Choose the Slogan for World Environment Day 2014! wo, feb 26, 2014

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Nairobi, 26 February 2014 - This year, you can vote on the slogan for World Environment Day 2014 - the biggest annual celebration of positive environmental action across the globe.

Led annually by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Environment Day (WED) rallies millions of people around the world for action around a particular theme.

This year, the focus is on Small Island Developing States and Climate Change.

Dotted across the world from the Pacific to the South China Sea and from the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean, Small Island Developing States face a number of unique challenges.

In particular, they are on the frontline of one of the most critical environmental struggles of our time - climate change - which leaves coastal communities around the globe vulnerable to floods and storm surges. Small Island Developing States are often the most exposed.

Moreover, if sea level rise caused by climate change remains unchecked, some nations, such as Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu will eventually become uninhabitable. A large share of the population of many other Small Island Developing States will be displaced or otherwise adversely impacted.

How you can help

From Trinidad and Tobago to Tonga, Samoa to Suriname, the problems that face Small Island Developing States are the problems that face us all.

Through WED events - which take place throughout the year and culminate on 5 June, and which range from clean up campaigns to tree planting drives to concerts and exhibits - individuals are empowered to act on their common responsibility to care for the Earth.

This year, we want to hear from you.

Join the United Nations in spotlighting these critical issues by voting for the 2014 World Environment Day slogan. Go to www.unep.org/wed to choose the slogan that you feel captures the 2014 theme most effectively.

Voting ends on 5 March 2014 and the winning slogan - which will be used to call on the global community to take action - will be announced soon after. Invite your family, friends, school and community to vote as well.

About Small Island Developing States and Climate Change

In line with the UN General Assembly's decision to designate 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States, this year's World Environment Day will spotlight Small Island Developing States - a diverse group of more than 50 low-lying coastal communities or territories - and their unique development challenges and successes.

Despite the profound challenges facing the world's Small Island Developing States, many of these countries have been successful in overcoming a number of their environmental challenges - including adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change.

For example, while many Small Island Developing States have little or no access to modern and affordable energy sources, and energy prices are among the highest globally, a number of island nations have identified innovative, renewable sources of energy and are beginning to mainstream them:

-In the Pacific, the national policies of Fiji and Vanuatu promote the production of biofuels through planting on degraded lands;

-In Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu hydropower is increasingly being used for electricity production;

-In Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda, the government has provided subsidies to encourage the use of solar water heaters;

-The island of Tokelau recently began producing 100 per cent of its energy from solar sources.

-In Fiji, where the resources to make new drainage systems and seawalls are lacking, local residents are restoring mangroves and coral reefs to help prevent flooding and erosion.

About World Environment Day

The celebration of World Environment Day began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations encourages positive action for the environment. Through WED, UNEP enables everyone to realize not only the responsibility to care for the Earth, but also reminds one and all of their individual power to become agents of change. Every action counts, and when multiplied by a global chorus, becomes exponential in its impact.

WED is a big celebration, engaging millions across the globe through events on the ground in over 70 countries. Every year, participants, young and old, organize clean up campaigns, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests themed around caring for the planet.

Register Your Activity Today and Be Counted. We invite you, your family, school, clubs, village, town, city or your country to celebrate this day. Join the global WED community to make this day happen.

For more information, contact: UNEP News Desk, unepnewsdesk@unep.org

 
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