Your Planet Needs You - UNite to Combat Climate Change

The theme for WED 2009 was 'Your Planet Needs You - UNite to Combat Climate Change'. It reflected the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting, which was to be in Copenhagen some 180 days later in that year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.

The 2009 host was Mexico and that reflected the growing role of the Latin American country in the fight against climate change, including its growing participation in the carbon markets.

Mexico is also a leading partner in UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign. The country, with the support of its President and people, has spearheaded the pledging and planting of some 25 per cent of the trees under the campaign. Accounting for around 1.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the country is demonstrating its commitment to climate change on several fronts.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon stated that the WED celebration would “further underline Mexico's determination to manage natural resources and deal with the most demanding challenge of the 21st century – climate change.”

Climate Heroes
A highlight of 2009 World Environment Day is the launch of the Climate Heroes, which supports individuals who are undertaking exceptional personal feats, high-profile expeditions, and other acts of environmental activism to demonstrate their commitment and to raise awareness for one simple idea: Your planet needs You! Their projects focus on environmental “hot topics” like CO2 output, finding smart solutions to beat waste and tree planting.

Ultimately, the Climate Heroes call on each of us to do what we can: from adopting the simplest habits like turning off running water when we are brushing our teeth, to organizing a public or workplace event for World Environment Day or taking a stand and participating in the Seal the Deal! on-line petition. And all of their missions invite participation from those of us who want to get involved and act more.

Here are some of their inspiring examples:
Roz Savage is an environmental campaigner known for her inspirational solo row across the Atlantic Ocean. She also rowed solo across the Pacific Ocean and walked from London to Copenhagen.  

Charles and Sho Scott,a father and son team, embarked on a two-month bike ride across the entire mainland of Japan on connected bikes. The 4,700 kilometer journey will took them from the northern most point of Cape Souya to the southern tip at Cape Sata, through 11 World Heritage Sites.