Archive for the ‘Gorillas’ Category

World Environment Day 5th June

Friday, July 2nd, 2010
by Editor 20100702.
[The information in this article has been sourced from United Nations Environment Programme World Environment Day website]

World Environment Day is a environmental event initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) aimed at stimulating worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. It is commemorated on 5th June each year and first started back in 1972.

The approach of World Environment Day is “to give a human face to environmental issues and enable people to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.”

World Environment Day 2010

The theme of WED 2010 is ‘Many Species. One Planet. One Future.’

It echoes the urgent call to conserve the diversity of life on our planet and encourages all people to carefully consider the actions each person needs to take to help preserve all life on Earth..and prevent increasing extinctions.

‘A total of 17,291 species are known to be threatened with extinction – from little-known plants and insects to charismatic birds and mammals.

The reason? Human activities. With our present approach to development, we have caused the clearing of much of the original forest, drained half of the world’s wetlands, depleted three quarters of all fish stocks, and emitted enough heat-trapping gases to keep our planet warming for centuries to come. We have put our foot on the accelerator, making species extinctions occur at up to 1000 times the natural rate.

For this reason, the United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. It is an opportunity to stress the importance of biodiversity for human well-being, reflect on our achievements to safeguard it and encourage a redoubling of our efforts to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss.’

The State of the Planet’s Biodiversity

Key Findings from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment:

  • Scientists have no clear idea of how many species — from algae to blue whales — live on earth. Estimates are up to 100 million of which only about 1.8 million have been named so far. Humans are but one of those species.
  • Though the exact number is impossible to determine, an unprecedented mass extinction of life on Earth is occurring. Scientists estimate that between 150 and 200 species of life become extinct every 24 hours.
  • There have always been periods of extinction in the planet’s history, but this episode of species extinction is greater than anything the world has experienced for the past 65 million years – the greatest rate of extinction since the vanishing of the dinosaurs.
  • This mass extinction is due, in large measure, to humankind’s unsustainable methods of production and consumption, including the destruction of habitats, expanding cities, pollution, deforestation, global warming and the introduction of “invasive species”.
  • “Climate change is forecast to become one of the biggest threats to biodiversity,” the UN Convention on Biological Diversity said in a statement marking May 22.
  • “Approximately 20-30 per cent of plant and animal species assessed so far are likely to be at greater risk of extinction if increases in global average temperature exceed 1.5 to 2.5 Celsius” (2.7 to 4.5 Fahrenheit), according to a report in April 2007 by the UN climate panel. Beyond that, it said ecosystems would face ever more wrenching changes.
  • Biodiversity contributes directly or indirectly to many aspects of our well-being, for instance, by providing raw materials and contributing to health. More than 60 per cent of the world’s people depend directly on plants for their medicines.
  • Over the past century, many people have benefited from the conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural land and from the exploitation of biodiversity.  Although many individuals benefit from activities that lead to biodiversity loss and ecosystem change, the full costs borne by society often exceed the benefits.
  • World leaders agreed at a 2002 UN Summit in Johannesburg to “achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth.”
  • To achieve greater progress towards biodiversity conservation, it will be necessary – but not sufficient – to urgently strengthen actions on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity (biological diversity) reflects the number, variety and variability of living organisms and how these change from one location to another and over time. Biodiversity includes diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity), and between ecosystems (ecosystem diversity).

Biodiversity is important in all ecosystems, not only in those that are “natural” such as national parks or natural preserves, but also in those that are managed by humans, such as farms and plantations, and even urban parks. It is the basis of the multiple benefits provided by ecosystems to humans.

Where is biodiversity?

Life, and thus biodiversity, is essentially everywhere on Earth’s surface and in every drop of its bodies of water. The best known dimension of biodiversity is the classification of animals and plants into species, which mainly focuses on animals observable to the naked eye.

What is the link between biodiversity and ecosystem services?

Ecosystem services are the benefits obtained by people from ecosystems.

These include:

  • provisioning services such as food, clean water, timber, fiber, and genetic resources;
  • regulating services such as the regulation of climate, floods, disease, water quality, and pollination;
  • cultural services such as recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits;
  • supporting services such as soil formation, and nutrient cycling.

Biodiversity plays an important role in the way ecosystems function and in the services they provide. The local loss of an essential species can disrupt ecosystem services for a long time. Changes in the interactions between species can also lead to negative impacts on ecosystem processes.

The preservation of resident species can enhance resistance of a wide range of natural and semi-natural ecosystems against invasive species.

There have been worldwide declines in the diversity of pollinating insects that are essential for the reproduction of many plants.

Biodiversity, in particular the diversity of plant forms and the distribution of landscape patches, influences climate at local, regional, and global scales. Some components of biodiversity affect carbon sequestration and thus are important in fighting climate change.

The ecosystem’s ability to control pests is strongly dependent on biodiversity and benefits food security, rural households, and national incomes of many countries.

The microbes living in the sea contribute to pollution control by removing toxic substances from the environment, but how species diversity influences this removal is not well understood.

Why is biodiversity loss a concern?

Biodiversity is essential for the benefits the ecosystems can provide to humans and hence for human well-being. Its role goes beyond ensuring the availability of raw materials to include security, resiliency, social relations, health, and freedoms and choices.

Biodiversity loss has direct and indirect negative effects on several factors:

  • Food security: The availability of biodiversity is often a “safety net” that increases food security and the adaptability of some local communities to external economic and ecological disturbances.
  • Vulnerability: Many communities have experienced more natural disasters over the past several decades. For example, because of the loss of mangroves and coral reefs, which are excellent natural buffers against floods and storms, coastal communities have increasingly suffered from severe floods.
  • Health: A balanced diet depends on the availability of a wide variety of foods, which in turn depends on the conservation of biodiversity.
  • Energy security: Wood fuel provides more than half the energy used in developing countries. Shortage of wood fuel occurs in areas with high population density without access to alternative and affordable energy sources. In such areas, people are vulnerable to illness and malnutrition because of the lack of resources to heat homes, cook food, and boil water.
  • Clean water: The continued loss of forests and the destruction of watersheds reduce the quality and availability of water supplied to household use and agriculture. In the case of New York City, protecting the ecosystem to ensure continued provision of clean drinking water was far more cost-effective than building and operating a water filtration plant.
  • Social relations: Many cultures attach spiritual, aesthetic, recreational, and religious values to ecosystems or their components.
  • Freedom of choice: Loss of biodiversity, which is sometimes irreversible, often means a loss of choices. The notion of having choices available irrespective of whether any of them will be actually picked is an essential constituent of the freedom aspect of well-being.
  • Basic materials: Biodiversity provides various goods – such as plants and animals – that individuals need in order to earn an income and secure sustainable livelihoods. In addition to agriculture, biodiversity contributes to a range of other sectors, including ecotourism, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and fisheries.

What competing goals can affect biodiversity?

When humans modify an ecosystem to improve one of the services it provides this generally results in changes to other ecosystem services. For example, actions to increase food production can lead to reduced water availability for other uses, and degraded water quality. In the long term, the value of services lost may greatly exceed the short-term economic benefits that are gained from transforming ecosystems.

What is the value of biodiversity for human well-being?

Unlike goods bought and sold on markets, many ecosystem services do not have markets or readily observable prices. This means that the importance of biodiversity and natural processes in producing ecosystem services that people depend on is not reflected in financial markets.

Degradation of ecosystem services could be significantly slowed or reversed if their full economic value were taken into account in decision-making.

A way of assigning monetary values to them is to rely on non-market valuation methods. These methods have been applied to clean drinking water, recreation, or commercially harvested species.

Non-market values can be either the value to society from the active use of the asset or a “non-use” value, which reflects the value of an asset beyond any use, such as the value of existence of species.

The private use value of biodiversity and ecosystem services by individuals will typically ignore the “external” benefits of conservation to society in general. For example, a farmer may benefit from intensive use of the land but generally does not bear all the consequences caused by leaching of excess nutrients and pesticides into ground or surface water, or the consequences of loss of habitat for native species.

Intensive use of ecosystems often produces the greatest short-term advantage, but excessive and unsustainable use can lead to losses in the long term. A country could cut its forests and deplete its fisheries, and this would show only as a positive gain to GDP, despite the loss of capital assets, because of the income generated by the sale of those products.

