Yolan Friedmann, EWT CEO

yolanf@ewt.org.za June signals a brand-new month, the middle of the year (can you believe it?), almost mid-winter and most important, World Environment Month, with World Environment Day (WED) being celebrated on the 5th.  There are Special Days on almost every day of the year, with many being quite silly, like World Television Day (21 December) and World Yoga Day (21 June), but many being critically important days for us to take stock of our lives, our loved ones, those less fortunate, those in need, our impact on others and this Earth, and how we can be better humans. World Environment Day encapsulates all of this. Since 1973, June 5th has been observed as the UN-established World Environment Day to heighten awareness of global environmental concerns, like climate change, deforestation, ocean pollution, over-harvesting and unsustainable development that harm plant and animal species and derail natural systems and processes that are essential for life on Earth.

It is not a day just about the birds and the bees, but a day in which people globally should take note of and celebrate the bountiful gifts we get from Mother Nature and how much all of our lives, present and future, depend on them to continue, regardless of who and where we are. WED is about recognising that our lives are interlinked and woven together by our dependency on, and vulnerability to, changes in nature above all else; how none of us can survive without the lifegiving ecosystem goods and services that only nature can provide; and how, despite the poor being the most vulnerable to the impact of the loss of nature’s protection and provisions, we are all vulnerable. It only takes a pandemic or a flood or an avalanche for the rich to be reminded that they, too, are at nature’s mercy. Sometimes a day is not enough for us to really take cognisance of our need to live less harmfully, and these days, the whole month of June is often marked by celebrations, campaigns, events, and tributes to our environment.

This World Environment Day, celebrate with the EWT and Hot 91.9 as we bring nature a little closer and into your homes with stories from the conservation frontlines, tips on how you can live a less impactful life, and competitions with great prizes up for grabs. Watch the EWT staff saving Endangered species on our YouTube channel and see our Conservation rats at work on the Waterbear Network. Check out our Wild Diaries blog and follow our daily updates from the field on our Facebook page.

This June 5th, and every day, do something different to live lighter, be kinder, and take care of our Earth and all the creatures we share it with. There is no Planet B.

Featured Story

A word from the CEO May 2023

It is widely known that plastic, in its various forms, can be found in every ecosystem, on every surface and in every corner of the planet. It leaches toxins and strangles wildlife; it chokes waterways and animals. Microplastics negatively affect all life, humans included. Yet we keep manufacturing them; worse, we keep discarding them recklessly and frivolously, as if they were leaves on the wind. Every single human being has a role to play here. We all need to buy less plastic, use less plastic, demand less plastic, and, most important, discard it responsibly.

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