World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year to spread awareness, encourage people to take steps to protect the environment across more than 150 countries. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this day will be celebrated via its first-ever online campaign. Even though the day might be subtle in exposure as compared to previous years, digital celebrations will not lessen its significance.
World Environment Day 2020 theme
The theme for Environment Day this year is "Celebrate Biodiversity" as there has never been a more important time to focus on this issue than now, with 1 million plants and animal species on the brink of extinction. According to the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP): "2020 is the critical year for national commitments towards preserving and restoring biodiversity as the UN Decade (2021-2030) on Ecosystem Restoration is intended to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems."
This year, World Environment Day will be hosted by Colombia in South America in partnership with Germany. For the last year's Environment Day, the host nation was China and the theme was "Beat Air Pollution". This theme was chosen as air pollution killed around 7 million people annually.
World Environment Day history
This day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference (June 5) on the Human Environment that resulted in discussions on the integration of human interactions and environment. After two years of discussions and deliberations, the World Environment Day was first celebrated in 1974 with the theme "Only One Earth." The idea of different countries hosting World Environment Day began in 1987.