Rwanda Named Global Host of World Environment Day 2010
Many Species. One Planet. One Future.
Kigali (Rwanda)/Nairobi (Kenya), 17 February 2010 - Rwanda, the East African country that is embracing a transition to a Green Economy, will be the global host of World Environment Day 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today.
World Environment Day (WED), which aims to be the biggest global celebration for positive environmental action, is coordinated by UNEP every year on 5 June.
This year's theme is 'Many Species. One Planet. One Future.' - a message focusing on the central importance to humanity of the globe's wealth of species and ecosystems. The WED theme also supports this year's UN International Year of Biodiversity.
Rwanda's combination of environmental richness, including rare and economically-important species such as the mountain gorilla, allied to newly evolving and pioneering green policies is among the reasons why UNEP welcomed its offer to be the global 2010 host.
While the country faces many challenges ranging from overcoming poverty and developing sustainable energy resources to land degradation, this 'land of a thousand hills' is developing forward-looking strategies including the development of renewable energies including hydropower, solar power, biogas and methane gas for power generation.
Rwanda is already internationally-renowned for introducing a ban on plastic bags, nationwide environmental clean-up campaigns and the restoration of previously degraded natural rain forests as part of a chimpanzee conservation programme.
Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, said: "From preserving our country's unique biological diversity, to developing modern and sustainable businesses ? the environment is central to Rwanda's vision for prosperity. Protecting our environment ensures a better life for all our citizens and leaves a lasting heritage for future generations. We are honoured to host World Environment Day and look forward to presenting a truly global celebration of the diversity of life on our planet."
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General, said: "WED has become a dynamic and global grass roots expression of humanity's desire to realize meaningful and positive environmental change. And Rwanda is an African nation that, despite big challenges, is seizing the multiple opportunities possible from Green Economic policies."