World Environment Day – celebrated every year on Saturday 5 June – is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.
This year’s theme is ‘Reimagine. Recreate. Restore’ and its focal point is ecosystem restoration. The day urges citizens and governments to all play their part.
In February 2020, Bristol’s Mayor Marvin Rees and city partners declared an Ecological Emergency in recognition of the urgent need for nature recovery in the city and globally.
Protecting the city’s wildlife, ecosystems and habitats are vitally important – as the loss of biodiversity affects our lives in many ways, from the insects that pollinate our food to the green spaces that enhance our health and wellbeing.
Bristol City Council was also the first in the UK to declare a climate emergency in 2018. Bristol’s goal is to be carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2030 – and the council working with city and regional partners on the One City Climate Strategy to achieve this.
Bristol Climate Hub
Bristol Climate Hub is a website created by the council to give ideas on how the individuals, communities and organisations can all do their bit to make changes.
These including walking whenever you can, making space for nature and eating less meat and dairy as well as using public transport to reduce CO2 and taking part in nature watching and citizen science.
Cabinet Member for climate, ecology, waste and energy, Councillor Nicola Beech, said: “World Environment Day represents a fantastic opportunity for us all to stop and think about what we can do to help protect our planet.
“We recognise that systemic change is needed across the world to help reverse the impact of climate change, we’re working hard on our part in that and are asking the UK government to act too.
“And we recognise that each and every one of us can make changes to our lives that together will add up to big differences for the planet – and bring other benefits too in terms of health, wellbeing and the economy…”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Bristol’s journey towards carbon neutrality by 2030 needs to be fair and inclusive. Achieving a just transition where everyone feels the benefits of a healthier and better environment is central to our approach.
“We need to continue to build sustainable solutions to tackle the twin challenges of a climate and ecological emergency. We need our buildings, streets and open spaces to support wildlife and create a more nature friendly city, and we need new developments to do the same. We need to consider the natural world when we make any big city decisions…”
Festival of Nature
This Saturday also marks the start of the Bristol Natural History Consortium’s Festival of Nature – a weeklong free celebration of the natural world.
The festival is well known for large events in central Bristol and Bath, but this year, as in 2020, due to the pandemic it will be running online with an interactive programme of audio, video and digital content.
You will find the Festival of Nature content across social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook by following the hashtag #FestofNature21.
To find out more about the programme of events visit: www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature/