06 June 2009
"Our planet needs more than just action by governments and corporations; it needs each of us. Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose we can make a tremendous difference. I encourage all people to take concrete steps toward making the planet greener and cleaner. Switch off the lights. Take public transportation. Recycle. Plant a tree. Clean up your local park. Hold corporations responsible for their environmental practices. And urge your government representatives to Seal the Deal in Copenhagen."
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Environment Day, 5 June 2009
The symptoms of climate change have a severe impact on the poor and the marginalized, and those who live in the developing world will bear the greatest burden.
Yet the cornerstone to meeting the challenges of global climate change is the creativity and knowledge of local communities. Indeed, ensuring environmental sustainability and protecting the most vulnerable will require the ingenuity and solidarity of every citizen, not just governments and the private sector.
Recognizing this fact is the first step towards harnessing the capacity of voluntary effort to help meet the challenges posed by climate change and environmental degradation.
The environmental movement was started by volunteers, and it has thrived on volunteer effort. It will require the ingenuity and actions of millions of volunteers to address the challenges ahead.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme encourages people to contribute to environmental sustainability by ‘volunteering for our planet’.
Volunteerism supports environmental sustainability in multiple ways:
UNV works as a development partner with more than 25 UN organizations such as UNDP, UNEP, GEF SGP, UNCCD, ISDR, FAO and WFP, mobilizing close to 8,000 UNV volunteers annually, mostly from developing countries. UNV has helped to deploy skilled people into a range of environmental projects that are improving access to safe drinking water, developing sanitation services, creating sustainable livelihoods and addressing risk management and disaster response and adapting to climate change.
In China, for example, UNV worked with the Government and community groups to establish and promote the ‘2008 Green Olympic Games’ which raised public awareness of the potential for individuals to make a tangible difference to their environment.
UNV is focusing its efforts on addressing environmental challenges through specific programming approaches, including the following:
|Home | Contact us | FAQs | Search | Sitemap | UNDP Information Disclosure Policy|
|UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)|