Sudan – World Environment Day 2015 was celebrated in Sudan with even greater zeal and positivity than the year before. This years’ global theme, “Seven Billion dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care” addressed rising rates of natural resource use and the environmental impacts of living unsustainably. Given the wealth of natural resources in the country, the theme is exceedingly relevant to Sudan.
Events began as early as late April and continued through June in both Darfur and Khartoum. Activities were primarily youth-led and consisted of environmental workshops, awareness campaigns, lectures, tours, art competitions, clean-ups and more. World Environment Day is considered a chance to mobilize advocacy, and to work together with government institutions, civil society, private sector groups, and the international community in Sudan to celebrate the environment.
This year’s World Environment Day focused on sustainable resource use and consumption
In North Darfur, the day’s event was held at El Fasher University – the longest standing academic institution in Darfur. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Sudan came together with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and NGO Practical Action, to organize the day. It consisted of a photo exhibit display, music, drama, and presentations given by environmental specialists, with captivating discussions between audience members and the panel. To seal the day, guests were offered seedlings to plant and nurture as symbols of personal pledges to environmental conservation.
Hundreds of people came to celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th in Khartoum at the “Green Yard” – an open, recreational space for families and friends in the capital’s centre. The day jump started with a marathon, followed by drums performances and an arts and crafts exhibition for participants and passersby. Event supporters gave speeches soon after, including UN Environment, the European Union and Sudanese members of government, civil society and the private sector. All speeches emphasized that the welfare of earth’s inhabitants depends on the health of our environment, and humanity’s ability to live within its means.
The day’s celebrations in Khartoum concluded with colourful and lively Sudanese music and dance performances.
In his speech, UN Environment’s Country Programme Manager in Sudan, Mr. Bradley Smith described environmental issues facing the country: “In Sudan alone, we can see the impacts of climate change, desertification, deforestation, over-grazing and water scarcity, to name only a few." He went on to emphasize that living sustainably is about “doing more with less” and developing with the environment in mind. Mr Smith made it clear that working together as one community – government, private sector, citizens – in deciding collectively how to manage Sudan’s natural resources is essential to sustainable environmental solutions.
Overall World Environment Day was a great success in Sudan. Enjoyed by many, the celebrations acted as a powerful reminder of the importance of the environment. UN Environment is committed to supporting Sudan in its ambitions towards sustainable development, keeping in mind our planet’s limits. Let’s not forget: “Seven Billion dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care” #WED2015.
Hundreds attended World Environment Day events in Khartoum