Moreover, many ecosystem services, such as groundwater, are available freely to those who use them and so again their degradation is not reflected by standard economic valuation methods.

How are the impacts of biodiversity loss distributed geographically?

The changes in ecosystems are harming many of the world’s poorest people, who are less able to adjust to these changes and who are affected by even greater poverty, as they have limited access to substitutes or alternatives. For example, poor farmers often cannot afford using modern methods for services previously provided by biodiversity.

Poor people have historically disproportionately lost access to biological products and ecosystem services as demand for those services has grown. The transfer in ownership of ecosystem resources often excludes local communities, and the products of their exploitation are not destined for the local market.

What are the current trends in biodiversity?

For all aspects of biodiversity, current pace of change and loss is hundreds of times faster than previously in recorded history and the pace shows no indication of slowing down.

Virtually all of Earth’s ecosystems have been dramatically transformed through human actions, for example, 35% of mangrove and 20% of coral reef areas have been lost.  Across the world, ecosystems have continued to be converted for agricultural and other uses at a constant pace over at least the last century.

Species extinction is a natural part of Earth’s history. However, over the past 100 years humans have increased the extinction rate by at least 100 times compared to the natural rate. The current extinction rate is much greater than the rate at which new species arise, resulting in a net loss of biodiversity.

What factors lead to biodiversity loss?

Some of the key drivers include land use change, climate change, invasive species, overexploitation, pollution, and changes in human population, incomes or lifestyle.

Changes in biodiversity are driven by combinations of these drivers that work over time, on different scales, and that tend to amplify each other. For example, population and income growth combined with technological advances can lead to climate change.

Historically, habitat and land use change have had the biggest impact on biodiversity in all ecosystems, but climate change and pollution are projected to increasingly affect all aspects of biodiversity.

Overexploitation and invasive species have been important as well and continue to be major drivers of changes in biodiversity.

How is climate change affecting biodiversity?

Recent changes in climate, such as warmer temperatures in certain regions, have already had significant impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems. They have affected species distributions, population sizes, and the timing of reproduction or migration events, as well as the frequency of pest and disease outbreaks.

Projected changes in climate by 2050 could lead to the extinction of many species living in certain limited geographical regions. By the end of the century, climate change and its impacts may become the main direct driver of overall biodiversity loss.

How might biodiversity change in the future under various plausible scenarios?

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment developed four plausible scenarios to explore the future of biodiversity and human well-being until 2050 and beyond. The different scenarios are based on either increased globalization or increased regionalization, and an either reactive or proactive way of addressing environmental issues.

Overall, in all four scenarios, agricultural land will expand and forest cover will shrink, particularly in developing countries. This will lead to a continuing decline in local and global biodiversity, mainly as a result of habitat loss. More proactive approaches to the environment will be more successful in slowing these trends.

Human well-being will be affected by biodiversity loss both directly and indirectly. Direct effects include an increased risk of sudden environmental changes such as fisheries collapses, floods, droughts, wildfires, and disease.

Changes will also affect human well-being indirectly, for instance in the form of conflicts due to scarcer food and water resources.

Though the average income per person (GDP) is projected to rise in all scenarios, this can mask increased inequity for instance in terms of food security. Major decisions will have to address trade-offs between competing goals, for instance between agricultural production and water quality, or between water use and aquatic biodiversity.

What actions can be taken to conserve biodiversity?

Protected areas are an essential part of conservation programs, but they are not sufficient by themselves to protect the full range of biodiversity and can be difficult to enforce. To be successful, sites for protected areas need to be carefully chosen, ensuring that all regional ecosystems are well represented, and the areas need to be well designed and effectively managed.

Market tools, such as direct payments for ecosystem services or transfers of ownership rights to private individuals, can provide economic incentives to conserve biodiversity and to use ecosystem services sustainably.

Prevention and early intervention have proven to be the most successful and cost-effective way of tackling invasive species. Once an invasive species has become established, its control and particularly its eradication through the use of chemicals or through the introduction of other species is not necessarily effective and is extremely difficult and costly.

