World Environment Day can be celebrated in many ways. The following are a selection of inspiring examples of how World Environment Day was celebrated in 2004 with the theme/slogan: Wanted! Seas and Oceans – Dead or Alive?; in 2005 with the theme/slogan: Green Cities: Plan for the Planet!; in 2006 Deserts and Desertification: Don't Desert Drylands!; and in 2007 Melting Ice - A Hot Topic?
In 2007, the government of Antigua and Barbuda hosted their first World Environment Day ceremony in the country’s only botanical garden and organized an inter-school street parade. Presently there are thirteen schools on this twin island state which have an environmental programme called the Environmental Cadet Programme. Students from these schools marched with placards written with environmental tips through the streets of St. John's.
The main World Environment Day 2006 activity was held in Chamical, La Rioja, Argentina, and was chaired by the Governor of the Province and the Mayor of Chamical, as well as the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina. Around 1,300 attended the ceremony, where an environmental exhibition was also organized with the participation of NGOs, schools and governmental entities. After the event, the authorities visited two schools of the region that have developed outstanding works on environmental education.
In 2005, the São Paulo Rail Rapid Transit Company (Metrô de São Paulo) organized a two-day discussion panel, which focused on the relationship between transportation, environment and sustainable development of large metropolitan areas such as São Paulo and neighbouring cities. An exhibition was held at the company’s headquarters and a four-day distance learning programme on the environment was broadcast.
In 2004, using the theme Wanted! Seas and Oceans - Dead or Alive? John Gray Recyclers introduced plastic recycling in all the schools on the Islands. The project entitled Plastic Six Pack Holder Recycling reflects the importance the organization attaches to the concept “ReUse” and “Recycle” because marine debris consists of plastic items including six pack holders that strangle marine life such as turtles. The holders were taken to Bodden Beverages in Grand Cayman for “ReUse” and any left over were sent to the Hi-Cone Plant in the United States for Recycling. A clean up of Barkers National Park, the first National Park in the Cayman Islands, was also undertaken. In 2005, John Gray named the rare trees in the Park and cleared the area of some of the dead trees that had been felled during Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. The Islands’ National Trust are helping with the naming of the trees and have helped find two rare trees already.
Thomas Jefferson School, a private high school, organized several activities for World Environment Day 2007. They included a presentation of different videos showing today's environmental situation and presenting the year's topic: Melting Ice – A Hot Topic; a runway show with costumes made by students from recycled materials; a musical presentation by different rock bands and a display of posters created to promote care for the environment.
In 2005, a plan of the government’s environmental policy was presented, and a coalition of environment groups, for the second year running, organized a celebration under the gardens of the Cibao Theatre and the Santiago monument. Various artistic and educational activities were undertaken to develop awareness on the environment and “protected areas”. The aim was to fight deforestation caused by those who want to commercially ‘exploit’ areas, which have a high ecological value and are recognized as biosphere reserves.
Banks DIH Limited of Guyana held in 2004 a "Secondary Schools World Environment Day Banner Competition", based on the Wanted! Seas and Oceans- Dead or Alive? theme. Seventeen schools entered the Competition and the company has further supported their interest by providing each school with a piece of banner material, paint brushes and two cans of paint. In addition to the banner, each school provided a written description of the art work and its relevance to the theme. The winning banner was used as Banks DIH's banner in the WED "green walk", which was be held on 30 May, 2004.
In 2004, the global theme Wanted! Seas and Oceans: Dead or Alive? was transformed to SOS! Let’s Save our Mountains, Coasts and Seas. Activities were held in the large coastal cities such as Port-au-Prince, Gonaïves, Saint-Marc, Jacmel, Cayes and Jérémie, and included: a press conference to launch Environment Week (organized by the Ministries of Environment, Public Health, Public Works, Agriculture and Planning in collaboration with Civil Society, the City Hall of the Metropolis, and environmental associations); statements by the Prime Minister and the mayors of the cities concerned; development of educational materials distributed to members of the country’s coastal associations; clean-ups of important canals, drains and sewage openings in the metropolitan area and the bigger cities in the country; an awareness building campaign; a parade through all the cities targeted followed by the cleaning of beaches and forests; hoisting of banners at all major intersections in the capital and provincial cities; broadcasting of awareness-building public service announcements in the capital and other targeted cities; launch of two nationwide competitions: one to decide on three zones where botanical centres would be set up and another to select an environment anthem.
In 2005, PLANETA.COM presented the fifth annual Colibri Ecotourism Achievement Award at the Xochimilco Gardens. The award is presented to a leading catalyst working toward ecotourism in Mexico, and the winner of the annual award receives a trophy, a diploma and a $1,000 cash prize from the President of Canyon Travel.
Recycling was the theme of the day in 2007. The Environment Agency of Solidaridad, in coordination with environmental NGOs and private enterprises, held a massive collect of recyclable waste that involved the community of Playa del Carmen, Akumal and Tulum. All the cardboard collected was donated to the National Commission of Free Textbooks for the production of free curricular textbooks and educational materials. People were offered varied workshops on creating handcrafts and toys from recyclable waste. In addition, the Environment Agency launched the Municipal Waste Separation Program by installing Clean Spots throughout the city of Playa del Carmen. These Clean Spots, placed in the parking lots of supermarkets and shopping centres, allow community members to leave their separated domestic and office recyclable waste. This initiative was the latest in a series of strategies that the Environment Agency will promote in mitigating problems generated from the increasing amount of municipal waste.
Nicaragua celebrates Environment and Natural Resources Week by National Law, and it is carried out every year during the first week of June. In 2006, activities took place from 3-9 June with the opening ceremony taking place in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. A video-conference was organized to address the conflict of dry lands in Central America. An exhibition for businessmen that work with recycled, organic and cleaner production was presented with the National Institute of Small and Medium Business. A cycling competition for environmental quality protection was organized and various universities held conferences on the environment.
To celebrate World Environment Day 2007 and to raise awareness, Alianza Pro Ciudad organized a Walk for Our City family walk through the neighbourhoods of Panama City. The city is suffering from disorderly constructions of high-rise buildings as part of an overwhelming real estate boom that is destroying its character and green spaces, including urban forests in the nearby Panama Canal area. The area is among the World Monuments Fund's 100 most threatened areas. Alianza Pro Ciudad is a group of citizens of Panama aiming to make Panama city a green clean city.
In 2006, the Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through Project Wild Paraguay, presented on 27 June a dance performance entitled Y amai (Water for life, in Guarani). Y amai is a collective creation from the National Ballet and the non-governmental organization, Survival Earth Friends. The performance was produced as part of the campaign Water for Life and the Day’s theme. A photographic exhibition on National Parks, such as Rio Negro, Paso Bravo, San Rafael and Medanos del Chaco was also organized.
In 2005, the Regional Department of Health of Huancavelica organized a poster competition with the participation of educational institutions for pre-primary and primary schools.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
For World Environment Day 2007, the local Global 500 forum organized a tree planting ceremony at the Learning Resource Centre, Couva, Trinidad. The Minister of Education, Senator Hazel Manning, Permanent Secretary, Mrs Marlene Felix and Bebe Ajodha, Global 500 laureate attended the ceremony.
In 2007, Red Earth held a three-day arts festival that featured local musicians, artists, dancers from Brazil and Cayenne, and photographers. The organization collaborated with other NGOs to do a clean-up on the small islands off the coast of Trinidad. There were also capoeira workshops, a smoke ceremony by the descendants of the first settlers in Trinidad, the Caribs, talks on alternative energy sources, such as hemp and bio-diesel, star-gazing and hikes to a waterfall.