poder del arte para inspirar la acción ambiental, la décima sexta Bienal Internacional del Cartel en México y el Programa de la ONU para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA) llaman a artistas de todo el mundo a presentar sus carteles sobre biodiversidad antes del 15 de junio de 2020.

Durante los últimos 30 años, alrededor de 70.000 carteles procedentes de los cinco continentes se han presentado a este concurso, que se realiza en la Ciudad de México.

Este año, la categoría ambiental del concurso apoya la campaña #PorLaNaturaleza del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, un llamado urgente a la acción global para proteger la biodiversidad.

Más información: https://bit.ly/2ARE32n

Youth Webinar on Biodiversity & COVID-19 on 22 May

Flyer for webinar

What:
To celebrate International Biological Diversity Day you are invited to a webinar themed, Solving Crisis: Ecosystem-based Solutions to Biodiversity Loss and Links to COVID 19 Pandemic, as we plan to build back better through natural solutions.

Apart from effects on human health, COVID-19 has hit at a time where nature-based solutions were on the rise. 2020 was meant to be a year to ramp up our decade of action on ecosystem and biodiversity efforts. While we wait to flatten the curve, we still have to steer through biodiversity and the environmental consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

When: 22 May 2020 at 11:30 AM in Eastern Time (USA and Canada) and 15:30 (in UTC) via Zoom - Register here

More info here

Artist Adrián Villar Rojas work featured by ART 2030 on International Day of Biodiversity

A photo of Adrian Villar Rojas sculptures from Istanbul Bienale 2015

To mark International Day of Biodiversity on 22 May 2020, ART 2030 will feature Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas work.

More info about: #ArtforaHealthyPlanet
ART 2030 is running a major campaign over the course of this year called #ArtforaHealthyPlanet, focusing on action for climate, environment, and biodiversity. This campaign will have a special emphasis on Earth Day, International Day of Biodiversity, World Environment Day, World Oceans Day and more.

ART 2030 works with art as the key to achieve the UN Global Goals by opening people's hearts, minds and imagination - to inspire action for a healthy and sustainable future.

For more information: www.ART2030.org

Earth School is in session!

In April 2020 over 1.5 billion children were unable to go to school. Over fifty environmental and education experts, with the guidance and support of TED-Ed and UNEP, collaborated to launch #EarthSchool on 22 April.

EarthSchool shows off the wonder and mystery of our planet to children through a 30 day immersive environmental adventure.

What can we learn from termites about air conditioning? How can we partner with wolves to prevent soil erosion? This interactive adventure will leave you marveling at our planet and ready to take on the future.

Find out more here.

Montréal Mayor calls on local government leaders to take action on nature

Ms Plante

What: Valérie Plante, the Mayor of the City of Montréal and the ICLEI Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity, released a letter for cities to reflect on their relationship with nature ahead of the International Day of Biodiversity and World Environment Day (WED). Montréal is the North American WED host city.

The letter is a call to action for mayors and leaders of local and sub-national governments to make commitments to protect nature, especially in post-COVID-19 recovery plans. The letter highlights ways leaders can take strong action to create healthy cities where people and nature can thrive harmoniously. About 2,000 Mayors and local community leaders received it.

The letter is available in English, French and Spanish.

More info can be found via this link.

Environmental essay competition is on - we want to hear from you!

What: 13th annual Eco-generation Environmental Essay competition.

When: NOW until deadline September 2nd, 2020

More details on the competition and submission can be found here.

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ForestChallenge Photo Contest is on until 5 June 2020

Join the #ForestChallenge today!

Post an image with your friends, family, or colleagues with forests and trees. Join the photo contest and reconnect with nature. Cities4Forests commits to planting 1 tree for each of the first 2,000 images posted on Facebook and Instagram.
For more info click on this link.

The photo contest starts 22 April - on #EarthDay in partnership with the Earthday network - and runs through 5 June - World Environment Day (#ForNature) with the winners to be announced on 29 June - International Day of the Tropics.

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Biodiversity, traditional knowledge & science: Webinar 20 May 2020

What: Webinar for the joint celebrations of International Day for Biological Diversity and World Environment Day. It covers biodiversity, traditional knowledge, and science - bridging traditional knowledge and science for biodiversity conservation in Africa. The webinar includes presentations by 4 speakers and is organized the the UNEP Addis Ababa Liaison Office.

Join webinar via this link - log in at least 20 minutes before the meeting

When: 20th May from 11:30 to 13:30 (GMT+3)

Flyer heading for webinar