Two important events relating to the environment mark June 2012. On Wednesday 5th of June we had the World Environment Day (WED), and later this month, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will be held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20-22.
This year Brazil welcomed the spotlight of World Environment Day and the theme was “Green Economy: Does it include you?”, a slogan that was meant to make a green economy seem more accessible. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the first Earth Summit that was held in Rio in 1992. Last year’s theme was “Forests – Nature at Your Service”, and that of 2010 was “Many Species, One Planet, One Future”. Brazil is one of the planet’s fastest-growing economies, forming the “B” in “BRIC” nations (along with Russia, India and China) that are expected to dominate global markets in coming decades
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.
In this context, 2012 has brought an increase in the number of green jobs. The Green Job Bank indexed almost 11,000 green jobs in a single month- January, this year.2011 was also a record year, with 65,613 green jobs indexed during the year, a 35% increase from 2010 which had 48,893 jobs.
Looking back, 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.
The overall objective is to stimulate economic growth and at the same time reduce carbon emissions, enhance energy efficiency and prevent loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Thousands of WED activities were scheduled in communities throughout the world. The map below includes events sponsored by governments, individuals, NGOs, the private sector, religious groups and even youth and school activities.
What did the WED look like in your region?
Photo by UNEP