Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day - an annual event first celebrated in 1970. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
This year’s focus is on environmental & climate literacy, an area in which the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has a 26-year-old history with relevant experiences and lessons learned.
The GEF, one of the world’s largest public funders of environmental projects, has a strong, diverse, expanding – and unique – network of partners, including 183 governments, together with civil society organizations, academia and private companies, as well as its implementing and executing agencies.
Examples of the experience and knowledge that the GEF has accumulated can be found in the stories told by these partners.
Earth Day presents an opportunity to share these experiences and create new momentum for action on the environment, and to safeguard the global commons – the ecosystems, biomes and processes that regulate the stability and resilience of the Earth system.
Earlier this week, in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Society hosted a day-long strategic workshop with more than 35 communicators from key international organizations participating to boost the #nature4all campaign, a global movement to inspire love for nature - and to act accordingly. The GEF has been part of this effort since the beginning as an active player and is committed to continue its support.
National Geographic Society Chief Marketing and Engagement Officer and Senior Vice President, Emma Carrasco stressed to the group: “It doesn’t matter how hard you are working to save the planet, if no one knows about it. Collectively, we can harness our power to get the right message, to the right people at the right time, ultimately, inspiring a love of nature and a desire to protect it.”
On Earth Day itself, GEF’s CEO, Naoko Ishii, will attend the inaugural Earth Optimism Summit. From April 21 to 23, the Smithsonian Institution is gathering 1200 leaders and changemakers from all over the world. The summit is featuring innovators and experts in science, business, arts, technology, philanthropy, and culture. From grassroots to global organizations, presenters are sharing solutions and celebrating efforts to sustain and preserve our planet.
And next week, the GEF is hosting the Steering Committee of the IUCN Commission of Education and Communication (CEC) to discuss new ways of raising public awareness for clean air and water, biodiversity, and healthy forests, land, oceans and a stable climate on which all life depends.