What’s Happening on World Environment Day (5 June 2020)?

Recalling the legacy of the UN Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972, the UN Environment Programme takes the lead in the celebrations of the World Environment Day annually on 5 June.

This year, the theme of WED2020 is biodiversity – under the hashtag #TimeForNature. Colombia is the global host with the support of Germany, and Montréal is the host city for North America.

During the day Valérie Plante – Mayor of Montréal, North America Host for WED2020, and ICLEI’s Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity, will release an Op-Ed on nature with Presidents of a number of leading networks of local and regional governments, and ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center will also announce a new partnership through the CitiesWithNature initiative.

Here is a compilation of relevant WED2020 events for local and regional governments, in Central European Summer Time (CEST) and Eastern Daylight Time (EDT):

  • 8:00 CEST / 2:00 EDT- Climate Emergency Declaration by Korean Local Governments.
  • 13:00 CEST / 7:00 EDT – Launch of UNFCCC Race-To-Zero by the UN High Level Climate Champions for the UK and Chile. The global COP26 campaign will mobilize leadership and support from cities, regions, businesses, and investors for a Healthy, Resilient, Zero Carbon recovery, which creates jobs, unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth and reduces the risk of future shocks.
  • 14:00 CEST / 8:00 EDT – ICLEI City Resilience Stories Webinar – Shaping a resilient post-COVID-19 urban era with nature and effective planning in Africa. What have African cities done that supports long-term resilience building? Do these interventions help cities recover from the global COVID-19 pandemic? What can we learn? This webinar gathers African experts and Mayors from within the ICLEI network to showcase how nature-based solutions and effective planning techniques are key to designing future resilient solutions. Moderated by Martina Otto, Head of Cities and Lifestyles, UN Environment.
  • 14:00 CEST / 8:00 EDT – UNCCD Webinar “Is Poverty Necessary in the World to Mitigate Climate Change?” The protection of the environment and eliminating poverty are crucial challenges for individual states and the international community as a whole. The UNCCD – Capacity Development & Innovations Office is organising the first UNCCD-CDIO Virtual Panel Discussion 2020. The debate will discuss the relations between the following three major, interrelated topics: poverty and inequalities, economic systems, and climate change mitigation.
  • 16:00 CEST / 10:00 EDT – Official WED2020 event at UN Headquarters in New York City. You can watch via the UN Livestream.
  • 18:00 CEST / 12:00 EDT – Beethoven Pastoral Day livestream, hosted by Deutsche Welle. This exciting livestream concert and event will include the announcement of the Artists Declaration, signed and endorsed by around 200 artists and global leaders, in collaboration with ICLEI, CitiesWithNature, Climate Heritage Network, and UCLG Culture Committee. During the livestream event, pre-recorded video messages of Mayors of Bonn, Izmir and Culture Minister of Buenos Aires will be announced. After the event, the Beethoven Pastoral Artists Declaration will be available online to be signed by artists and to be endorsed by global leaders.
  • 21:00 CEST / 15:00 EDT – Pathway to Paris World Environment Day 2020 Concert: Supported by 350.org, UN Environment, City of Montréal, Beethoven Pastoral Project, CitiesWithNature and ICLEI, this thrilling event will include a performance of Beethoven Pastoral Symphony by Rebecca Foon, joined by Jesse Paris Smith and Patti Smith, as pioneering signatories of the Beethoven Pastoral Artists Declaration. Additional contributions by Arundhati Roy, Bill McKibben, Michael Stipe, Ben Harper, Rebecca Solnit, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and many others.