UNDP and UN volunteers mark World Environment Day by cleaning the shores of Gaza

04 Jun 2012

Gaza Strip - UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to  the Palestinian People, in partnership with the United Nations Volunteers programme in the occupied Palestinian territory, marked World Environment Day with a beach cleaning campaign in the Gaza Strip. The campaign is funded by the Government of Japan, through the job creation programme, and implemented in cooperation with six local partners.

The campaign, which is part of a series of activities organized throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, aims at encouraging volunteerism and commitment to protecting the environment. Over 1000 volunteers participated in the cleaning of four beaches, Jabaliya, Gaza, Nuseirat, and Deir al- Balah.

The 2012 theme for World Environment Day “Green Economy: Does it include you?” emphasizes the role individuals can play in the community in order to protect the environment and the future of the generations to come, who might suffer if the deterioration in the environment continues.

"Our environmental, economic, political and social challenges are all interrelated, and therefore we must work together as individuals, UN institutions, government and non-governmental organizations, and private sector to preserve this earth and achieve sustainable development," said Sascha Graumann, Head of UNDP Gaza office.

It is worth noting that Brazil will be hosting in June 2012 the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), which will lay the foundations for the future of sustainable development in the twenty-first century. The conference will focus on two main themes: how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and how to lift people out of poverty. Alessia Chiocchetti, UNV programme manager in the oPt highlighted that the “Volunteer Action Count” campaign for 2012 gives the opportunity for UNVs and other volunteers in the community to contribute for the future of our planet and the generations to come.

Over the past 32 years, UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian people invested more than two thirds of its resources to support environmental conservation and development of programmes particularly in the sectors of water and sanitation and strengthening institutional capacity at national, regional and local levels to deal with environmental issues and increase public awareness.

Observances of World Environment Day began in 1972 as a way to raise awareness about preserving the environment and encourage political attention and action. The United Nations considers World Environment Day as a primary tool to stimulate global awareness of the environment, enable people to become more active to achieve sustainable and equitable development; and promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues.

Contact Information

Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel: +972-2-6268229 – email: dania.darwish@undp.org, in Gaza
Hashim Al Husseini, Communications Assistant, Tel: 00972-59-2776565, email: hashim.elhusseini@undp.org.