World Environment Day (WED)
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Saturday, 07 June 2014 08:36

 

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5th June every year is World Environment Day. The flagship awareness-raising campaign of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 and has a different theme each year.  Previous themes have included: Connect with the World Wide Web of Life (2001); Green Cities (2005); Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy (2008), and many more.  Over the years the level of support and awareness has grown.  Last year there were over 200,000 blog posts and more than 26,000 articles published about WED between 1st and 10th June alone.  The day is described as the people’s day for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet’

The UN has designated 2014 as the year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and this has been adopted as the theme for this year’s WED.  There are 52 Small Island Developing States, and these countries are home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna including some of the world’s richest biodiversity hotspots, as well as some 63 million people, with unique, vibrant cultures. They face a unique set of challenges.  Being small developing nations, they are often limited in resources, and particularly in land. Being islands a large proportion of the land is coastal meaning they are particularly vulnerable to adverse weather and at serious risk from rising sea levels. Consequently, the slogan for this year’s event is ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’

Mind Your Footprint worked hard to produce something special in time for World Environment Day on 5th June.  The result was an activity book for children, featuring FootFella. He explained the problems of SIDS in easy-to-understand words. There were colouring and puzzle activities to engage the children’s interest. There were suggestions for simple actions to take to help safeguard the planet, in categories such as energy, waste, and food.

This book was freely available in electronic form to schools which are part of the Eco-school Initiative. The children were encouraged to draw something they learned about the WED, climate change or ways of protecting the environment. The pictures were submitted to Mind Your Footprint, who selected some winners. Foot Fella also visit a local school to hand out prizes to the winners and some souvenirs to all the children who entered.

The activity book and accompanying teacher guide are available to download FREE from the Mind Your Footprint website: http://www.mindyourfootprint.com/green-events-mind/icalrepeat.detail/2014/06/05/111/-/MDcwMTUwZjVjMzc0ZmI1YTI0YjkzYTZhZDVlMDYwNjM=