World Environment Day 2023: Together to find Solutions to Plastic Pollution

Eritrea celebrates World Environment Day 2023

June 6, 2023

Group photo at the end of the celebration of World Environment day celebrated in Asmara, Eritrea

© UNDP/Modici

Eritrea joined millions worldwide in celebrating World Environment Day 2023. This year with an important milestone for the global environmental community and marking 50 years since the 1973 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, is widely seen as the first international meeting on the environment.

Led by the Ministry of Land, Water, and Environment (MoLWE) and in partnership with UNDP Co in Eritrea, World Environment Day 2023 was celebrated on 5 June 2023 in Asmara, Eritrea.

Celebrated since 2021 by the MoLWE, World Environment Day has become a national platform for public environmental outreach of promoting and raising awareness among the public about the environment and reflecting upon the consequences of environmental mismanagement.

This year, under the theme “Solution to Plastic Pollution”, it was emphasized the importance of plastic pollution control and mitigation to address one of the significant environmental challenges of our time and raise awareness of people on the need to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on people’s health and the threat it poses to the environment and wildlife.

This year’s celebration primarily targeted students with the recognition that they can play a key role in tackling climate change.

A general knowledge competition was organized ahead of World Environment Day, comprising twenty-two students (from 10th grade) selected from schools in the Central region of Eritrea. 

Six students made it to the final stage which was broadcasted on National Television. The top-ranked students were awarded during the World Environment Day event that was held on June 5, 2023.

During the Celebration, two young students delivered powerful messages emphasizing the need to act now before it is too late and become actors of change by contributing towards climate change solutions to save the environment.

The main event was attended by the Minister of Land, Water, and Environment, H.E. Mr. Tesfai Ghebreselassie, UN Resident Coordinator in Eritrea, a.i. Mr. Vincent Omuga, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Eritrea, Ms. Nashida Sattar, and Eritrea High Governmental officials.

The UNDP Eritrea Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Nashida Sattar, highlighted in her remarks, "As Eritrea's partners, it is a duty and honor to celebrate all the progressive efforts the country has embarked on. In the early days of environmental consciousness, Eritrea decisively took the lead by prohibiting the use of plastic bags in 2005. Many steps have also been taken to improve the legislative and policy framework, contribute to environmental conservation efforts, and control air and water pollution. The efforts to increase the use of alternative energy have also reduced the pressure on the resources while securing the population's health, particularly women and children."

Young student delivering a message on climate change solutions to save the environmen, during the event.

© UNDP/Modici

Ms. Nashida Sattar, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, with the second-ranked winner of the UNDP Gender and Climate Solutions Award initiative.

© UNDP/Modici

Mr. Vincent Omuga, OCHA Head and UN Resident Coordinator a.i. during the award ceremony of the general knowledge competition.

© UNDP/Modici

During the colorful World Environment Day 2023, as part of the MLWE awareness effort, a Presentation on Plastic Pollution was delivered to the audience. The event was also an occasion for awarding six winners of the UNDP Gender and Climate Solutions Award initiative started in April 2023 and six Eritrean public and private companies engaged in plastic waste recycling.

Eritrea has shown commendable commitment by actively working on its environmental policy framework while consistently placing the people at the center of the development agenda. This strategy allows communities, individuals, grassroots, and civil society organizations to lead the way in finding real, inclusive, and sustainable solutions to the conservation and protection of the environment. 

UNDP Eritrea Country Office continues to partner with the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment and the Government of Eritrea for initiatives in designing action plans responsive to climate impacts, reducing emissions, contributing to biodiversity conservation, and protecting the livelihoods of society.

Aligned with the 2030 Agenda, UNDP collaborates with the Government of the State of Eritrea to support the country’s long-term development and social equity aspirations through sustainable management of natural resources and environmental protection.