Lebanon chosen by UN agency to host World Environment Day
Lebanon has been chosen to host this year’s World Environment Day on 5 June, the first time in the 30-year history of the awareness-raising event that the main celebrations will be held in the Arab world, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today.
“It will not be lost on billions of people around the globe, that this special day will also hold special significance by being in the Arab world so soon after the recent conflict in Iraq,” UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said. His agency stood ready to assist in the humanitarian effort for the benefit of the Iraqi people and their environment, he added.
This year’s theme, “Water – Two Billion People are Dying for It!” echoes one of the most pressing environmental issues facing the planet and its six billion citizens. The theme also supports the celebration of 2003 as the International Year of Freshwater.
“We couldn’t be more delighted that Lebanon has agreed to host this important United Nations day in the International Year of Freshwater,” Mr. Toepfer said. “West Asia, the region in which the country lies, vividly highlights the threats and challenges people across the globe face in their search for that most basic and fundamental element of life. Trees, forests and water are inextricably linked. So it is fitting that a country whose national flag is the majestic Cedar tree, is hosting this year’s World Environment Day celebrations.”