World Environment Day 2022: Marking Unified Effort To Protect Planet Earth

Established in 1972 by the United Nations (UN) general assembly at the time of the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, World Environment Day is marked on 5th June. The World Environment Day was first celebrated in the year 1974 in Stockholm, Sweden under the theme “𝐎𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐄𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐡” and in 2022, the day was hosted by Sweden in partnership with UNEP under the same theme.

The Conference marked the start of a unified effort to protect the planet, leading to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and designated 5th June every year as World Environment Day.

The purpose of the World Environment Day is to raise awareness and action on pertinent environmental issues that the world is facing such as climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, pollution and waste management, sea level rise, public health issues, acid rain, ozone layer depletion, ocean acidification among others.

The theme “𝐎𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐄𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐡” highlights the urgent need to live sustainably and in harmony with nature by bringing transformative changes through policies for sustainable greener economies and healthy planet for all, where no one is left behind.

This year, various organizations and individuals organized environmental conservation activities including tree growing, clean-up activities to mark this day culminating to the national celebrations which were held on Monday 𝟲𝘁𝗵 𝗝𝘂𝗻𝗲, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮 at the 𝗗𝗲𝗱𝗮𝗻 𝗞𝗶𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗶 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆 in 𝗡𝘆𝗲𝗿𝗶 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝘆.

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko in a speech read on his behalf at the ceremony said there is need to live sustainably and in harmony with nature if sustainable development goals are to be realized.

“The theme for this year’s World Environment Day ‘Only One Earth’ focuses on the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature, and the possibilities for shifting to a greener lifestyle through both policies and individual choices.” Read the CS speech in part and delivered by Cabinet Administration Secretary Joel Kitili.

The CS added that recognition that the Earth is still our only home, must push us to ensure that every action taken by all of us is useful to save our home, adding that to make it better and more sustainable, we must leave it better than we found it for future generations.

He added that human activities had caused the triple crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and waste management. The CS said humanity still has the power to reverse the damage caused through reimagining, recreating and restoring nature to kick start action for a better world.

Government, church intervention…

To address these challenges the government has put in place policies and regulations as well as programmes to restore the environment as well as mitigate the impact of climate change.

The CS thanked the Nyeri Catholic Archdiocese, for the leadership spirit and for encouraging the good environmental stewardship through the Greening Kenya Initiative where various programs are being undertaken.

On his part Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Nyeri Catholic Archdiocese said all religions recognize the bond between humanity and nature adding that environment is the extension of God’s presence through his creation.

The Archbishop called for clear, definitive and consistent actions towards caring for mother earth adding that through the Greening Kenya Initiative the Catholic Church intends to grow 10 million trees in schools across the country by the year 2030.

Archbishop Muheria said the Church is keen on changing the mindsets of the people not only to plant trees but to love nature as a commandment from God. The meeting to commemorate the World Environment day was also addressed by among others Dedan Kimathi University VC Prof. Ndirangu Kioni, Nyeri County CEC Environment and Climate Change, Kinyua Wanjohi, NEMA Board Chairperson Lul Abdiwahid, County Commissioner Mr. Mohammed Barre, 9GIZ Programme Director Hanna Salian, as well as NECC Chairman and Secretary Dr. Lumumba.

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