UNEP Joins 7 Billion Actions Campaign to Show Opportunities and Challenges at Population Milestone

October 6, 2011
United Nations Environment Programme

Nairobi, 6 October 2011 - The world population is set to hit 7 billion on 31 October 2011, bringing into sharp focus the challenges of ensuring sustainable development and a fair share of the planet's resources for a growing global population. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has today joined the 7 Billion Actions campaign to encourage individuals, governments, businesses and organisations to take positive actions towards creating a more sustainable world for 7 billion inhabitants.

Co-ordinated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 7 Billion Actions aims to capitalize on the population milestone by promoting global co-operation on health, environmental sustainability, poverty and inequality, urbanization and other critical issues. Through an interactive website, social networks and mobile phone projects, 7 Billion Actions encourages people and organizations around the world to submit ideas and commit to actions for creating a fairer, more sustainable global society.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: "Whether it's the impact of climate change on food security, or the growing energy needs of a larger, more urbanized global population, meeting the environmental challenges of the 21st Century is vital to achieving sustainable, economic development for 7 billion people."

"Investing in Green Economy solutions - such as renewable energy, green technology or eco-tourism for example - can boost employment, improve livelihoods and make more sustainable use of the planet's finite resources. UNEP is delighted to join 7 Billion Actions, which showcases the need for co-ordinated action by all levels of society, just nine months ahead of the Rio+20 conference, where governments will meet to renew their commitments to meeting precisely these kinds of challenges," added Mr. Steiner.

By using an online tool, or by sending an SMS from their mobile phone, participants in the 7 Billion Actions campaign can submit a snapshot of their daily lives and highlight the development issues that matter to them most. The diverse actions pledged by campaign participants from across the world are then displayed on a visual mosaic on the 7 Billion Actions website.

Other 7 Billion Actions projects include a smartphone application (7 Billion and Me), film competitions, photo exhibitions and a song, United, which can be re-interpreted by web users worldwide and re-submitted to the campaign website.

In the run-up to '7 Billion Day' on 31 October and the Rio+20 Conference in June 2012, UNEP will be participating in the campaign by sharing research, reports and news on the critical role of the environment in a world of 7 billion, via social networks, the media, UNEP's Tunza youth network and NGO partners.

7 Billion Actions aims to build global awareness around seven key issues, including: poverty and inequality; empowerment of women and girls; reproductive health and rights; young people; ageing population; environment and urbanization.

To find out more about 7 Billion Actions, or to create a personal or organizational profile, log on to

For more information, please contact:

Bryan Coll, UNEP Newsdesk on Tel. +254 207623088 or +254 731666214 or Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)