September 15, 2010
United Nations Environment Programme
Sydney (Australia) - Millions of people across the globe will be cleaning up their local parks, waterways and forests in a bid to restore and protect nature this Clean Up the World Weekend, in support of the United Nations 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.
Volunteers taking part in this year's Clean Up the World Weekend, held globally on 17 - 19 September, will join an estimated 35 million volunteers from 120 countries. The campaign, held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is in its 18th year and works at the grassroots level to mobilise global communities to clean up, fix up and conserve their local environments.
This year, participants will be focussing their efforts on conserving nature. Clean Up the World Chairman and Founder, Ian Kiernan AO*, welcomes the profile biodiversity is receiving from global through to local levels.
"Protecting the environment is something we've been advocating since Clean Up the World began 18 years ago so we welcome the current, high profile attention biodiversity is receiving. From marine clean ups in West Asia to reforestation in Africa, each Clean Up the World activity protects, restores and/or promotes nature and we'll continue to campaign for this for many years to come," said Kiernan.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said, "The current state of biodiversity and the implications of its continued loss threaten human well-being and economies North and South. By acting locally, we can work towards reducing the impacts of land-based pollution and unsustainable consumption patterns, two of the factors underlying environmental degradation and the loss of natural capital. Ecosystems, and the biodiversity that underpins them, generate services worth trillions of dollars and in doing so support lives and livelihoods across the planet. Biodiversity also has spiritual and cultural significance. It is our responsibility, as custodians of the planet today, to conserve and to promote sustainable use and to hand over a healthy, functioning and productive natural world to the next generation."
"Clean Up the World brings the focus squarely on people as agents of change, " he added.
Over the forthcoming Clean Up the World Weekend, the "change" will come from all corners of the globe. Activities will range from cleaning up small villages to national clean up events. Across many regions communities will also implement recycling programmes, restoration projects, tree planting and educational activities.
Members of the Brazilian Institute for the Protection of Nature will join with their communities to restore Parque Ecológico do Tietê in São Paulo, the largest linear park in the world. They will also conduct a clean up along the iconic Amazon River in the city of Manaus.
Scouts from the Boy Scouts of the Philippines Association will work to rehabilitate a protected mangrove site. Senior Scouts of Jose J. Leido Jr., based in the Philippine city of Calapan, will lead volunteers in an activity they hope will "bring back the earth to a condition conducive to everyone".
From the Baltic coast to the Kampinoski National Park in east-central Poland, Our Earth Foundation will lead thousands of volunteers in clean up activities across Poland over Clean Up the World Weekend. Our Earth Foundation is celebrating its 17th year as a Clean Up the World participant and is one of over 60 organisations who have been involved with the campaign for more than 5 years.
In a demonstration of the support the campaign receives from the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the staff of the Australian Embassy in Amman, Jordon will host an environmental education day for Pella locals. Joining in on the activities will be a local environmental organisation, Friends of the Earth Middle East, and school children from the Jordan Valley area.
The Scout Association of Zimbabwe, with a membership of 27,000 young Zimbabweans across the country, will embark on a campaign against veld fires. The campaign will engage recently resettled farmers and aims to raise awareness of the detrimental impact of wild fires on the environment. Just one of the many National Scout Organizations who have joined Clean Up the World as a result of the Ally relationship with the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
"Across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas, West Asia and Africa, Clean Up the World Weekend is when we unite to clean up, fix up and conserve our precious and shared environment. It's a weekend where we'll rise above geographical and political boundaries to prevent any more nature loss," Kiernan said. "We welcome more groups to join us in our bid to protect and care for nature."
Interested groups are encouraged to register with Clean Up the World by visiting activities.cleanuptheworld.org. The website also highlights the many global activities happening over Clean Up the World Weekend.
Note to Editors:
Clean Up the World
Based in Sydney, Clean Up the World is an Australian initiative created in the wake of the success of Clean Up Australia Day, first held in 1990. It is a not-for-profit, non-government, apolitical organisation that unites communities with a common focus to clean up the world.
Clean Up the World is a campaign held in conjunction with Primary Partner UNEP. Supporters include The Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Armor. Allies are the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). Ambassadors include Celine Cousteau and David De Rothschild.
* AO Order of Australia awarded for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large