The United Nations Environment Programme has selected Portland to host this year’s North American World Environment Day.
A variety of public events will lead up to the World Environment Day celebration on June 5. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales made the announcement at a Portland City Council hearing today, along with Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox, deputy director of the program, called UNEP.
“Portland has been selected because we at UNEP would like to put the spotlight on the city’s environmental achievements,” Guilbaud-Cox said. “Those achievements are reflected in the fact that this city is repeatedly ranked among the top 10 green cities in the United States. In our research, Portland is often rated the No. 1 green city in North America, an impressive accomplishment by any standard.”
The city and the U.N. program are encouraging community groups, businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals to organize and participate in public events from Earth Day on April 22 to World Environment Day on June 5. Events will celebrate the environment and this year’s World Environment Day theme “Reduce your Foodprint,” aimed at reducing food waste.
Activities on June 5 will include an exhibition of the International Children’s Painting Competition sponsored by Bayer Corp., and an interactive environmental workshop for high school students led by Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the nation’s first female African-American astronaut.
“Portland is a national leader in many sustainability issues and green initiatives,” Hales said. “It’s gratifying that the United Nations Environment Programme recognizes that and has honored us by bring World Environment Day to Portland.”
The UN General Assembly established World Environment Day in 1972. Today, it is celebrated in more than 120 nations and focuses international attention on environmental issues.