For information only - not an official document

4 June 2012

Re-issued as received

World Environment Day 2012 Kicks Off with Events Planned Throughout Europe

EUROPE/VIENNA, 4 June (United Nations Environment Programme) - Every year on 5 June the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) celebrates World Environment Day (WED), a day dedicated to promoting sustainable living and positive environmental action. An exciting assortment of events has been scheduled around Europe including film screenings, festivals, conferences and more. Geneva, Brussels, Vienna and Moscow are WED's European hubs and will lead the celebrations.

This year's theme is 'Green Economy: Does it Include You?' which focuses on achieving an economy based on low carbon emissions and resource efficiency.

At the UN office in Baku, Azerbaijan, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said "World Environment Day is an opportunity to highlight the need for a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable world. This year's theme underscores the need for everyone to play their part in keeping humankind's ecological footprint within planetary boundaries."

Along with host country Brazil, a variety of public events have been scheduled in four city hubs - Brussels (Belgium), Geneva (Switzerland), Moscow (Russia) and Vienna (Austria) - to lead Europe's celebrations.

From an environmental festival in Brussels to multiple film screenings, from engaging talks and conferences to fascinating expositions, from games to free music, there is something for everybody in the family to enjoy.

One highlight event will take place in Parc La Grange in Geneva on 2 June. The Triple Anniversary will celebrate 10 years of Switzerland's admission to the United Nations, 40th anniversary of UNEP and 20 years of the Rio conference with games, a screening of "Ice Age", several festive stands, and a competition for the most sustainable picnic.

To further promote WED, Swiss caterer DSR, partners with GreenUp - a UNEP initiative to help provide citizens with resources to aid their transition to an environmentally sustainable lifestyle - will propose on 5 June, in all its Swiss restaurants, a special environmentally-friendly menu featuring a healthy organic meal.

On 3 June, Brussels will hold its 'fête de l'environnement' at the Parc du Cinquentenaire, right in the centre of the European capital where kids and adults can enjoy sustainable food, games and quiz on the environment, free concert, etc.

Vienna and Moscow will also take part in the festivities. On 11 June at the Ciné ONU in Vienna, there will be a screening of the film 'Plastic Shores' followed by a roundtable discussion with a UNEP expert. At the UN Information Office (UNIC) in Moscow on 5 June, a special event will take place including talks by UN colleagues and Russian representatives, as well as unveiling of the exhibition displaying winning works of the UN European Ad Competition Drop by Drop - the Future We Want on water preservation.

Details for the events in Europe, as well as around the world, can be found online at: All the events planned in Geneva are available on

From Algiers to Auckland, close to 8000 activities have already been registered by WED participants across the world for 5 June and around.

There is still time to get involved in WED 2012. Members of the public are encouraged to visit and register their green activities for WED.

In addition to WED, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will take place from 20-22 June in Brazil with the objective of securing political commitment for sustainable development, assessing progress towards this goal, and tackling new challenges.

UNEP will also launch the Global Environment Outlook 5 (GEO-5) on 6 June. Three years in the making and involving close to 300 experts, GEO is the UN's most comprehensive environmental assessment. In the run-up to Rio+20, GEO-5 will analyze the state of the global environment and track global progress towards international sustainability targets.

World Environment Day is a vital force for promoting a healthy environment and Green Economy. It drives the point home that everyone is involved and can make a difference - from individuals to small communities to multinational corporations.

Highlights of WED 2012 events in Europe:

2 June - Triple Anniversary, Parc La Grange, Geneva. Celebrating 10 years of Switzerland's admission to the United Nations, 40th anniversary of UNEP and 20 years of the Rio conference. Stands, paint party, competition for most sustainable picnic, games, film screening and free music.

3 June - Fête de l'environnement with activities for family and children, Parc Cinquentennaire, Brussels. "Sustainable Food" theme. Free concert.

4 June - The Green Economy: what implications are there? Conference in Geneva auditorium.

3-8 June - Bee Biodiversity Garden, outside European Parliament, Brussels. Bee-friendly plants with stalls and information booths.

5 June - Environmental perspectives in setting global sustainable development goals (roundtable), International Environment House Geneva.

5 June - Alongside GreenUp campaign, Swiss caterer DSR will serve a healthy organic meal in all associated restaurants.

5-6 June - Biodiversity Symposium, European Parliament, Brussels. Engaging talks by members of parliament about issues concerning biodiversity.

11 June - 'Plastic Shores' film screening and post-film roundtable discussion, Ciné ONU, Vienna.

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WED 2012 English: