Omaha to play host to 2009 World Environment Day in North America – UN agency

13 April 2009 – North American celebrations for World Environment Day, observed annually on 5 June, will centre on Omaha, Nebraska, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today.

Businesses, organizations and individuals in the host city, Omaha, will work with the UNEP Regional Office for North America (RONA) to schedule a series of events for the Day, as well as activities for the six weeks between Earth Day on 22 April and World Environment Day.

“While UNEP thinks globally, we must act locally by engaging partners from all sectors of society, including cities, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, youth, and the media,” said Amy Fraenkel, Director of RONA.

“It is important to bring this message to all parts of the United States, and we are proud to be partnering with the City of Omaha on World Environment Day 2009,” she added.

Each year more than 100 countries commemorate World Environment Day, a major vehicle through which the UN seeks to raise global awareness of the environment and boost political action, with thousands of events in UNEP’s six global regions: North America, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and West Asia.

Events in Omaha and at venues around the world will highlight resources, initiatives and methods that promote low carbon economies and lifestyles, such as improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption, among others.

Bayer Corporation, UNEP’s World Environment Day partner in North America, will sponsor the youth programme for the Day, which includes the opening of a special exhibition of the International Children’s Painting Competition (ICPC), an awards ceremony for ICPC North American winners and an interactive environmental workshop for Omaha students led by Mae C. Jemison, a scientist and the first African-American female astronaut.

Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, will serve as the international host city for this year’s World Environment Day, whose theme is “Your Planet Needs You – UNite to Combat Climate Change,” and which seeks to propel nations to reach agreement on a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol in Copenhagen in December.

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