World Environment Day 2020

Key Visual World Environment Day

Source: UNEP

World Environment Day is the most renowned day for environmental action. Since 1974, it has been celebrated every year on 5 June; engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue.

Global change requires a global community

Above all, World Environment Day offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. It recognizes that global change requires a global community. It pushes for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models; for farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably; for governments to safeguard wild spaces; for educators to inspire students to live in harmony with the Earth; and for youth to become fierce gatekeepers of a green future. It requires all of us.


This year, millions of people will be celebrating digitally, worldwide. Use this toolkit for learning, sharing and taking action. Register your sustainability initiative, a kitchen garden, an online lesson on biodiversity, a neighbourhood donation drive, an online sermon on the wonders of nature­–or other idea; and sign up here to stay informed as we unite, for nature.

Theme: biodiversity

In 2020, the theme is biodiversity–a concern that is both urgent and existential. Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is the multitude of living things that make up life on Earth. It encompasses the eight  million or so species on the planet—from plants and animals to fungi and bacteria—and the ecosystems that house them such as oceans, forests, mountain environments and coral reefs.

But, nature is in crisis. We are losing species at a rate 1,000 times greater than at any other time in recorded human history and one million species face extinction. In the last 50 years, the human population has doubled; the global economy has almost quadrupled and global trade has increased by about ten times. It would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make of nature each year. Read more on this topic in the IPBES report on biodiversity and ecosystem services.


Biodiversity also underpins economic prosperity. Roughly US$44 trillion of economic value generation—which represents more than half of global GDP—is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services.

Reversing biodiversity loss is the only way to restore and sustain a healthy planet–and the lives it supports. It is also necessary for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Host: Colombia

Every World Environment Day is hosted by a different country, in which official celebrations take place. This year's host is Colombia in partnership with Germany. Through the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, EUR 725,000 has been provided to the United Nations Environment Programme to finance the World Environment Day 2020 #ForNature campaign. The global campaign highlights how nature delivers vital services to humanity and the urgent need to halt its destruction.