World Environment Day

Embargo date: 28th of May 2020

Friday 5th of June marks World Environment Day 2020 which will be celebrated with under the theme Biodiversity #ForNature. The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) in partnership with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP SA) will unleash the opportunities technology brings and mobilise youth to engage in a series of activities to enhance
their understanding on the importance of nature. Only by knowing nature can we sustainably harness its benefits and preserve diversity of life on Earth. Restoring nature is critical for reversing the loss of biodiversity and sustaining a healthy planet. This will only be possible when we start to appreciate how crucial nature is for our own existence and quality of life. In the words of David Attenborough, “Never has it been more important to understand how the natural world works and how to help it.” This special day allows us to reflect on our dependence on nature — the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable. Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message. Nature is showing that we as humanity cannot continue as before. It is time to wake up. To take notice. To reimagine our relationship with nature. It is time to raise our voices to tell the world that we need action now. This World Environment Day, it is time for nature.

WESSA in partnership with UNEP is raising a call to action for youth to engage in creative activities that capture their appreciation of nature, such as writing of poetry, prose, and articles, making videos, and/or taking photos. Youth stand a chance to win spot prices sponsored by supporting partners including the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment and The Western Cape Government for Environment and Development Planning.

Youth are invited to step forward and speak out by recording a 60 second video articulating how they perceive nature and what nature means to them, participants can tag the campaign by using the following handles and hashtags; @WESSA_ZA @UNEP_Africa @UNEP @UNSA #ForNature #PeopleCaringForTheEarth #Worldenvironmentday WESSA in partnership with UNEP SA will host a webinar on the 5th of June in commemoration of WED 2020 and invites youth from all spheres to participate in a robust dialogue on the importance of Nature and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our planet. Members of the public are encouraged to follow the social media pages of WESSA and the United Nations to receive more detailed information on how participate in this year’s World Environment Day activities.

The Sustainable Seas Trust is registered as a charitable, non-profit, public benefit institution.
Trust Registration: IT 2203/ 2006 South Africa | NPO Number: 078-120-NPO | PBO Number: 930022444

Contacts for interviews:
Natania Botha | WESSA Head of Membership | 072 632 8593 |
Sarah Alcock | WESSA Group HR and Communications Manager | 076 213 9873 |
Cecilia Kinuthia Njenga| UNEP Head Regional Coordinator | 073 180 8730