To be conserved, biodiversity must be integrated into the agriculture, fishery, and forestry sectors. These sectors are directly dependent on biodiversity and affect it directly. The private sector can make significant contributions, for example by adopting certain agricultural practices.

International agreements need to include enforcement measures and take into account impacts on biodiversity and possible synergies with other agreements. Most direct actions to halt or reduce biodiversity loss need to be taken at local or national level.

Informing all of society about the benefits of conserving biodiversity, and explicitly considering trade-offs between different options in an integrated way, helps maximize the benefits to society. Ecosystem restoration is generally far more expensive than protecting the original ecosystem, but is becoming increasingly important as more areas become degraded.’

> Further Reading

Ecosystems and Human Well-Being – Biodiversity Synthesis

Global Host Country 2010:  Rwanda

The World Environment Day 2010 programme was hosted by Rwanda and took place from 29 May – 5 June2010.

Rwanda is hilly and mountainous country located in Central Africa near the equator. It has a humid climate with an average rainfall is about 1,250 mm p.a. It covers an area of 26.338 km2, with an extreme  human population density averaging 321 people per km2.    Its central plateau includes the volcanic Virunga range in the northwest, home to what is estimated to be a third of the world’s remaining 750 mountain gorillas.

‘Environment is a very important and sensitive factor in the socioeconomic, political and cultural development of the country; Rwanda is naturally endowed with water, biodiversity and landscapes that have shaped the livelihoods, economic and social structure of the country over centuries. These landscapes are, however, fragile and over the years, they have been severely degraded, thereby affecting the quality of livelihoods and economy.

Environmental degradation and climate change impacts have been recognized at the highest political level, as some of the main barriers to realizing Rwanda’s medium and long-term development aspirations enshrined in the Vision 2020 and in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy ( EDPRS) respectively. This realization has been translated into a resolve of the Government of Rwanda (GoR) to effectively control pollution, conserve biodiversity, and restore productive ecosystems.

Current state of Biodiversity of Rwanda

Rwanda has a remarkable variety of ecosystems and of flora and fauna. Its location at the heart of the Albertine Rift eco-region in the western arm of the Africa’s Rift Valley is a contributory factor. This region is one of Africa’s most biologically diverse regions. It is home to some 40 per cent of the continent’s mammal species (402 species), a huge diversity of birds (1,061 species), reptiles and amphibians (293 species), and higher plants (5,793 species).

The most biologically diverse habitats in Rwanda lie within three protected areas including Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, and Nyungwe National Park. The last is known to be the largest mountain rainforest in Africa and covers around 1013 Km2of rugged terrain, ranging in elevation from 5,200–9,680 feet, including tall, closed-canopy forests, bamboo thickets, and open, flower-filled marshes. This ecosystem maintains the hydrological system of not only the country but also the region.

Rwanda shelters 151 different types of mammal species, eleven of which are currently threatened and none of which are endemic. Among them are the primates (14 to 16),with half of the remaining world population of mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla berengei). The gorillas are found in the Volcanoes National Park.

The Natural Mountainous forests, concentrated in the Western Province which also harbors the Lake Kivu, are home to golden monkeys, the white and black colobus monkey, the owl faced monkey which is on the red list of IUCN to mention but a few. In the East, the relief is characterized by a vast monotonous region cut up in big hardpan strips strewn with a multitude of lakes and marshes which are habitat to various natural resources including hippos, giraffes, zebras, leopards, crocodiles, and nearly 600 species of birds.

Rwanda is one of the top birding countries with 670 different birds having been recorded. Four of species of birds in Rwanda are threatened with extinction: the shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) found in Akagera; Grauer’s rush warbler (Bradyptrus graueri) found in Volcanoes National Park in Nyungwe and in the swamps of Rugezi; the Kungwe apalis(Apalis argentea) found in Nyungwe; and the African or Congo barn owl (Phodilus prigoginei) found along Lake Kivu.

This rich biodiversity is mainly conserved in protected areas (three national parks, natural forests, wetlands). Despite its size and high population density, almost 20 per cent of the national territory is dedicated as protected areas.

