There are billions of galaxies in the universe. There are billions of planets in our galaxy. But there is Only One Earth.
World Environment Day, promoted by the United Nations since 1972 with the aim of raising public awareness of environmental problems and encouraging attention and, therefore, action by governments, is celebrated on 5 June. In fact, on 15 December 1972, Resolution 2994 was passed, stating: “The General Assembly designates 5 June as World Environment Day and urges Governments and the organisations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment with a view to deepening environmental awareness and to pursuing the determination expressed at the Conference“.
The theme chosen for this 48th edition is “Only One Earth”, to draw attention to the need to live sustainably and in harmony with nature, thus trying to choose a more environmentally friendly lifestyle through political and individual choices. “Only One Earth” was also the motto of the first United Nations conference on the human environment, the 1972 Stockholm Conference, unanimously considered the first international meeting on the environment. Fifty years after that conference, the Earth is still our only home, whose resources we must safeguard.
The Stockholm Conference was an event that changed the way we look at the environment around us. Indeed, thanks to the Stockholm Conference, environmental ministries and agencies were established around the world and the first global agreements to collectively protect the environment began to be drafted. It was also crucial because it has made it possible to understand that poverty reduction and environmental protection are closely linked goals and that only by achieving both will human development be truly sustainable.
Each year, World Environment Day is hosted by a different country where official celebrations take place.This year the host country will be Sweden, which will take the opportunity of this day to showcase some of the pioneering work on the environment conducted over the past 50 years.