France celebrates World Environment Day

World Environment Day 2020

World Environment Day — celebrated every June 5th — takes on a special tone this year in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
France, alongside its partners, emphasizes the need to give priority to nature and the importance to protect our biodiversity, the theme chosen by UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) on this special day.
 
World Environment Day’s website

Forest fires in Brazil, in the United States and in Australia, infestations of locusts in eastern Africa, destructive climate events and the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the harmful influence of human interdependence and the regulatory role of our ecosystems. The message is crystal clear: “We are harming the natural world to our own detriment" said Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Locust infestation in East AfricaLocust infestation in East Africa ©National Geographic

All united for Nature

More than ever, we need nature: in a year, marine plants produce more than half our atmosphere’s oxygen and a single tree can absorb up to 22 kilos of carbon dioxide per year.

However, over the past 150 years, the live coral reefs cover has been reduced by half. One out of every four known species may have been wiped off the planet. In total, one million plants and animal species are threatened with extinction due to human activity.

Nature needs us. “We need our entire global community to change course," said Mr. Guterres. France strongly supports this #ForNature call to action to better protect our natural environments.

At the local level, the Permanent mission of France to the UN and international organisations and the Permanent mission of France to the Conference on disarmament, which share the same premises in the Villa des Ormeaux in Geneva have been engaged #forNature since April 2019 in reducing their carbon footprints as part of the “Green embassy” (Ambassade verte) project. Creating a vegetable garden, making electric bikes available, saving water and energy, recycling: protecting the environment is everyone’s business for a greener and more resilient world.

The "Green embassy" project

The IUCN World conservation congress in Marseille in January 2021

Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, the French government and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) took the decision to postpone the World Conservation Congress. Initially scheduled from June 11-19 th 2020, the event will take place from January 7-15 th 2021 in Marseille.

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World conservation congress in Marseille

France is more than ever committed to host this event and, along with IUCN, making the World Conservation Congress a major event for nature conservation and the development of a new global framework for biodiversity. Promoting the role of nature in sustainable development is more essential than ever for the future of our planet and those who inhabit it.
 
More information on the World conservation congress

As a starting point to this congress, a One planet summit- to demonstrate France commitment to climate- will be held on January 11 in Marseille. "Protecting ecosystems helps prevent the emergence of a pandemic like that of the Covid-19," declared President Emmanuel Macron.

Last updated on: 5 June 2020