05 June 2009
2009 WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
Our Stories

Bhutan 2009 World Environment Day CC 1Bhutan:

On 5th June, speeches of UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, and Lyonpo Nado Rinchen, Deputy Minister of National Environment Commission were read out in the assembly.


In the evening there was a quiz competition organized by the National Environment Commission at Khuruthang Middle Secondary School, Punakha, to mark the World Environment Day. High Schools from three Dzongkhags (Districts) participated in the quiz competition. It was conducted by the three environmental officers of the three Dzongkhags. The questions focused on the environment and its importance. There were a total of eight classes that participated in the competition. The questions also consisted of 8 rounds (general round, flora and fauna of Bhutan, visual round, audio round, environmental protections days). The winner of the competition was Bajothang Higher Secondary school which received a cash prize of 8000 which is to be used for carrying out activities to create awareness on climate change.



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Chile:

Chile 2009 World Environment Day CC 1Four of our Community-Based Organizations in the North of the country received 180 solar ovens. In general, each family uses an average of 90 kilos of wood per month to cook, boil water and keep their homes warm. With these new solar ovens, women will no longer need to walk long distances in search of wood and trees will be preserved.

Among the 150 people who attended the event there were: government officials, including members of parliament, the Mayor of Combarbala, the Director of public services, representatives of the local communities and Mr. Herman Torres, GEF Evaluator.

The main objective of the event was to motivate local authorities and inform them about the actions that these communities have taken to protect the environment.
Mr. Torres was very happy with the initiative and he also witnessed how GEF SGP related to Government officials and influenced policies.

In 1994 Ms. Lucila Rojas learned about these solar ovens through an SGP Chile project. She now trains the local communities in their uses. The SGP team was proud to see Ms. Rojas in her new role of the solar ovens trainer.

Another good news is that, for the World Environment Day, UNDP published an article that demonstrates the strategic alliance between SGP and UNDP, Solar Ovens - Hornos Solares. We appreciated that great opportunity to promote our work.

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Costa Rica:

SGP Costa Rica celebrated the World Environmental Day in the presence of the Minister of Environment, the Mayor of San José and the UNDP Resident Representative.

Some of the highlights of the ceremony included:

  • The signature of the last 4 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the community groups
  • The presentation to the public of seven SGP community groups projects and products organized in stands
  • The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Luiza Carvalho, who wore an SGP T-Shirt during the activities and
  • The Minister of environment, Mr. Jorge Rodríguez, who during his speech mentioned SGP four times.
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 Cuba:

VILLA CLARA, Cuba, Junio de 2009.


Cuba 2009 World Environment Day CC 1Con motivo del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente 2009, la Coordinadora Residente de la ONU/Representante Residente del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, Susan McDade, comprobó la buena marcha de dos proyectos patrocinados por el Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial (GEF) a través del PNUD en esta provincia central de Cuba: protección de la biodiversidad en el Archipiélago Sabana-Camagüey y recuperación de la fertilidad de los suelos en la comunidad costera de Dolores, en Caibarién, en la costa norte del territorio, este último patrocinado por el Programa de Pequeñas Donaciones PPD.
La celebración del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente fue dedicada este año 2009 por las Naciones Unidas a acentuar la sensibilización internacional sobre el cambio climático en curso y las medidas que son necesarias para revertir sus nefastas consecuencias.

La primera escala permitió a Susan McDade observar de primera mano el renacer productivo, económico y social en la comunidad Dolores, sede de la cooperativa agrícola de créditos y servicios "Alberto Pi", cuyas tierras perdieron en gran parte su fertilidad debido al mal drenaje de los suelos, la inadecuada explotación de éstos y de los recursos hídricos y del aumento de la salinidad causado por la oclusión de canales de drenaje.
La visitante, acompañada de los funcionarios del PNUD Edith Felipe, Gricel Acosta y Fabio Fajardo, escuchó una información detallada sobre la marcha y éxitos del proyecto, sembró un árbol y visitó áreas donde ya se adelanta la recuperación productiva.

Cuba 2009 World Environment Day CC 2El trabajo de recuperación en la Cooperativa recibe también el apoyo de la Asociación de Técnicos Agrícolas y Forestales de Cuba (ACTAF), cuya representante, Luisa Grisell Díaz, participó en el encuentro.
Uno de los ejes principales del trabajo de recuperación ha sido el dragado de los canales –tarea que ya acumula 20 de los 40 kilómetros de esas vías—, imprescindible labor para luchar contra la salinización impuesta por las aguas del mar.
Los cooperativistas han aprovechado las nuevas condiciones de trabajo para diversificar la producción agrícola e iniciar un programa de saneamiento de los suelos, con el uso de desechos de la producción de cocos, que está siendo ampliada considerablemente.
La cooperativa se propone convertirse en una de las principales productoras cubanas de copra (masa del coco), elemento muy utilizado en jabones y productos de belleza, así como en la industria alimentaria y de dulces, a la vez que los desechos de la producción del fruto se convierten en valiosa fuente de materia orgánica para la recomposición de los suelos afectados por la salinidad.

La industrialización del coco también abarcará la conversión del jugo de las frutas en alimento para el ganado porcino, y uso de la corteza y otras partes de la fruta, tras ser pulverizadas, como excelente materia orgánica para la renovación de suelos.
Las nuevas posibilidades abiertas por este proyecto PPD-GEF/PNUD ya se reflejan en el aumento de los ingresos y del bienestar de los cooperativistas, su mejor alimentación y condiciones de vida, así como el incremento del abastecimiento agrícola a una extensa zona de la costa norte de esta provincia central cubana.
Durante su encuentro con los cooperativistas, Susan McDade preguntó por la situación de la mujer y los niños y recibió información sobre ese y otros temas del quehacer cotidiano de ese esforzado colectivo humano.

De sus planes informaron los principales dirigentes de esta pujante cooperativa agrícola a la Representante Residente del PNUD, a quien invitaron, para saludar la fecha del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente 2009, a plantar un árbol como recuerdo vivo de su visita.
Para concluir, luego de apreciar algunos terrenos beneficiados con la limpia de canales y siembra de nuevas variedades agrícolas, la Representante Residente del PNUD envió un cálido saludo a los 210 integrantes de la cooperativa "Alberto Pi" y les deseo nuevos éxitos en su infatigable tarea por su eficiente mejora del entorno y de sus propias condiciones de vida.

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 Ecuador:

El pasado jueves 4 de abril, en el marco de la conmemoración del día Mundial del Medio Ambiente-DMA (5 de junio), nuestra oficina a través del Área de Desarrollo Sostenible, llevó a cabo el Foro "UNidos contra el cambio climático: políticas, acciones e iniciativas en marcha".

El evento, realizado en el hemiciclo de la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales . FLACSO, contó con la presencia de la Ministra del Ambiente - Marcela Aguiñaga y como panelistas particparon Diego Colina,de la Subsecretaría de Patrimonio Natural del Minsiterio de Ambiente; Juan Fernando Terán, Catedrático Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar - UASB y José Vicente Troya, Gerente del Area de Desarrollo Sostenible del PNUD.Anamaría Varea, Coordinadora Nacional del Programa de Pequeñas Donaciones del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial - FMAM - GEF, moderadora del Foro, cedió la palabra a varios de los asistentes quienes plantearon sus inquietudes y observaciones a cada uno de los panalistas.Como parte del Día Mundial del Ambiente 2009, nuestra oficina participó además de la Casa Abierta organizada por el Minsterio de Ambiente de Ecuador - MAE y el 5 de junio, participó en el Simposium "Despertando al Soñador, Cambiando el Sueño".

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 Lesotho:

Lesotho 2009 World Environment Day CC 1In Lesotho for the past few years, World Environment Day has been commemorated in summer or spring instead of June (winter) when its cold and dry. This year it was commemorated on March 6, 2009, in Qholaqhoe – Botha Bothe, hosted by one of the SGP Grantees. The event was organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture. The event was marked by the symbolic handing over of a grant award cheque to the Qholaqhoe Herbal Centre Association by the GEF National Focal Point on behalf of the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture and the SGP NC on behalf of the UNDP RR. Present also at the event were the Office of the Principal Chief, area chiefs, the Member of Parliament for the constituency, the District Council, Heads of Department, District Environment Officers from the ten districts of Lesotho and local primary schools. The Event was officiated by the District Administrator who also took the guests on a tour of the botanical garden. The National GEF Focal Point officially launched the botanical garden.

