World Environment Day 2017 Connects People to Nature


Bonn, 5 June 2017 - Today we celebrate World Environment Day (WED). A day that is supposed to remind us of how important nature is to all of us. Every year since 1974, the UN has organized this special celebration with a different host country and a different theme. This year Canada is presenting WED under the theme of “Connecting People to Nature”. Through this slogan WED “invites us to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.”

With WED being celebrated in over 100 countries, everybody can contribute by organizing and registering an event on the Global Event Map. So far the Global Event Map counts more than 1,250 events! In the past years, there was a huge variety of events taking place. Participants organized neighborhood clean-ups, action against wildlife crime or even replanted forests. But even with a small effort, people can contribute. Simply go out, enjoy nature and share a photo with the hashtag #WorldEnvironmentDay. Using this hashtag everyone can help building the world’s largest nature photo database. The best photos will be shared with the world leaders.

The ornithologist Rob Butler knows exactly how important it is that people reconnect with nature. He is the coordinator of the annual Vancouver Bird Week, which took place from 6 to 13 May and was registered as an event on this year’s World Migratory Bird Day.

“Bird Week aims to increase the awareness of birds that arose from the Vancouver Bird Strategy”, he summarizes the idea behind this celebration. Just like on World Environment Day, people had the chance to get engaged and be a part of different actions. Some of them were trips on foot or on boats in several languages includinga bird song for blind people. In doing so, everybody was able to participate. Choosing Canada as a host country seems eminently sensible to the ornithologist, since “the environment is part of Canadian culture”, he claims. For Rob Butler the importance of connecting people to nature, is clear “We need to embed nature more into the culture. Our theme for next year’s Vancouver International Bird Festival and the International Ornithologic Congress is birds: the gateway to nature.”

To mark World Environment Day, CMS Executive Secretary, Bradnee Chambers, himself a Canadian, has written an op-ed, stressing his fellow countrymen’s affinity with nature, and has recorded a video statement which can been seen below.



Last updated on 09 June 2017