World Environment Day (WED) is an international day of environmental awareness and action that happens on 5th June each year.

Started in 1974 by the United Nations, each year WED is hosted in a different country, with events focusing on a central theme. World Environment Day 2021 is being held in Colombia, with Biodiversity as the central theme.

Who takes part in World Environment Day?

Ever since its creation, the United Nations has emphasised that WED should be seen as the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth, whether that be something as small as picking up litter or planting a few flowers, or organising a more large-scale event in your local school or community like a clean-up campaign, a tree-planting drive, or a recycling drive.

Ways to protect biodiversity

Since 2021’s World Environment Day theme is biodiversity, you might wish to mark the occasion by organising an event or initiative for your children and/or students that is more specifically aimed towards protecting the local biodiversity where you live.

Here are some suggestions for fun, biodiversity-supporting World Environment Day activities:

  • Plant local/native flora for the bees: bee populations are dwindling all over the world, and ensuring that they have plenty of native flowers and plants on which to feed goes a long way towards helping populations thrive. Perhaps you could organise to have a small section of the school grounds roped off for classroom wildflower planting.
  • Walk or Bike Ride: you could encourage your students to walk or ride their bikes to school that day, perhaps by promising them a reward if they do it.
  • Make compost: composting is an amazing and entirely natural way to create nutrient-rich soil for any land that is being gardened or farmed. As you and your students set up compost bins, you can teach them that using compost for gardening will eliminate the need for artificial fertilisers and pesticides, both of which can harm local biodiversity.
  • Educate: the best way to ensure that your students will do their bit to protect biodiversity not just on this international environment-focused day, but every day, is by educating them on the importance of biodiversity. As it happens, we happen to have several resources available that can help with this.

When children plant trees, it is an obvious sign of hope for the future. It is a sign that the future of the earth and the environment in general is green. On World Environment day, ERICS campaigned in primary schools in Port Harcourt the need for children’s participation in caring for the environment. The two-acts programme had a lecture and a tree planting exercise.

ERICS believes that vocational education is a very important tool to reducing the huge inequality gaps in society. By training youths and women in skills, ERICS not just reduces knowledge gaps but improves livelihoods of youths and women.