Essay On World Environment Day 2012

World Environment Day 2012

Green Economy: 
Does it include you?

5 June 2012

At the Headquarters

At the Regional-level


In collaboration with Bhutan’s National Environment Commission (NEC), ICIMOD is supporting two events to celebrate World Environment Day:


In New Delhi on World Environment Day, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will launch the journey of the Science Express – Biodiversity Special Train (SEBS) through India, showcasing the country’s rich biodiversity to people across the nation. As a knowledge partner, ICIMOD has contributed technical input for the Himalaya and Trans-Himalaya Coach of the train.


The Pakistan Wetlands Programme with the Government of Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change and ICIMOD are celebrating World Environment Day with a number of activities, including the following.  

  • Poster competition (held 3 May)
  • Quiz competition (held 9 May)
  • Urdu essay competition (held 30 May)
  • Working with Recycled Materials Project
  • Information stall hosted by ICIMOD and WWF

Activities: Detail Information

A. World Environment Day activities in Nepal

Public showings in Nepal of ‘Sutra’ – a street drama to raise awareness among school children and local communities of the importance of green economy and other environmental issues – are being organized by the Children for Green New Nepal (CGNN) with support from ICIMOD. The drama teaches the audience ways to promote green economy by reducing carbon emissions and pollution and enhancing energy and resource efficiency. With strong elements of wit and humor, the drama ends on a positive note with all characters pledging to adopt a green economy in its truest form.

Show times:

Nepal Academy: 5 June, 11:00

Patan Durbar Square: 5 June, 16:45 

Besi Bazar, Bhaktapur: 6 June, 16:00

All are welcome to the performances at Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur. The performance at Nepal Academy is a part of World Environment Day events being organized by the Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology, Government of Nepal.

1. Street Drama on Green Economy

2. Setting up an Herbal Garden at Patan Durbar Square

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), together with Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) and Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City, is setting up an herbal garden at Rani Pokhari, Mangalbazar, Patan Durbar Square. ICIMOD is providing 30 medicinal plants with informative tags including medicinal benefits and the part of the plant to be used. 

The herbal garden will demonstrate the importance of medicinal plants for people’s livelihood by showing how they contribute to health care, generate local economies, and help conserve ecosystems. It is hoped that the activity will generate interest among the general public and inspire them to become more involved in conserving these resources for future generations. 

ECCA, ICIMOD’s national partner for the herbal garden initiative, is organizing a formal progamme to launch the event with Chief Guest Dr Tirtha Bahadur Shrestha, a renowned ecologist. Other distinguished biodiversity experts and representatives from civil society, local government, and private organizations are also expected to participate. Posters will be displayed and a video on herbal gardens will be screened at the event. Dabur Nepal is also providing ECCA with 2 herbal kits to further the Promoting Herbal Gardens in Schools initiative. 

Venue: Rani Pokhari, Mangalbazar, Patan Durbar Square
Time: 15:00 – 16:30 

B. World Environment Day activities in Bhutan

1. Jigme Singye Wangchuck Outstanding Environmental Stewardship Award


Instituted in 2010, the Jigme Singye Wangchuck Outstanding Environmental Stewardship Award recognizes singular achievements in the field of environmental stewardship and honours lifetime contributions of individuals from all backgrounds towards ensuring the security and sustainability of Bhutan's pristine environment. In particular, it acknowledges people who have gone beyond the normal call-of-duty in their service towards environmental protection. The award is managed by the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment and jointly hosted by the Bhutan Ecological Society. The award consists of a certificate signed by Her Royal Highness Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck (Royal Patron of the Bhutan Ecological Society) and His Excellency Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley along with a cash prize of 100,000 BTN (about US$ 1,790). The award is conferred every two years coinciding with World Environment Day on 5 June. This year the event will be hosted at the Clock Tower, Thimphu. 

2. Help-Shoe Bhutan


Help-Shoe Bhutan, an initiative of ShoeVival, was launched on 17 September 2011 with the objective of promoting the 3Rs (recycle, reduce, reuse) by refurbishing old shoes and distributing them to people in need.


During the first shoe collection drive, Help-Shoe Bhutan collected more than 2,300 pairs of shoes. After cleaning and repairing the old shoes, around 1,300 pairs of shoes, which would have otherwise been sent to the landfill, were refurbished. These shoes were then distributed to people in need in the eight districts of Thimphu, Chukha, Bumthang, Mongar, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Lhuentse and Samtse.


During the second campaign, Help-Shoe Bhutan hopes to collect more than 2,000 shoes – saving them from going to the landfill and refurbishing them for distribution to those in need in eastern districts of the country.

C. World Environment Day activities in India

In New Delhi on World Environment Day, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will kick off the journey of the Science Express – Biodiversity Special Train (SEBS) through India, showcasing the country’s rich biodiversity to people across the nation. Each coach of the train has a different theme, the first featuring a general biodiversity theme with themes based off of India’s bio-geographic zones in the following seven coaches. As a SEBS knowledge partner, ICIMOD has contributed technical input for the Himalaya and Trans-Himalaya Coach, which is being coordinated by the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) – Himalaya. The journey of SEBS will culminate at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP 11 in Hyderabad, India in October 2012, where it can be visited by participants and guests from over 193 countries. This effort was initiated by the Government of India, and is being facilitated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Department of Science and Technology, Indian Railways, and others. New updates and the train schedule can be found at

D. World Environment Day activities in Pakistan

1. Poster competition (held 3 May)

The three competitions were held in the month of May. Fifty school children, divided into three categories according to age, participated in the poster competition on the topic How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in Islamabad. The results will be announced on 5 June. 

