Theme: Raise your voice, not the sea level
As the world prepares to celebrate the World Environment Day 2014 whose theme is: Raise your voice, not the sea level, Rwanda has not been left behind and Lamin Momodou Manneh, the UN Resident Coordinator of Rwanda had the following to say:
The UN initiated the celebration of World Environment Day on 5th June over 40 years ago. What is the state of global environmental awareness today?
Social media has revolutionized environmental awareness especially among the future custodians of our planet, the youth! UNEP estimated almost 50million impressions on twitter and a 120million viewership on digital TV screens on WED of 5th June 2013 from the world’s major cities.
The more ordinary people are aware of the need to nurture our environment, the more ownership and the more effective their actions are.
This year’s WED theme is “Raise your voice, not the sea level” and is dedicated to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The world is experiencing Climate Change that is manifested by among others, increased temperatures, higher, more intense and erratic (out of season) rainfall and melting of polar ice. SIDS are therefore particularly at risk of rising sea levels with extreme consequences including loss of land areas, especially the uniquely important coastal ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity and total submergence in worst scenarios. Sea levels have risen as high as 25m in the last 100 years. It is therefore important and the right thing to do for all nations and peoples to extend their solidarity to the peoples of SIDS as we all put in place measures to mitigate these effects and in changing behavior to adapt to the changes. Remember that SIDS are also home to almost 10 percent of the world’s population (600 million) and continued sea rise will create environment refugees as these states submerge.
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