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WED: Plenty cooking in Brussels

UNEP in Brussels marked World Environment Day 2016 by co-organizing two major awareness-raising campaigns.


UNEP, in cooperation with the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the UN Regional Information Centre participated in the yearly Environment Festival organized by the City of Brussels on 5 June.


The joint UN Stand raised awareness for the ‘Wild for Life’ WED campaign and promoted the newly launched #NotWasting campaign as part of the Zero Hunger Challenge launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.


The stand included numerous activities for children as well as – in line with the International Year of Pulses – delicious lentil salad and chocolate cake made with beans served up in a cooking demonstration.


According to the organisers (IBGE) between 25.000 and 30.000 visitors were at the festival. Brussels Environment Minister Celine Fremault and Flemish actress Joy Anna Thielemans furthermore passed by the UN stand and supported the Not Wasting and Zero Hunger campaigns.


‘Racing Extinction’ screened


UNEP, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Regional Information Centre and WWF also screened the 2015 documentary ‘Racing Extinction’ as a CinéONU event attended by over 200 people in the charming Cinema Galeries on 7 June.


The film addresses human-induced climate change and its effect on extinction rates and biodiversity. The imported topics of the illegal trade in wildlife and overfishing was highlighted, tying the film in nicely with this year’s global WED theme.


The screening was followed by a thought-provoking panel debate with Pierre-Yves Cousteau - diver and conservationist and son of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau; Jorge Rios from UNODC and Philippe Mayaux from the European Commission DG DEVCO. All panelists pledged their support for the Wild For Life Campaign.


The panelists emphasized the importance of biodiversity and the need to preserve and protect it. Environmental protection and climate change mitigation should be mainstreamed in development, they underlined, while people must be aware of the problem and realize it is a shared responsibility. In the words of Pierre-Yves Cousteau, “behavioral change starts with cultural change”.


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