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2012-05-29 00:00:00 / Events

World Environment Day 2012 Aims for Record Participation

Goodwill Ambassadors Gisele Bündchen and Don Cheadle and Other Celebrities Unveil WED Challenge and Chance to Win Fuel-Efficient Car

Nairobi, 17 April 2012 –World Environment Day (WED) 2012 is aiming higher than ever before.

For this year’s WED–the single biggest day for positive action on the environment worldwide– people across the world will be challenged to pledge an environmental activity for 5 June 2012, and help break the record for the greatest number of activities registered in WED’s four decade history.

For WED 2012, there’s an added incentive to get active for the environment.

Five fuel-efficient cars donated by KIA will be awarded to the best WED projects from each of the following categories:

  • People: Biggest number of participants mobilized for a WED Activity
  • Theme: Best supports WED 2012 theme: Green Economy: Does it include you?
  • Creativity: Most innovative, unique & fun WED activity
  • Buzz: WED activity that best harnesses the power of social media
  • Impact: WED activity that results in effective and substantive change

An expert panel from UNEP will select the best activities registered at the WED website and carried out from 3- 8 June 2012.

To qualify, all activities must be registered online by 30 June 2012. The winners will be announced on 30 July 2012. 

WED activities come in all shapes and sizes - from making an extra effort to use public transport or getting a whole school or community involved in using less water.

Getting involved is easy – just visit and tell the world how you’ll be going green on 5 June 2012.

This year’s WED theme is Green Economy: Does it include you? with worldwide celebrations being led by Brazil – the WED 2012 host country.

Brazil will also play host to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), from 20-22 June 2012, where governments will meet to map out the future path of sustainable development for the 21st century. The Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication is one of the central themes of Rio+20.

WED is set to be one of the biggest pre-Rio+20 events that will showcase individual actions towards achieving sustainable development.

A host of celebrities are also lending their voices to WED 2012, including the stars of last year’s WED Challenge - supermodel and activist Gisele Bündchen, and Hollywood actor Don Cheadle..

After Gisele’s victory over Don in last year’s contest (in which WED participants could assign their environmental activity to either star), the Goodwill Ambassadors of the UN Environment Programme have called a truce and are uniting to encourage people to register record numbers of WED activities at

Last year, 4,229 WED activities were pledged in 144 countries – ranging from a bicycle rally in Nepal to a public litter clean-up in the Republic of Congo, or an environmental street procession by young people in Albania.

For the 2012 WED Challenge, Gisele and Don are joined by Ian Somerhalder, star of Vampire Diaries, Bollywood actor Rahul Bose and actress Li Bing Bing . The stars have all recorded video messages to encourage people to beat the 2011 activity tally. 

The videos – and others recorded by WED participants and supporters – can be viewed at

For those stuck for ideas on what to do for WED 2012, the website also includes suggestions for activities.  

For more information, please contact:

UNEP Newsdesk (Nairobi) on Tel. +254 207623088 or Email: