Press Releases - September 2003 - 40 Million People Unite To Clean Up the World! - 22 Sep 2003 - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
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40 Million People Unite To Clean Up the World! - 22 Sep 2003

Volunteers from 109 countries took practical action over the weekend and throughout the year to combat polluted waterways, declining water quality and the growing amount of waste that threatens the health of our earth.

Activities ranged from volunteers cleaning up waterways, parks, forests, world heritage sites, overhauling entire cities and countries to the implementation of ongoing environmental workshops, recycling programs and educational programs.

Campaign Founder and Chairman, Ian Kiernan AO said that the combined actions of millions of people acting in unison to clean up their local area makes a huge impact on a global scale.

“After 11 years of continuous growth and expansion it is great to see the campaign’s popularity and relevance is still growing with record numbers participating in the 2003 campaign,” Ian Kiernan said.

“People from all walks of life are embracing Clean Up the World and are adapting it into their communities, illustrating that people are committed to solving problems that threaten their local environment.”

Around the world volunteers transcend geographical, religious and political barriers by uniting with the common goal to clean up, fix up and conserve the environment through activities such as:

• A clean up and clearing of noxious weeds was held at Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a world heritage as part of Clean Up the World in Zimbabwe. Garbage and car wrecks were removed from the Mukuvisi and Sakubva rivers in Zimbabwe in an effort to reduce pollution levels in the countries river systems.

• Picking up ‘One-Piece-of-Litter a Day’ is all it takes to make a difference say organisers of the Swedish Clean Upsala campaign. Fifteen thousand people including students from 75 schools lent a hand in the campaign, which focussed on items like cigarette butts and newspaper. The primary goal of the campaign was to influence people’s behaviour and attitudes regarding waste.

• A clean up involving Australian Peacekeeping Forces, local people and representatives from the Australian High Commission was held in the Solomon Islands.

• The issues of pollution and recycling were tackled when 30,000 Jordanian volunteers from 20 cities united for Clean Up events in the Middle East, focussing on educating people and changing attitudes about environmental issues.

• A mass clean up attracted over 15,000 volunteers and 400 groups in Japan, organised by Duskin, Clean Up the World’s major sponsor.

• A ‘World Day of Beaches’ focussing on removing rubbish from over 235 beaches and marine areas was held in Venezuela and attracted 25,000 volunteers.

• Cleaning up the ocean is the focus for a youth group in the Canadian province of Newfoundland. Participants at the 5th Annual Ocean Net Conference in October will take a day to clean up the shoreline of local beaches and divers will scour the water for rubbish that could injure or kill wildlife. During April a massive 1.5 million volunteers participated in the PITCH-IN Canada program, including the beautifying of streams, wilderness and urban areas.

Clean Up the World is a project held in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme.

Globally, Clean Up the World’s Major Sponsor is Duskin, the Global Media Partner is National Geographic Channels International, the Internet Partner is Secure Interactive and Supporting Sponsors are Qantas and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Additional information on Clean Up the World activities in specific countries is available by contacting Melissa Hayes or Monica Knight on:
Telephone: +61 2 9692 0700 Fax: +61 2 9692 0761
Email: or
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