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Gormley welcomes 39th annual Earth Day celebration

Press release June 5, 2009 Energy & Environment

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. John Gormley T.D. today (5 June 09) welcomes World Environment Day 2009, 'since established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, World Environment Day has been an annual event for people to celebrate the earth and renew our commitment to building a safer, healthier and cleaner world for all of us.

This year's theme focuses on climate change and the broader consequences of environmental change. It also highlights what societies can do in response and is most timely as it reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days from now. "World Environment Day serves to draw attention to some ways in which human actions are impacting on our planet, highlights the urgent need to change attitudes and behaviours and serves to inspire political and community action. Combating climate change and preserving ecosystem services that underpin our economies is an issue for everyone. Every individual's efforts, no matter how small, can contribute to the sustainable development of our economies and communities around the world," said Minister Gormley. 

There are many ways you can get involved. Consider switching to renewable energy sources. Change a habit. Help launch a community garden or allotment. Recycle more. Use the opportunity to log onto to find your carbon number and ways you can reduce it.
Participate in some of the events taking place around the country to celebrate World Environment Day such as the Cork Environmental Forum's celebration of food and community or take part in ECO-UNESCO's online eco-action to share ideas on how to protect and conserve our environment.

Commemorated yearly on 5 June, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day's agenda is to:

  • Give a human face to environmental issues;
  • Empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development;
  • Promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues;
  • Advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future


Sean Dunne

Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
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Energy & Environment