With the highest population density in Africa, coupled with its dependence on natural resources,  the major threats to the biodiversity and genetic resources in Rwanda are mainly linked to population pressure and the problem of land scarcity. Other threats to the biodiversity are linked to human activities such as loss of habitat by conversion of natural habitats, mining, agriculture and the introduction of alien species.

The rich biodiversity of Rwanda, provide an opportunity for the development of the tourism sector in Rwanda. Rwandan tourism is mainly based on visits in national parks, with the Volcanoes National Park, the most visited.

Rwanda’s Green Initiatives

Under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, who is one of Africa’s strongest voices on environmental sustainability, Rwanda has developed a visionary strategy for sustainable development and environmental protection, with a spate of new policies and laws for environmental management.

Rwanda’s green initiatives include:

  • Environment organic law promulgation
  • Establishment of Rwanda Environment Management Authority
  • Biodiversity and wildlife policies development
  • Programmes aimed at halting the effects of climate change, including preserving wetlands and forests as well as a countrywide tree-planting
  • Protection of river banks and lake shores for biodiversity conservation
  • Tourism revenue sharing scheme for communities surrounding Protected Areas.
  • A country-wide ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags
  • Nationwide community works known as Umuganda which include activities like litter cleanups tree-planting and greening of cities.
  • Trash collection in Kigali, with the litter recycled into cooking bricks as an alternative to firewood.
  • Development of renewable energies (Biogas, solar, hydropower) and Rainwater harvesting in schools, household and in public and private institutions

Rwanda’s Endangered Mountain Gorillas

Dian Fossey & Karisoke Research Centre, Rwanda

‘Dian Fossey founded the Karisoke Research Center on Sept. 24, 1967, in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park between Mt. Karisimbi and Mt. Bisoke. She recalled this historic event in her book, Gorillas in the Mist.’

‘…There she began a long-term scientific study of the endangered mountain gorillas. She pioneered ways to approach the gorillas so they would accept human observers, and she learned to identify individual gorillas by the wrinkles on their noses. She also promoted active conservation, protecting the gorillas through measures such as armed anti-poaching patrols. At that time, she feared that the mountain gorilla might become extinct by the end of the 20th century, as her mentor, Dr. Louis Leakey, had warned. A census published in 1981 found that the population had fallen to 242 individuals, from a 1960 estimate of 400-500. Now, 40 years later, Fossey might be surprised to learn that some 380 mountain gorillas are known to inhabit the Virunga mountains (according to a 2003 census), a significant increase since her time.’

‘The Fossey Fund currently employs a staff of 125 at the Karisoke Research Center including gorilla trackers, researchers and anti-poaching patrols.’

Will the mountain gorilla survive?

‘The year 2002 marked the 100th year since the mountain gorilla was first scientifically identified as a distinct subspecies of gorilla. The future of the gorillas is most dependent on the protection and survival of the forests in which they live, since they depend on this land for food, safety and normal activities. But the forests are often in danger from growing human populations, and from civil war in the region.’

Threats to Gorilla Survival

‘All types of gorillas in Africa are endangered, primarily due to human activity such as poaching, disease transmission, and habitat destruction. Ultimately, human poverty is the greatest threat to gorillas. Gorillas live in countries in Africa with some of the highest population densities and lowest adult life spans, literacy rates, and standards of living in the world. The challenges that such intense poverty brings to gorilla conservation vary depending on where in Africa the gorillas live. Western gorillas, which inhabit 11 west African countries from Nigeria to Angola, are primarily threatened by illegal hunting for food, habitat loss from logging, and disease specifically the Ebola virus, which has a roughly 95% mortality rate in gorillas. Eastern gorillas are found only in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are not generally hunted for food like their western counterparts. They are primarily threatened by habitat loss when their forests are converted to farmland and pasture; local civil unrest; poachers’ snares set for other animals such as antelope; respiratory and other diseases probably transmitted by humans; and poaching for the gorilla infant trade.

The only type of gorilla that is known to be increasing is the mountain gorilla. Between 1989 and 2003, the Virunga mountain gorilla population increased by 17% and nearly all that increase occurred within the sector of the park protected by The Fossey Fund. This is astounding, particularly given that civil wars occurred in both Rwanda and Congo during portions of this time period. This increase is attributed to the intense conservation efforts of the national park authorities in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda as well as the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and its partners.’

