Mark your calendar: Thursday is World Environment Day (WED).

Commemorated on June 5 of every year, the UN General Assembly established this official environmental holiday in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Another resolution, adopted by the General Assembly the same day, led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Program.

WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day’s agenda gives a human face to environmental issues; empowers people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development; promotes an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes toward environmental issues; and advocates partnerships that will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

Countries around the world celebrate with street rallies, bicycle parades, green concerts, essay and poster competitions in schools, tree plantings, and recycling and clean-up campaigns. Heads of state, prime ministers and ministers of the environment deliver statements and commit to caring for the Earth. Pledges lead to the establishment of permanent governmental structures dealing with environmental management. WED also provides an opportunity to sign or ratify international environmental conventions.

Last year, the main WED event was held in Norway, with the theme “Melting Ice: A Hot Topic?” It focused on the effects of climate change on polar ecosystems and communities, as well as the ensuing consequences around the world.

This year’s host country is New Zealand, and the theme is “Kick the Habit! Towards a Low-Carbon Economy.” Tune in tomorrow for more details about Thursday’s events.

Editor’s Note: OrganicAuthority.com publishes environmental news so organic consumers have access to the latest information on climate change and other threats. You can view similar posts by visiting the Environment Section of our blog.