On June 5, 2009, the Lesotho Council of NGOs (LCN) through one of its member organizations, Durham Link, organized a commemoration and approached SGP for support. In preparation for the event nine local primary schools entered a poetry and art competition on the theme "My Footprint". The top three schools were awarded a total of 50 apple trees and some school supplies. Durham Link will monitor nurturing of the trees as part of its environmental education programme. The SGP jointly with the UNDP CO pledged M 1 000.00 worth of school supplies in support of the event.

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 Nepal:

Two separate events were organised to mark the World Environment Day 2009 enchanting the global slogan "Your Planet needs You! UNite to combat climate change".

Women Environment Preservation Committee (WEPCO- one of the grantees of SGP) organised rallies, art competitions and various programmes of ecoclubs to mark the weeklong celebration of Environment Day 2009. WEPCO along with Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology jointly organised Environment Conservation Award 2009 Ceremony. This year, Mr Vijaya Shrestha, secretary of Dolphin Conservation Committee (SGP Grantee) along with Environment Preservation Forum jointly won the prestigious Environment Conservation Award 2009 of Nepal. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 100,000 (USD1,315) and a certificate. Chief guest Rt honorable Mr Subhash Nemwang, Chairperson of Constitution Assembly, honored the conservation stalwarts.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Subhash Nemwang lauded that Nepal is preparing New Constitution and requested all the environment and legal expert to incorporate environmental issues in New constitution so that rich environmental heritage of Nepal could be preserved. Citing the remarks from Mr Appa Sherpa, while climbing Mt Everest for a record of 19th times, "I have not seen snow at the peak of Mt Everest this time", Mr Nemwang said that Nepal Himalayas are facing the consequences of Climate Change although carbon foot print of Nepal is less.

The Youth Network for Social & Environmental Development (YONSED- one of SGP grantees) in collaboration with the Parliamentary Action Committee for Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Preparedness (PACED) organised school level art and talk programme to mark the Environment Day. During the talk programme, Manahari Development Institute (MDI Nepal- SGP grantee) presented the achievements of Renaissance of Khoriya (slash and burn agriculture).

Impressed as he is, he requested all the participants to visit at least once the MDI project area and help them in their noble endeavour of "Renaissance of slash and burn land"

The participants of the events included: Hon Mr Sunil Babu Pant, Constituency Assembly Member Hon. Shanti Chaudhary, President, Natural Resource and Management Committee, Ms Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau, Country Director, UNDP and Mr Robert Piper, Resident Co-ordinator for Nepal was also present.

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 Pakistan: 

Pakistan 2009 World Environment Day CC 1The Programme organized a series of activities on 'Green Wave Campaign' and World Environment Day on June 5, 2009. These activities included rallies, walks, school Festivals, plantation campaign by students, speech competitions in the school and street theaters. These activities were organized by the SGP projects involving local media, political leaders and activists, academia and national and local NGO activists in the geographic focused region, tourist places, academic institutions and press/media clubs. A session with school kids was also organized on biodiversity and the environment.

A mega rally was organized by the SGP Partner NGOs in Hyderabad City, which is the regional political and cultural hub of Sindh Province, which drew attention of the local government and national media as well. The street Theater on 'Climate Change' was organized there in.

These SGP events were given wonderful coverage by the local and national media. 

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 Senegal:

Senegal 2009 World Environment Day CC 1For another year, the theme of the event has been on climate change: "Your Planet Needs You: Unite to Combat Climate Change".

This time, 30 CBO from 30 villages of the Biosphere Reserve of Saloum Delta, all the members of a network of organizations to protect mangrove ecosystems (ROPEM), local government officials and other local NGOs gathered to celebrate the World Environment day. They carried out discussions mainly on the following:

  • Impacts of climate change on agriculture,
  • Senegalese law on forests and mangrove protection,
  • Strategy of ROPEM (SGP grantees network) to face climate change impacts on the Biosphere Reserve of Saloum Delta ecosystems.

