April 22- International Mother Earth Day

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The General Assembly designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day through a resolution adopted in 2009.

The original roots go back to the 1970s when environmental protection was not yet a priority of the national political agendas.

The UN Conference on the Human Environment 1972 in Stockholm marked the beginning of 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 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the first major conference in which Sustainable Development was the main issue discussed by member states.

From then on, all efforts to conserve the environment experienced an exponential growth: the Earth Summit in Johannesburg in 2002; the declaration of 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth; the UN official Mother Earth Day Declaration; Rio+20 – resulting in a focused political outcome document, which contains clear and practical measures for implementing sustainable development – and recently, the Climate Action Summit 2019 and COP25, both focusing on the achievement of the Paris Agreement.

The United Nations celebrates this observance through the Harmony with Nature initiative, a platform for global sustainable development that celebrates annually an interactive dialogue on International Mother Earth Day. Topics include methods for promoting a holistic approach to harmony with nature and exchanging national experiences regarding criteria and indicators to measure sustainable development in harmony with nature.

When Mother Earth sends us a message

Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Oceans are filling with plastic and turning more acidic. Extreme heat, wildfires, and floods have affected millions of people. Even these days, we are still facing COVID-19, a worldwide health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem.

Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production, or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can accelerate the speed of destruction of the planet.

This is the first Mother Earth Day celebrated within the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Ecosystems support all life on Earth. The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part.

For this International Mother Earth Day, let’s remind ourselves – more than ever – that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. Let’s promote harmony with nature and the Earth. Join the global movement to restore our world!

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 22 April 2009

The General Assembly, 

Reaffirming Agenda 21 and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summiton Sustainable Development (“Johannesburg Plan of Implementation”),

Recalling also its resolution 60/192 of 22 December 2005 proclaiming 2008 the International Year of Planet Earth,

Acknowledging that the Earth and its ecosystems are our home, and convinced that 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,

Recognizing that 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,

Noting that Earth Day is observed each year in many countries,

Decides to designate 22 April as International Mother Earth Day;

Invites all Member States, the organizations of the United Nations

the 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;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States and organizations of the United Nations system.

80th plenary meeting 22 April 2009