WED 2010 Highlights


  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3

Hundreds of delegates gathered today in Kigali, Rwanda for the official start of the World Environment Day celebrations in the 2010 global host country, Rwanda. The Environment & Conservation Conference included keynote speeches from Rwandan Minister of Environment and Lands, Stanislas Kamanzi, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf.

UNEP launched a new report that states restoring lost and damaged ecosystems—from forests and freshwaters to mangroves and wetlands—can trigger multi-million dollar returns, generate jobs and combat poverty. The report, entitled Dead Planet, Living Planet: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration for Sustainable Development, underlines that far from being a tax on growth and development, many environmental investments in degraded, nature-based assets can generate substantial and multiple returns.

The TUNZA Regional Youth Conference on Biodiversity continued today in Kigali, Rwanda. The conference began on 2 June and will see 35 youth from around all sub-regions of Africa share and discuss biodiversity in Africa. 

Editor-in-chief of TreeHugger.com and PlanetGreen.com, Meaghan O'Neill, will blog from Rwanda for World Environment Day. Treehugger partnered with UNEP and Racepoint Group for the WED blogging competition.
Almost immediately upon arriving in Rwanda I understood why the French created the phrase, “Pays des Mille Collines” meaning “Country of a Thousand Hills” to describe the mountainous city of Kigali.

Read Tuesday's blog »

Rwanda

Poverty and Environment Initiative

Youth celebrate biodiversity

WED Day 1

World Environment Day photo gallery

Report

New Report Makes Economic Case for Repairing the Natural World
Podcast by Nick Nuttall - UNEP SPokesperson
"Let WED 2010 be a moment-- of many moments in 2010-- when the history books record that the world took note, seized the opportunities and deployed its collective knowledge, abundant science and technology, financial acumen and prowess, intelligence and compassion to build a global society with value-environmental, social and economic."

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

Around 10 thousand people took part in a wave of community tree planting in Kigali, Rwanda today. This was part of a three day environmental celebration for World Environment Day. Once a month, the Rwandan people take part in what is known as "Umuganda", national activities for environmental local action, which include tree plantings, neighbourhood clean ups and rubbish collection.

The Rwandan government organized today's special Umuganda to coincide with WED. After planting trees in a five square kilometre area, participants gathered for dancing, singing and to listen to remarks from dignitaries attending the event.

The WED celebrations will continue in Musanze District throughout the evening, with a major cultural celebration called Igitaramo held in KinyaRwanda (Rwanda’s national language). This ceremony will be held as a precursor to the annual Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming ceremony. The Musanze District includes the famous Volcanoes National Park, home to Critically Endangered Mountain Gorillas.

Editor-in-chief of TreeHugger.com and PlanetGreen.com, Meaghan O'Neill, will blog from Rwanda for World Environment Day. Treehugger partnered with UNEP and Racepoint Group for the WED blogging competition.
Thursday was the Environment and Conservation Conference here in Kigali. Attended by environmentalists from all over the globe, the speakers included some of the most forward-thinking leaders in sustainability, conservation and biodiversity today.

Read Tuesday's blog »

Video

Gorilla tourism on the upswing in Rwanda

Youth celebrate biodiversity

Photo Gallery

Community tree planting in Kigali

News

Gorilla Airlift Sparks Calls for Stronger Controls on Natural Resource Smuggling in Greater Congo Basin and Beyond
"Let WED 2010 be a moment-- of many moments in 2010-- when the history books record that the world took note, seized the opportunities and deployed its collective knowledge, abundant science and technology, financial acumen and prowess, intelligence and compassion to build a global society with value-environmental, social and economic."

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

Everywhere. Every year. Everyone.
 
People around the world celebrated WED 2010 with more than 1,000 activities in 109 countries. The official WED celebrations took place in Rwanda where the three-day celebration culminated in the Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony. The ceremony included remarks from H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, as well as Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director. Mr. Steiner announced the designation of Don Cheadle as a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador. Cheadle spoke of his strong personal conviction to raise awareness on environmental issues, “I find myself repeatedly reframing the questions; If not now, when? If not us, who?”
 
During the day’s festive events, special guests named 14 baby gorillas born in the last year. UNEP held an online contest to select the People’s Choice and Kid’s Choice names for the ceremony. UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Don Cheadle announced the People’s Choice: Zoya; and UNEP Climate Hero Luo Hong announced the Kid’s Choice: Waka Waka. The contest received more than 5,000 votes. Mr. Steiner also named a baby gorilla – he chose “Legacy.”  During his remarks, he announced that UNEP was leaving a legacy to Rwanda to support solar power for school children and gorilla conservation.
 
Thousands of people attended the event which was held at the edge of Volcanoes National Park. Rwanda is home to nearly one-third of the world’s remaining gorillas.  

Editor-in-chief of TreeHugger.com and PlanetGreen.com, Meaghan O'Neill, will blog from Rwanda for World Environment Day. Treehugger partnered with UNEP and Racepoint Group for the WED blogging competition.
In celebration of Umuganda, a day reserved every month in Rwanda for community service countrywide, we joined the locals of Kigali to help plant 10,000 trees. Alongside students, soldiers and various other residents of the community...

Read Tuesday's blog »

Video

Highlights from WED, Rwanda 2010

Rwanda Tree Planting Ceremony

News

Lasting WED Legacy Supports Solar Power Projects and Gorilla Conservation in Rwanda
"It is my fervent hope that I can, in my own small way, be a voice that adds to those looking to be heard and perhaps help push their efforts over the top... I am here today to say thank you for the opportunity to be about change, to be about a call to action, to be about a solution."
Don Cheadle, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador

Read Mr. Cheadle's acceptance speech




UNEP WED Celebrations Worldwide

- Europe

- North America

- Korea