Senegal 2009 World Environment Day CC 2ROPEM, planned to carry out the following actions:

  • Increase and extend mangrove afforestation to all the biosphere area,
  • Develop beekeeping and oyster farming to reduce pressure on mangrove resources and help income generation for local communities (mainly women)
  • Promote projects on environmental education and communications on Climate Change.

 

 

 

 


 Sri Lanka:

 From 4th to 6th of June an exhibition was held at Vihara Maha Devi Park in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to celebrate the World Environment Day 2009. The event was jointly facilitated by the Ministry of Environment and the Sri Lanka Nature Forum (SLNF), a consortium of NGOs and CBOs funded by the GEF Small Grants Programme.

The Exhibition was opened by the Minister of Environment, Minister of Power and Energy W.D.J. Seneviratna and Minister of Ports Irrigation and Water Management Chamal Rajapaksa at the Vihara Maha Devi Park. Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake was the chief guest at the national ceremony to celebrate World Environment Day 2009.

Over 40 stalls of partner organisations of the Small Grants Programme Sri Lanka proudly exhibited their products and materials. Various models on renewable energy and energy efficient use were demonstrated. Visitors could marvel at beautiful crafts and items, learn about techniques to conserve the environment, eat delicious organic products, and buy organic fruits and vegetables. Further more there were educational posters on current environmental problems specifically on climate change and global warming.

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Tunisia: 

GEF Small Grants Programme, working with UNDP and UN agencies in Tunisia , local partners (National Agency for Energy Conservation) and SGP grantees, celebrated the World Environment Day (June 5th, 2009) under the theme: "Your Planet Needs You!-UNite to Combat Climate Change" by supporting the installation of Low Consumption Bulbs (LCB) at households level in Tunisia.

Tunisia 2009 World Environment Day CC 1More than thirty SGP Grantees (local NGOs) participated in the event by distributing LCBs and installing them, raising awareness of households and picking up used bulbs to be recycled in a next step.

The event was organized at national level in urban and rural zones as a starting activity of an ambitious project launched by UN System, the National Agency for Energy Conservation and other national partners: ANME-UNDP project, ( 2009-2011 ) plans the replacement of 5 million incandescent bulbs by Low Consumption Bulbs (LCB), that will generate a potential saving of 290 GWh/year, that is approximately 73,000 t CO2/year. This program will allow the government to save about US $ 10 millions/year.



20 000 LCBs will be replaced at household level with the support of NGOs on June 5th, 2009

 

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Zambia:

Zambia 2009 World Environment Day CC 1Nyimba District Farmers Association facilitated the commemoration of the world environment day in Nyimba district. The purpose was to raise awareness on broader consequences of environmental change and how it affects climate change. The local theme for this year's commemoration was "Climate change and broader consequences of environmental change and what communities can do in response".

The commemorations took the form of a match past from the District Commissioners office who was the guest of honor through the township to the Nyimba Basic School grounds.

At the venue of the commemoration the District Forestry department and Nyimba District Farmers Association being co-host gave welcoming speeches to set the ground for the day's awareness meeting.

After a joint welcome of the over 100 participants invited from the community and heads of government departments and NGOs, the commemoration went into departmental presentation on the theme dubbed the community and climate change. Zambia 2009 World Environment Day CC 2Presenters from Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MACO) and indeed District forestry department made the commemoration interactive to the full participation of all present. A question and answer session was allowed deliberately because other participants wanted environment issues clarified.

After the presentation from the government departments, the guest of honor (District Commissioner) was called upon to give a speech. In his speech the District Commissioner emphasized the need to take care of the environment by every member of the community. He said most disasters in the country have been caused by climate change which means the attention for the government has shifted to respond to unplanned disasters. He went on to say that climate change has contributes to loss of habitat for humans and animals, loss of food and environmental plant and Animal species.

The most interesting part of the programme was to plant trees at Nyimba Basic School by all participants. The District Commissioner took the lead before any other participant. Participant then took turns to plant.

 

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