That’s why each year on April 22, more than a billion people celebrate Earth Day to protect the planet from things like pollution and deforestation. By taking part in activities like picking up litter and planting trees, we’re making our world a happier, healthier place to live.
What is Earth Day?
SINCE 1970: Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970. It was first observed in the United States when people took to the streets to protest against the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, which killed thousands of sea birds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions.
Earth Day celebrations have played an important role in raising awareness around environmental issues ever since. According to earthday.org, the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, the Earth Day mission is to “diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide”. The landmark Paris Agreement was signed on Earth Day in 2016.
THE UNITED NATIONS designated April 22 as International Mother Earth Day in 2009. It is intended to be a reminder that “the healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people”. The UN links the designation of April 22 with a series of previous global climate actions that started with the UN Conference on the Human Environment 1972 in Stockholm and the establishment that year of World Environment Day on June 5. In 1992, Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development was adopted at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit.
The UN celebrates International Mother Earth Day through the Harmony with Nature initiative, a platform for global sustainable development that celebrates annually an interactive dialogue on topics such as promoting a holistic approach to harmony with nature, and an exchange of national experiences regarding criteria and indicators to measure sustainable development in harmony with nature.
THIS YEAR, earthday.org selected the theme, ‘Invest In Our Planet’. “This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must ‘Invest In Our Planet’,” it said.
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