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National and International Days for Environmental Protection
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World Wetlands Day  February 2
National Arbor Day  March 12
World Water Day March 22
World Meteorological Day March 23
Earth Day April 22
International Day for Biological Diversity May 22
World No Tobacco Day May 31
World Environment Day June 5
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought June 17
National Land Day   June 25
World Population Day July 11
International Day for Ozone Layer Preservation September 16
World Tourism Day    September 27
World Animal Day    October 4
World Food Day    October 16


World Wetlands Day


The World Wetlands Day is observed on February 2 every year. In 1971, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat was signed in Ramsar, Iran. It stipulates that wetlands are “areas of marsh, fen, peat, or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish, or salty, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters.” Wetlands play an important role in the protection of biodiversity, especially the dwelling and migration of birds.


World Water Day


In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution and designated March 22 the “World Water Day.” The day is observed to remind the public that water supply is in severe shortage and water pollution is a serious problem.


World Meteorological Day


In 1960, the World Meteorological Organization designated March 23 the “World Meteorological Day” to raise public concern over meteorological problems.


Earth Day


In 1969, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed to hold environmental protection speeches at the universities of America. Soon, Denis Hayes, a student of Harvard Law School, proposed to extend this act to large-scale community environmental protection activities throughout America and selected April 22, 1970 as the first “Earth Day.” On that day, more than 20 million Americans, including members of congress and people from all walks of life, participated in the massive environmental protection activity. People across the country shouted the environmental protection slogans and held parades, gatherings, speeches, and publicity activities in the streets and on the campuses. Subsequently, the influence gradually expanded and soon went beyond the border of the United States. Such activities won the support of many countries around the world and finally developed into the worldwide environmental protection movement. April 22 gradually became the “Earth Day” of the world. Varieties of community environmental protection activities will be held around the world on the Earth Day each year.


World No Tobacco Day


In 1987, May 31 was designated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the “World No Tobacco Day” so as to raise people’s attention to the damage of tobacco to the health of human beings.


World Environment Day


In the 1960s and 1970s, with the gradual development of the environmental protection movements in many counties around the world, environmental degradation became a serious social problem. There arose frequently some transnational environmental problems. Environmental issues and environmental movements gradually came into the international community life.


The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held from 5 to 16 June 1972 in Stockholm. Representatives of governments and non-governmental persons from 113 nations discussed contemporary world environmental problems and global environmental protection strategy. The conference produced Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and Action Plan for the Human Environment comprising 109 recommendations, putting forward 7 common proclamations and 26 common principles to encourage and instruct people around the world to preserve and improve the human environment and also suggested to designate the opening day of the conference as the “World Environment Day.”


In October 1972, the 27th United Nations Conference designated June 5 as the “World Environment Day.” The United Nations will make the theme of the “World Environment Day” each year based on the main environmental problems and environmental hot issues of that year. The United Nations systems and all governments carry out various kinds of activities on this day to spread the importance of protecting and improving the human environment. And meanwhile the United Nations Environment Program publishes the Annual Environment Report and holds the international conference to honor “World Top 500.”


World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought


Because the existence of human beings is threatened by the increasingly serious desertification problems worldwide, since 1995, June 17 each year is designated as the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.”


World Population Day


On July 11, 1987, symbolized by the birth of a Yugoslavian baby, the world population broke the 5 billion mark. In 1990, United Nations designated July 11 as World Population Day.


International Day for Ozone Layer Preservation


On September 16, 1987, 46 nations signed The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and began to take actions to protect the ozone layer. The United Nations established this anniversary with the purpose of raising people’s awareness of ozone layer protection and thereby encouraging them to take corresponding actions to protect the global environment and human health.


World Animal Day


More than 100 years ago, the Italian priest, St. Francis advocated giving “blessing for animals” on October 4. Thus, October 4 is designated as the World Animal Day in commemoration of him.


World Food Day


The world is increasingly running short of food with the rapid growth of population. Since 1981, October 6 each year has been designated as the “World Food Day.”


International Day for Biological Diversity


The Convention on Biological Diversity went into effect on December 29, 1993. In order to commemorate such a significant day, the United Nations general assembly in 1995 approved December 29 as the “International Day for Biological Diversity.”

(China.org.cn September 12, 2007)

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