New Zealand's Environment Minister Hands the World Environment Day Torch to Mexico
A message from Trevor Mallard, New Zealand's Minister of Environment
I would like to congratulate Mexico and wish them all the best for the hosting of World Environment Day 2009. I hope you have as much pleasure as New Zealand had hosting the momentous occasion this year.
Climate change is one of the biggest environmental issues facing the world today, and this year's World Environment Day theme 'Kick the Habit-working towards a low carbon economy', recognised the role all countries play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Next year's theme 'UNite to Combat Climate Change' provides a similar opportunity for nations to acknowledge the importance of our environment, promote sustainability and reduce the impacts of climate change.
Like many people around the world, New Zealanders are proud of their country, and we are also very aware of our environmental responsibilties. Although we are a relatively new country, we take environment matters seriously because of the huge emphasis we put on the outdoors and the way in which this underpins our way of life.
World Environment Day allowed us to showcase the positive things we are doing nationally, regionally and internationally to promote sustainability and reduce the impacts of climate change. It was incredible to see the number of people who banded together to mark the day and honour our environment by taking actions to protect it.
It was also fantastic to be able to host the UNEP delegation, including Executive Director Achim Steiner, who helped us make World Environment Day 2008 the success that it was.
World Environment Day is a brilliant opportunity to bring the world's communities together to find new ways to protect our environment and form stronger networks to support and build on the work that is already underway. Rest assured New Zealand will be doing its part next June to mark the day once again and to recognise the importance of our environment.