International Mother Earth Day

A woman harvests rice by hand in Timor-Leste. © UN Photo/Martine Perret.
aileu farming/farmers during rice harvest. Photo by Martine Perret/UNMIT 4 february 2009;

Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit.

The Earth and its ecosystems are our home. In order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.

International Mother Earth Day is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.

This Day also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.

International Mother Earth Day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.

During the commemoration of International Mother Earth Day on Monday, the Eighth Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature will be held on 23 April 2018 in the ECOSOC Chamber. The Interactive Dialogue will provide a platform to discuss sustainable production and consumption patterns in Harmony with Nature, as to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in Harmony with Nature. The Dialogue also aims to inspire citizens and societies to reconsider how to interact with the natural world and to improve the ethical basis of the relationship between humankind and the Earth in the context of sustainable development.

BACKGROUND

The General Assembly, in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth, and noting that Earth Day is observed each year in many countries, decided to designate 22 April as International Mother Earth Day through resolution A/RES/63/278, adopted in 2009.

It invites all Member States, the organizations of the United Nations system, international, regional and subregional organizations, civil society, non-governmental organizations and relevant stakeholders to observe and raise awareness of International Mother Earth Day, as appropriate.

The 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm marked the beginning of a global awareness of the interdependence between people, other living species and our planet, as well as the establishment of World Environment Day on 5 June and the UN Environment Programme.

In 1992, Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.

In 2005, the General Assembly declared 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth, convinced that education in Earth sciences provide humankind with tools for the sustainable use of natural resources and for building the scientific infrastructure essential for sustainable development.

In 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – or Rio+20 – took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It resulted in a focused political outcome document which contains clear and practical measures for implementing sustainable development.

In Rio, Member States decided to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post 2015 development agenda.

Source: un.org

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