World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June. This year’s theme is ‘Connecting People to Nature’, which implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.
We all have a shared responsibility to maintain and improve the environment now and in the future. We do this through the legal and policy regimes put in place by governments at all levels, by the work of environmental practitioners, through the activities of businesses and other organisations, and through the decisions all people make every day.
This World Environment Day is a call to get out of the house, office, site or classroom to experience nature and connect with these natural spaces. It’s a great opportunity to share these experiences with others via EIANZ and United Nations social media.
Some other ways to engage this World Environment Day and think about the year ahead are:
- Talk to family, friends and colleagues about the environmental challenges and issues we face
- Show environmental leadership where you work, study and in all other aspects of your life
- Be educated and informed, and keep your knowledge up to date
- Be engaged in the profession and the community
- Invest in your career, including through education, certification, mentoring and networking.
The environmental challenges faced by Australia, New Zealand and the world at this time have never been greater. But together, and basing our decisions and policies on science and evidence, we can meet those challenges and have a positive impact on the environment. Environmental practitioners have a responsibility and opportunity to drive and enable positive change.
As a profession, we collectively promote improved environmental practice and outcomes including:
- Implementation of stronger environmental laws, based on the principles of ecologically sustainable development, including the precautionary principle, at all levels of government
- Adequate environmental monitoring for all projects and programs, based on effective environmental performance standards
- Commitments to substantial cuts in carbon emissions and support investment in renewable energy, and support for programs delivering policies and actions to adapt and build resilience to the impacts climate change
- Increased measures to support the protection of the unique and diverse flora, fauna, ecosystems and other natural systems, including substantial increased investment in conservation activities and the organisations that undertake them
- Requiring persons undertaking environmental planning and assessment work (in both private and public sectors) to practice under a code of ethics and professional conduct.
In 2017, EIANZ will celebrate three decades of building a practitioner community dedicated to ethical and competent environmental practice.
Let’s harness our passion this World Environment Day.