World Environment Day is the biggest international day for the environment. Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and held annually since 1973, it has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental outreach. It is celebrated by millions of people across the world.

The campaign slogan for World Environment Day 2022 is “Only One Earth” with the focus on “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”. 

“Only One Earth”

“Only One Earth” was the slogan for the 1972 Stockholm Conference, the first world conference to make the environment a major issue; 50 years on, this truth still holds – this planet is our only home.

With nature in emergency mode, the #OnlyOneEarth campaign for World Environment Day 2022, wants you to celebrate the planet through collective environmental action. 

#OnlyOneEarth advocates for transformative environmental change on a global scale. The campaign shines a spotlight on climate actionnature action and pollution action while encouraging everyone, everywhere to live sustainably.

The global disruption caused by COVID-19 has brought about several effects on the environment and climate, both positive and negative. Due to movement restrictions and a significant slowdown in social and economic activities, air quality improved in many cities with a reduction in water pollution in different parts of the world.

Increased use of PPE (e.g., face masks, hand gloves etc.), their haphazard disposal, and the generation of a huge amount of hospital waste had negative impacts on the environment.

World Environment Week – Turkey

Starting on Wednesday and continuing until June 7, Turkey is celebrating Environment Week for the first time and aims to raise awareness for environmental protection.

The theme of the first edition is “zero waste,” a concept championed by first lady Emine Erdoğan. Throughout the week, several activities will be held nationwide to highlight the theme.

In 81 provinces of the country, simultaneous “81 Billion Steps” marches will be held, along with mass plantings of saplings, cleanup campaigns and bicycle tours. The events aim to instil awareness, especially in children, of the importance of a sustainable environment. The Ministry of Environment, Urban Planning and Climate Change will coordinate the events.

First lady, Emine Erdoğan also debuted the book “The World Is Our Common Home,” which was put together under her leadership and features the inspiring stories of 28 environmental volunteers. The first lady emphasised, “Climate change is the most important problem of our century. Climate change affects every aspect of life, from the economy to technology, from food and water resources to human rights. Our natural resources are depleting rapidly. The increase in hard-to-live areas is increasing the population of ‘climate refugees.’ We are the last generation who can turn the tide.”

World Environment Week – Fethiye

In Fethiye, a program of events will take place between Saturday 4th June and Friday 10th June.

“Only One Earth” – together we can protect it

“Environment is no one’s property to destroy; it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect” – Mohith Agadi.

We have all seen the effects of climate change and, due to its geographical location, Turkey is one of the countries most affected, having first-hand experience of the difficulties climate change creates in maintaining a sustainable environment.

Whilst it is collective action that will create the transformative change that we need, our individual consumption choices do make a difference.

On World Environment Day, make a pledge to change one thing about your lifestyle that will make a difference, thousands of small differences = one huge difference.

Over the coming weeks, Fethiye Times will be talking a closer look at the issues Fethiye is facing to turn the tide, what is currently being done, what is planned for the future, and what we can do as individuals to make a difference and take better care of our beautiful little corner of the world.

Sources: United Nations/National Library of Medicine/Daily Sabah