World Environment Day 2017: Get Involved

Sun, 14/05/17

World Environment Day is about more than just thinking about the relationship between humankind and nature. It’s about actually getting outdoors and experiencing what our surrounding environment has to offer us - immersing ourselves in the natural world, taking in all of the sights, sounds, scents and textures.

This year, there are a number of different activities taking place around the world that are bringing communities together with the natural world. Within the UN specifically, there are a host of events that staff can join. 

Staff at the UN office in Geneva (UNOG), for example, are encouraged to picnic on Thursday June 1 in Ariana Park. By supporting the event, UNOG hopes to get staff out of the office and 'with nature.' They want to raise staff awareness of World Environment Day and its message of appreciating nature's beauty and importance.

Similarly, the UN office in Nairobi (UNON) is organising a number of activities throughout the week of World Environment Day. On World Environment Day itself, there will be a With Nature Food Fair and staff picnic at the UN Gigiri compound. Sustainable food options (tasty vegetarian recipes using local and organic produce) prepared by volunteers (UN staff and their families) from the six regions of the world - Latin America and Caribbean, Europe, North America, Africa, West Asia, Asia and Pacific - will be offered to show how sustainability and respect of nature come also through the choices we make about our food. A picnic, set up as a symbol of human connection to nature, will be arranged in the green area around the food fair. Each region will have a stall with information about the emissions associated with each food option compared to a standard red meat plate. In consideration of Ramadan, small culturally appropriate gifts will be provided to the Muslim community.

In addition to this event, there will be guided nature walking tours around the UNON grounds and Planet Unplugged sessions throughout the week. 

To show their growing commitment to greening their work environment and raising staff awareness, several UN organizations at the Gigiri compound will also be signing the Environmental Commitment Charter on June 5th. The Charter was signed by UN Environment, UNON, and UN-Habitat in 2015, and UNESCO and UNICEF in 2016.

If you’re working in a UN office with access to outside space why not organise your own event to get you and your colleagues out of the office and into the great outdoors? No matter how big or how small your event is, it’s sure to be a source of fun for everyone. All you have to do is find some colleague to help you, encourage others to come along and make sure to register your event on the World Environment Day website. Please remember, that whatever event you plan, that you leave your chosen outside venue as clean as (if not cleaner) than you found it.

Alternatively, you can support World Environment Day by:

For more information on this year's WED celebrations, check out our story on the #WithNature campaign, or visit the World Environment Day website.

Categories: Staff Engagement