Focus on forests on World Environment Day

World Environment Day logo

This Sunday marks World Environment Day…and this year's celebrations are all about forests. More precisely, the immense value of services provided by the world's forests, such as supplying water, medicines, maintaining soil quality…even tackling climate change. Started in 1972 and organised by the UN Environment Programme, World Environment Day has become one of the most widely-celebrated days for action on the environment. This year sees India hosting for the first time. Bryan Coll reports.

From Bangalore to Bangkok, people across the world are gearing up for World Environment Day on June 5th.

This year's celebrations will focus on the Indian cities of New Delhi and Bangalore, where a range of activities are planned. On Sunday, some 25,000 runners will take part in a 10K race in support of World Environment Day.

And a new forest – planted near New Delhi as part of the UN's Billion Tree Campaign – will also be officially dedicated to India.

Celebrities are also adding some star power to this year's celebrations.

In India, Bollywood actors Priyanka Chopra and Rahul Bose are going head-to-head in the World Environment Day Challenge.

They're in a competition to see who can get more people in India and beyond to take up a green activity for World Environment Day.

Members of the public can pledge support to wither Priyanka and Rahul on the World Environment Day website…and the two stars are hungry for votes:

CLIP WED CHALLENGE INDIA.

Forests: Nature at Your Service is this year's theme. And a new UN report launched on Sunday will show how investing in forests can create jobs, tackle climate change and drastically reduce deforestation.

It follows the Green Economy report – launched in February by the UN Environment Programme. That study showed how redirecting 2 percent of global GDP in ten sectors – including forests – can boost economic growth and help the world move towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient Green Economy.

Other major events this year include a litter clean-up around Mount Everest, an international forest convention in Congo-Brazzaville and music festival in Brussels.

But it's the smaller, individual deeds that make World Environment Day count.

Whether switching from plastic bags to cloth bags, car-pooling with colleagues or organizing a tree-planting day, hundreds of WED activities…big and small….have already been pledged online by people across the world.

To take part, simply visit www.unep.org/wed 

Bryan Coll, UN Radio.

Duration: 2’11″

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