World Environment Day Statement - Mr. Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby- 05 June 2019 : " World Environment Day is celebrated on the 5th of June every year. The event is used by the United Nations and its members to encourage action to protect our environment. First held in 1974, it has become a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues. Each year, World Environment Day highlights a challenge we all face.
This year’s theme – Air Pollution – highlights the challenge that an unacceptably high number of people around the world face, that is, their inability to breathe clean air. Papua New Guinea has taken the step to localise this year’s theme by highlighting the importance of clean technology and how it will help clean our air and ensure a healthy future for us all.
Air pollution kills approximately 7 million people annually around the world. Many of these deaths are largely preventable. The World Health Organisation estimates that approximately 90% of the world’s population live in areas where the air they breathe fails to meet healthy clean air limits. Ground-level ozone pollution damages our food security and is expected to reduce staple crop yields by over 20% by 2030. Today, we know that the impacts of air pollution cost the global economy approximately $5 trillion every year in lost productivity.
Papua New Guinea is home to the world’s third largest intact tropical rain forest. Such resources act as a lung for the world and make Papua New Guinea a custodian of an international public good.
UNDP is proud of its partnership with the Government and people of Papua New Guinea. We are working with Government to protect Papua New Guinea’s incredible and unique natural wonders. Under the leadership of Government’s Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority, we are supporting efforts to conserve Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity, better manage its natural resources and protect its forests.
I wish you all a happy World Environment Day. "