When and Why is World Environment Day Celebrated?

A logo advertising World Environment Day.
A logo advertising World Environment Day.

The ecosystem in which we live and extract our source of livelihood is essential to our health and that of other species, quality of life, and survival. It is the responsibility of every person, whether great or small, to take care of the environment, not only for now but also for posterity. The environment is a major concern when a society is faced with issues such as economic crisis, war, and other social problems. Several organizations including the United Nation Environmental Program are at the forefront in promoting activities towards the conservation the environment. One of the initiatives by the United Nations is the World Environment Day.

World Environment Day

The World Environmental Day is observed every year on June 5. It is an important vehicle through which the UN and other environmental agencies create awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and action. WED is not a public holiday but a day set aside to focus on the environment. It was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 during the opening of the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment. The resolution was adopted on the same day by the General Assembly, leading to the creation of United Nation Environmental Program. World Environmental Day is hosted annually in different cities. The week of June 5 is often packed with environmental-related activities.

Background of the WED

1972 is considered a turning point in the growth of the international environmental politics. The UN organized a major environmental conference in Stockholm from June 5 to June 16, 1972. It was dubbed “Conference on Human Environment” and the objective was to come up with ways of addressing the challenges of conserving and promoting the human environment. On December 15, 1972, the General Assembly adopted a resolution designating June 5 as the World Environment Day. Government and organizations working with the UN were encouraged to organize activities that reaffirm their commitment to preserving and enhancing the environment.

The first WED was observed on June 5, 1974. Since then, the UNEP has helped raise awareness around growing environmental concerns such as depletion of ozone layer, pollution, and global warming. The aim of the WED is to give a face to environmental issues and also make people active agents of fair and sustainable development.

How is World Environmental Day Celebrated?

The World Environment Day is celebrated in different ways across the globe. The celebration involves several activities such as concerts, street rallies, tree planting, and clean-up activities among other activities. In several countries, the annual event is aimed at enhancing political attention and activities towards improving the environment. The observance of the WED also provides an opportunity for the signing and ratification of International Environmental Convention. Individuals and groups are also encouraged to explore the amazing species in their everyday life and the nature they love.


The main colors featured on the World Environment Day are the natural colors depicting nature and the Earth. The colors are often green, blue, and brown. Images of several features of the earth such as mountains, clean and unpolluted rivers, beaches, and photos of natural plants and animals are often used to promote activities supporting the day.


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