World Environment Day: Many Species, One Planet, One Future

Lusaka – Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Environment Day under the theme “Many Species, One Planet, One Future”. This observance was organized by the UN System in Zambia in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, United Nations Youth Association of Zambia (YUNA-Zambia), the Environmental Council of Zambia and its cooperating partners Standard Chartered Bank among others.

Prior to the day there was an environment week were an number of activities took place in some parts of the country namely; an environment fair for basic and high schools in Mufunta Game Management Area of Western province, Environmental awareness quiz, painting competition and a cleanup campaign in Lusaka.

In Lusaka the apex of the awareness week was the launch of the Save the Species, Stop Talking and Start Planting on June 3, 2010 with the slogan as “PLANT FOR THE PLANET” intended to combat climate change a scourge of global warming done at Beit Cure Hospital which is a special hospital for children with various challenging health related problems.

The dignitaries present were the First Republican President of Zambia Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, the UNDP Representatives; Dr. Mona Noureddin Head of FAO in Zambia, Mrs. Mizinga Melu Standard Chartered Bank Director, Ms. Marie Andersson de Frutos the Swedish Ambassador to Zambia, The United Nations Youth Association coordinator; Mr. Mickie Mumba, and the Beit Cure Hospital Senior Administrative representative.

Others who attended the launch were the members of staff from Standard Chartered Bank, Beit Cure Members of staff, and staff from the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC). In addition, there were students from the University of Zambia United Nations Youth Association, primary school pupils from Hillside and Mambilima Basic. Different Media institutions were also present and they covered the event as it marks unique and fundamental moments in the youth’s activities and also what is being done to combat climate change.

The ceremony was presided by educative speeches from eminent dignitaries such as Dr. Kaunda followed by the symbolic planting of trees done by everyone present and about 150 varieties of trees were planted. Plant-for-the-planet is a campaign by the Youths, students and other teenagers from different Schools and Universities, supporting the aim of the United Nations to plant one billion trees. YUNA Zambia is outreaching to the youth to be involved in environmental issues in Zambia.

On the actual day there was a match past in the city afterwards the activities shifted to the Munda Wanga Botanical Gardens located on the outskirts of the city. It was a family themed outing in line with the slogan for 2010. People had a chance to see various exhibitions including the UN stand were they had a chance to ask questions such as what the UN was doing as an organization to cut down on its carbon footprint and saving the environment. They also had a chance to view the Outlook 3 presentation. There were various presentations done by schools in song and dance related to the environment as well as those done by a professional traditional drama group called “Moto Moto” who also did a sketch based on the theme. There was also a conducted tour of the botanical gardens to showcase the different varieties of plant species and a tour of the zoo.

The Deputy Minister of Environment Ms. Vera Chiluba Tembo, the UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Macleod Nyirongo and the Director of the Botanical Gardens were at hand to present prizes to pupils from Namuunga School who won in different categories in the environmental week quizzes and art competition the school also received a hamper.