Rakai to host World Environment Day, 2015

Rakai to host World Environment Day, 2015

Rakai District Administration has been chosen to host this year’s national World Environment Day (WED) celebrations. 

WED which is celebrated every year on June 5th is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment through the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

In Uganda, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) as the principal agency charged with the responsibility of coordinating, monitoring, regulating and supervising environmental management in the country, uses the WED celebrations as a platform to raise national awareness of the need to take positive environmental action and serving as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment. 

International Celebrations

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations focuses on sustainable lifestyles, and the slogan is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” It highlights the fact that human aspirations in search of social and economic empowerment have led to people consuming far more natural resources than what the planet can sustainably provide. 

Statistics show that by 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption. In Uganda, according to provisional results from the National Population and Housing Census 2014 conducted by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), Uganda’s population had grown by 10.7 million people from 24.4 million people in 2012 to 34.9 million people by 2014. 

It is estimated that at an average annual growth rate of 3.03 per cent, Uganda's population was projected to increase to 35.0 million in 2015 and to 47.4 million in 2025. Thus the adopted national theme for WED 2015 is “35 Million People, Limited Resources, Consume with Care.” 

Why Rakai?

Rakai as one of the districts has one of the communities surrounding the Lake Victoria Basin has unique environmental opportunities and challenges. Increasing population is having a direct effect of increasing pressure on the natural resources identified by deforestation, charcoal burning, wetland depletion, poor fishing methods and large stretches of land are water stressed.

This will be the first time Rakai District has hosted WED celebrations. WED 2014 was hosted by Kaliro District in Eastern Uganda. 

Additional reporting from www.unep.org