2. Quiz competition (held 9 May)

More than 200 students in Class 9 participated in a carbon footprint quiz competition. The quiz helped students gain knowledge about what a carbon footprint is and how to reduce it. The results will be announced on 5 June.


3. Urdu essay competition (held 30 May)

An Urdu essay competition was held on the topic of green economy. One hundred and fifty students participated and the essays of eight students were selected as the best of the group.

The winners of these competitions will be awarded at a formal programme being organized on World Environment Day (5 June) at the Islamabad College for Girls beginning at 9:30. Mr Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan, Minister for Climate Change, is the Chief Guest.

4. Working with Recycled Materials Project

In the Working with Recycled Materials Project, conducted on 30 May, students from different classes were taught how to make new use out of old materials. They recycled used plastic and glass bottles into pots for various plants, and also made recycled jewelry out of used cloth, like velvet. Students also used flowers and old cloth to make recycled flower bags and shopping bags.

5. Information stall hosted by ICIMOD and WWF

On World Environment Day, ICIMOD and


are setting up information stalls in Islamabad with materials to distribute that promote green economy and increase environmental awareness. 

Download Pakistan WED Agenda 2012 (JPG, 2.51MB)
Download List of Winners (PDF, 116KB)

For more information contact:

Nira Gurung
Communications Officer

World Environment Day 2012; Credit: © Shutterstock

This year sees the 40th anniversary of the event that led to the establishment of World Environment Day. WED, as it is often called, was established by the United Nations General Assembly to mark the start of the UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm from 5th to 16th June 1972. The first World Environment Day was on 5th June 1973.

The Stockholm Conference was the first occasion that world leaders met to discuss the political, social and economic problems of the global environment with a view to actually doing something about it.

Each year World Environment Day is hosted by a different country and this year the host is Brazil and the theme is Green Economy: Does it include you?

A Green Economy, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risk and ecological scarcities.

This can be summed up as being a socially inclusive, low carbon economy that is efficient with its resources.

In more detail, economic growth, through income and employment, is driven by public and private investment that in addition to reducing carbon emissions and pollution, enhances energy and resource efficiency, and prevents the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In order to support these investments a degree of targeted public expenditure, coupled with policy reforms and regulation changes is necessary.

The 2012 gathering in Brazil is being hailed as one of the largest and most important gatherings in the history of the United Nations. In addition to 2012 being an important date in the history of World Environment Day, it is also the 20thanniversary of the first Earth Summit that was held in Rio in 1992.

This year's Rio+20 Earth Summit is seen as a once in a generation opportunity to set the world on a path leading to a sustainable low-carbon green economy. It is confidently expected that at least 130 world heads of state will be attending the gathering.

Unfortunately the major problem facing the world is that in spite of the determined efforts in recent years to improve the environment, according to some experts the situation is actually getting worse rather than better.

A report from the World Wildlife Fund cites a combination of swelling populations, mass migration to cities, increased energy use and soaring carbon dioxide emissions that are putting a greater squeeze on the planet's resources than ever before. Particularly hard hit are animals and plants whose diversity depends on a clean water supply, plus a range of other natural resources.

It is estimated that demand for natural resources has doubled since 1996 and that it now takes a year and a half to regenerate the renewable resources that humans use in one year. The prediction is that by 2030 it will take the equivalent of two planets to meet resource demand.

In the years since the Earth Summit of 1992 world leaders have signed up to a host of different accords, all expressing a firm desire to improve matters, yet many of the changes for the worse have continued to accelerate, particularly during the past ten years.

Climate-warming carbon emissions have increased by 40% since 1992, but two thirds of that increase has occurred since 2002.

In the past 20 years the populations of the world's cities has risen by around 45% and urban residents typically have much larger carbon footprints than their rural counterparts. In China, for instance, the average Beijing resident has a footprint three times the average for the rest of the country.

The steady increase in populations in various parts of the world has driven up the demand for food. This in turn has put significant demands on agriculture and placed enormous stress on freshwater ecosystems and fishing zones.

The one encouraging factor is that world population could hit its peak sometime during the current century. Although it topped 7 billion in 2011, the growth rate shows signs of slowing.

Two important factors militate against something that is clearly vital to the future of our planet.

  • The first is the enormous amount of time that it takes for individual countries to ratify agreements that have been made by world leaders at important international conferences. Strong words are all very fine, but what the world needs is action.
  • Secondly, human lifestyle and its associated consequences, impacts on the planet more quickly than the actions that are being taken to protect it. When action does take place, it is often not swift enough to have any significant effect.

    There has never been a more challenging time for our environment. Time now really is running out and this fact can no longer be ignored.

    The clear message of World Environment Day is that everyone has a duty to push for a Green Economy and hopefully the world leaders at Rio+20 will take this forward. Turning things around will be difficult; it will need unity and strength of purpose, but it simply must be done.

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    Topics: Sustainability

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