Across the globe, community groups joined together to address the world’s key environmental challenges as part of the Clean Up the World Weekend, 18-20 September.
In the Philippines, the Center for Global Warming Studies held a two-day youth forum to encourage youth to think of creative and practical ways of addressing climate change.
In Africa, Environment Africa organised a walk through the streets to raise awareness of how people can unite to combat climate change.
In Malaysia, the World Youth Foundation planted trees, ran education campaigns and cleaned up around the local beaches.
And in the UK, the SHWAP Volunteer Group spent a day providing a local reserve with some much needed TLC.
It is always inspiring to see communities uniting for a common cause, and when that cause is to help combat the effects of climate change it’s even more moving.
Climate change is and will continue to play a dramatic role in our global future.
Environmental protection, as well as being about the here and now, is also about those down the track – the next generation of our own families and those who come to live on your street and the next generation of wildlife that inhabits the environment which sustain us all.
It’s also about coming together as a group. Individually we can all make a difference, but it’s when we unite that the big changes occur.
What the participants across the Clean Up the World Weekend achieved wasn’t simply a few less rubbish items in our environment or a few more trees in the local park – it was much bigger than that. It was a cleaner environment, a healthier landscape, a more informed global nation. It was a step towards a brighter, healthier future – one without the catastrophic effects of climate change.
The Clean Up the World Weekend provides a focal point and directs everyone’s attention to what needs to be done, but it’s not just about one weekend a year; it’s about making a commitment every day to improving our environment. Clean Up the World groups don’t just take part on the flagship weekend, there are activities happening all year-round. There are workshops, clean ups, tree plantings, recycling and waste initiatives held. You name it, if it means a healthier environment, Clean Up the World participants are doing it.
I’d like to thank every single one of the organisers and volunteers in over 110 countries that have taken the time to be part of Clean Up the World in 2009. Your leadership on the behalf of the environment is invaluable.
And to those that haven’t got involved yet, there is still time to join Clean Up the World this year. Jump onto www.cleanuptheworld.org and register your group as part of Clean Up the World. There are things we can do all year round to make a difference. Our planet is depending on us.
Read about and get inspired by examples of Clean Up the World activities by going to http://activities.cleanuptheworld.org
Ian Kiernan AO