Gorilla Rehabilitation & Grace

‘Since Dian Fossey’s time, gorilla conservationists have sometimes had to care for infant gorillas confiscated from poachers. But these young gorillas are physically and emotionally fragile, and have usually suffered from extremely traumatic conditions. It is assumed that at least four gorillas have been killed to obtain an infant: certainly the mother, likely the silverback and probably other family members coming to protect their kin.’

The Fossey Fund cares for many young orphaned gorillas rescued from poachers or armed conflict, with the goal of one day returning them to the wild. Raising the gorillas for release will provide genetic diversity critical for a healthy species.’

A new state-of-the-art facility was just opened in Kasugho, Democratic Republic of the Congo called GRACE (Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education center). This Fossey Fund facility will be a haven for up to 30 rescued Grauer’s gorillas, where they will live in a group similar to those in the wild and ultimately, we hope, will be released into the wild as their own family. The center is on land donated by the local community. The gorillas will have access to 20 hectares (49 acres) of forest when construction is complete.’

The first four gorilla residents arrived at GRACE on April 27th by UN helicopter. The infants had been living in a temporary facility in Goma with their human care staff who must take on the role of both silverback and mother for the youngsters. The gorillas instantaneously seemed at ease, after a stressful travel day, when they were allowed to roam their new forest home. They started eating forest foods that they hadn’t seen since they were taken from the forest and even started building nests. Six more orphaned gorillas will arrive at GRACE in mid-June.’

The GRACE Center will have an impact beyond the rehabilitation of rescued gorillas. Studies have shown that gorilla rehabilitation centers in other areas have helped to discourage the illegal trade in live gorilla infants. Authorities are quicker to confiscate poaching victims if they know there is a place that will receive them. In addition, the center will welcome researchers and students, and house a conservation education and public information program designed by the local university, the Tayna Center for Conservation Biology (TCCB).’

Helping People Help Gorillas

‘Helping people in Africa thrive helps endangered gorillas survive, too.

Poverty reduction, health promotion and conservation education are irrevocably linked to environmental protection. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International has developed programs to help people in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo where we protect gorillas, to address many of these issues: alleviating extreme poverty; developing public-private partnerships; increasing access to essential medicines; combating disease through intestinal parasite treatment and educational prevention; empowering women; helping children go to school; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; assisting in environmental stability and reversing loss of environmental resources. The Fossey Fund’s people programs have four major goals:

  • To provide a healthy environment for local people living around protected areas.
  • To enhance environmental protection and conservation of endangered species living in Volcanoes National Park.
  • To improve awareness and understanding of the role of community projects in successful natural resource conservation.
  • To ensure sustainability of community projects and community ownership of the projects through capacity building and local involvement.’
Copyright 2010 The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. All rights reserved.

^ Further Information:   The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

Environmental Partners

Biomimicry Institute

In support of World Environment Day, the Biomimicry Institute provided scientific information for the WED 2010 poster series. The Biomimicry Institute (TBI) is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing and growing the global community of people learning from, emulating, and conserving life’s genius to create a healthier and more sustainable human existence on this planet.



In support of WED 2010, CinemAmbiente, Italy’s prime environmental film festival directed by Gaetano Capizzi and co-organized by the National Museum of Cinema, has moved its customary autumn date forward to spring to coincide with WED. CinemAmbiente will run from 1-6 June in Torino, Italy. In addition, CinemAmbiente, in collaboration with agencies and associations, will hold special film screenings in 20 cities throughout Italy on 5 June.  CinemAmbiente is the head of the Environmental Film Festival Network (EFFN) and Europe’s first zero-emission festival.


Clean Up the World

In support of World Environment Day 2010, Clean Up the World will invite its member organisations around the globe to conduct environmental activities with a focus on protecting and promoting biodiversity in their communities. Activities such as planting native trees, cleaning up local parks and waterways, conducting nature walks or organising environmental education exercises will be undertaken. Members will also register their local activities with UNEP.

