World Environment Day: A Global Celebration and Call to Action

By Mack Swenson on May 31, 2022 in Blog

You’ve heard of Earth Day. But did you know Earth Day is a U.S.-based holiday that continues to be celebrated primarily in the U.S.? World Environment Day, led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is the largest international day to celebrate the environment.

On June 5th, governments, businesses, civil society, schools, celebrities, cities and communities in over 150 countries raise awareness for environmental issues and celebrate environmental action. Each year, a country is chosen to host official celebrations, which include conferences, workshops, cyclathons and more—often held both in-person and online. This year’s host country is Sweden, which will also host the Stockholm+50 International Meeting in conjunction with World Environment Day. This meeting represents the 50th anniversary of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, widely considered to be the first international meeting regarding the environment. The idea for a World Environment Day was birthed at that first meeting, and the first official celebrations were held the following year. 

According to experts, World Environment Day has served as a catalyst for collective action, both from civilians and governments. The holiday has spurred dialogues as well as landmark global treaties covering a broad range of environmental issues, hence serving as both a call to action and a celebration regarding the value of the planet’s natural resources. 

INHF’s Mission to Preserve Iowa’s Natural Places

For nearly as long as World Environment Day has existed, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation has worked to restore Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. This year’s World Environment Day theme, "Only One Earth," embodies the dwindling state of Earth’s finite resources. In Iowa, INHF is working to protect and restore our natural resources so that wildlife and people can continue to rely on them long into the future. Learn more about our many projects here.

What Can You Do This World Environment Day?

Many of World Environment Day’s activities are also hosted online (find a list of those events here) and are therefore open to people all around the world. You can find more coverage of World Environment Day—as well as more educational resources and ways to take action—on the UNEP website. If you can, get outside and enjoy the environment that World Environment Day and INHF seek to protect. Learn about volunteer opportunities in which you can contribute to conservation efforts, or donate to INHF to support our mission of protecting and restoring Iowa’s natural resources. And while you’re at it, browse the INHF website to learn how we are working to preserve and protect Iowa’s wild places—every day of the year.