As WED host nation for 2011, India will be the focus of worldwide celebrations, with major events planned in New Delhi and Bangalore.
The World 10K Race on 5 June will see some 25,000 runners pound the pavements of Bangalore in support of WED. Organizers and participants will also inaugurate a 'World 10K Forest', to which more trees will be added at future races.
UNEP will also release the Forests in a Green Economy report in New Delhi on 5 June.
In the face of continuing deforestation (currently estimated at 5.2 million hectares worldwide per year), the report outlines how increased public and private investment in forest management and forest resources can boost employment, drastically reduce deforestation and help tackle climate change.
Beyond India, WED celebrations are already taking shape in cities, towns, villages and communities across the world, including:
- · NEPAL: UNEP is supporting a clean-up expedition to remove an estimated 9 tons of litter in and around Mount Everest. Enlisting some 60 climber volunteers, the long-term aim of the initiative is to develop more sustainable waste management facilities and recycling plants in the region
- · CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: A major international summit on tropical forest basins will be held from 31 May to 6 June. The event will focus on the sustainable management of forest ecosystems in the Amazon, Congo and Mekong Borneo basins
- · BRAZIL: The 'MudaRock Project' - a free music download service - will be launched on 3 June. For every song or video downloaded by users, a tree sapling will be planted in a reforestation area in Brazil. The project aims to plant one million native trees within a year.
- · COSTA RICA: A major success story in reforestation (having increased its forest cover from 22 percent in 1995 to 51 percent by 2010), Costa Rica will host participants from 15 neighbouring countries for a training course on sustainable forest management
- · CANADA: Toronto is the regional host city for World Environment Day celebrations in North America. To date, over 50 WED events have been registered in Canada including environmental workshops for students, a high-level consultation on the Green Economy with 40 environmental leaders and a series of book readings for children.
- · BELGIUM: WED celebrations will kick off on 5 June with an environment fete at Parc Cinquintenaire in Brussels, featuring activities, stands and a music concert. Brussels will also be welcoming UN Youth Ambassador and Disney star Monique Coleman as well as comic book hero Marsupilami and his illustrator Batem.
- · BAHRAIN: UNEP's Regional Office for West Asia will help co-ordinate a beach-cleaning and tree-planting campaign
Planned green events online at http://www.wedchallenge.org