Now celebrating its 18th year, Clean Up the World, held in conjunction with UNEP, mobilises an estimated 35 million volunteers from 120 countries annually making it one of the largest community based environmental campaigns in the world. While its Member’s activities can be conducted throughout the year, including World Environment Day, Clean Up the World’s flagship event is Clean Up the World Weekend, 17-19 September 2010. Clean Up the World is a not-for-profit, non-government, apolitical organisation that unites communities with a common focus to clean up the world. For more information, please contact e-mail:


Green TV

In support of WED 2010, Green TV is promoting WED 2010 video materials throughout their online channels, including GreenTV News, iTunes, Blinkx, MySpace, YouTube and Metacafe.  Green TV is the world’s leading online TV channel for ‘green’ video. New films are available every day from organisations working around the world. Green TV is proud to be partnered with UNEP and is supporting World Environment Day by promoting WED films and covering relevant stories in its weekly news broadcast.


ENERGY Globe Award

In support of World Environment Day 2010, the Energy Globe Awards will be held during the World Environment Day celebrations in Kigali, Rwanda. The ENERGY GLOBE Award TV Gala – a WED partnership project – will take place on 3 June. It will be broadcast worldwide.  The ENERGY GLOBE Award was initiated by the Austrian Mr. Wolfgang Neumann and has been awarded annually since 2000. It distinguishes projects from all around the world that conserve natural resources and utilize renewable or emission-free sources. The goal of the ENERGY GLOBE Award is to create the necessary awareness concerning solutions to our environmental problems and to demonstrate that each of us can make a positive contribution. The ENERGY GLOBE Jury is headed by Congresswoman Maneka Gandhi, former Indian Minister for Environment.


National Geographic Society

In support of WED 2010, the National Geographic Society and GlobeScan presented the 2010 results of the annual Greendex consumer behaviour study. This quantitative consumer study of 17,000 consumers in 17 countries (14 in 2008) asked about such behavior as energy use and conservation, transportation choices, food sources, the relative use of green products versus traditional products, attitudes towards the environment and sustainability, and knowledge of environmental issues. The Greendex measures the impact of the average consumer in each country surveyed; it does not measure the environmental impact of a total country.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 375 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibits; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,200 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy.



GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments and NGOs trust GlobeScan for its unique expertise in reputation research, sustainability, and issues management. GlobeScan provides global organizations with evidence-based insight and advice to help them build strong brands, manage relations with key stakeholders, and define their strategic positioning.


The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

In support of WED 2010, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International has assisted in organizing events in Rwanda. In addition, the Fossey Fund has kindly contributed photographs for use in WED related materials.  The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International is dedicated to the conservation and protection of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Founded by Dr. Dian Fossey as the Digit Fund and renamed after her death, the Fossey Fund operates the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda, and maintains a staff of scientists, trackers and anti-poaching patrols in Volcanoes National Park. The Fund also works with community-managed reserves and national parks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and operates extensive education, health and other community outreach programs.



In support of World Environment Day 2010, Treehugger is working with UNEP to raise awareness about WED celebrations. Treehugger partnered with UNEP and Racepoint Group (on behalf of the Government of Rwanda) for the WED Blogging Competition which will see one lucky blogger win a free trip to Rwanda for the WED celebrations from 3-5 June 2010.  TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, we strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.


World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)

In support of WED 2010, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is promoting WED by encouraging members to take part in WED through an on-line information page.

WAZA is the unifying organisation for the world zoo and aquarium community. Its mission is to provide leadership and support for zoos, aquariums, and partner organizations of the world in animal care and welfare, conservation of biodiversity, environmental education and global sustainability. WAZA supports biodiversity conservation and is partnering with CBD, the Convention on Biological Diversity on the occasion of the International Year of Biodiversity 2010. For WAZA and its members biodiversity is the theme for 2010 and zoos and aquariums worldwide are joining in with numerous events and activities. WAZA therefore fully supports the related activities for WED 2010, information and supporting material is provided on


Further Information on World Environment Day

UNEP World Environment Day


Pittsburgh — A United Nations World Environment Day Host City

UNEP World Environment Day in South Korea

Millions of Pieces: Only One Puzzle

Highlights from WED 2010

Wikipedia – history of World Environment Day

Greenfest (Australia)

United Nations Association of Australia (Victorian Division)

© The Habitat Advocate    Public Domain

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