NAIROBI, Kenya – The government of Sweden will host World Environment Day 2022 in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The year 2022 marks 50 years since the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment – the 1972 Stockholm Conference that led to the creation of UNEP and designating 5 June every year as World Environment Day.
World Environment Day 2022 will be held under the theme Only One Earth, highlighting the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature by bringing transformative changes – through policies and our choices – towards cleaner, greener lifestyles. Only One Earth was the motto for the 1972 Stockholm Conference; 50 years on, the motto holds true – this planet is our only home, whose finite resources humanity must safeguard.
Minister for environment and climate and deputy prime minister of Sweden Per Bolund said: “As a proud host of 2022 World Environment Day, Sweden will highlight the most pressing environmental concerns, showcase our country’s initiatives and the global efforts of addressing the climate and nature crises. We invite the global community across the world to join in the important discussions and celebrations.”
According to UNEP’s Making Peace with Nature report issued earlier this year, transforming social and economic systems means improving our relationship with nature, understanding its value and putting that value at the heart of decision making.
“In 2022, we hope to see a world turning the corner on the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we do so with the knowledge that we continue to face the triple planetary crises of climate change, nature loss, and pollution,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP. “Sweden’s announcement and a World Environment Day theme that puts nature and people at the centre of environmental work reminds us of the roots of the critical work of protecting our environment and injects vital impetus to global efforts to build back better and greener.”
“Since hosting the Stockholm Conference five decades ago, Sweden has made meaningful strides and record investments towards environmental protection, including a long-term climate goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2045 and negative emissions thereafter,” she added. “Its welcome role as host of the World Environment Day in 2022 is, therefore, a reflection of both an historical commitment and leadership and a high level of ambition for the future.”
World Environment Day takes place every year on June 5. It is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years, it has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is celebrated by millions of people across the world.
In addition, in 2022, the government of Sweden will host Stockholm+50, an international meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Stockholm Conference and to accelerate implementation to deliver on the 2030 Agenda and achieve sustainable recovery from COVID-19.
Stockholm+50 will provide an opportunity for the international community to strengthen cooperation and show leadership in the transformation towards a more sustainable society, in line with the declaration that was recently adopted in conjunction with the marking of the 75th anniversary of the UN.
The 1972 Stockholm Conference resulted in the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment, including several guiding principles on global environmental governance. Another result of the meeting was the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Environment Day.