Africa Climate Change Environment Environmental Footprint Global Warming Nature Plastic

World Environment Day 2023 off to a start in Côte d’Ivoire

Celebrations for World Environment Day 2023 kicked off in host-country Cote d’Ivoire, as millions of people prepare for similar activities across the world. Venues across the capital city, Abidjan – from its historic lagoon to its first modern art museum – shone the spotlight on this year’s theme #Beat Plastic Pollution.

Events began at Abidjan’s Ébérie Lagoon, one nicknamed the ‘pearl of lagoons’ but now besieged by plastic waste. On a bright Sunday morning, as Abidjan’s skyline of towering office buildings, mosques and cathedrals, lush trees and iconic suspended bridge came to light, representatives of Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Environment guided Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on a tour of the Ébérie. They discussed the country’s efforts to reduce pollution levels in the lagoon through better treatment and management of the plastic waste.

The next stop was the vast botanical garden Dahliafleur in the suburb of Bingerville, home to 69 species of birds and 15 species of mammals. Stretching across 148 hectares – about the size of 365 football fields – it is one the country’s smaller natural reserves, among seven others and eight national parks.

The delegation’s final stop was the Abobo Museum of Contemporary Art and Culture, where Francoise Lemarck, Minister of Culture and Francophonie, welcomed the UNEP Executive Director to an art exhibit entitled ‘Polymers, Art, Plastics”. It featured paintings, sculptures, fashion and other artworks made by artists using plastic waste, demonstrating the diversity and scale of plastic pollution. The event was attended by close to 100 guests, including the Minister of Environment, Jean Luc Assi; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kandia Kamissoko Camara; government representatives, d UN entities, and local organizations active in the cultural space.

Held annually on 5 June, World Environment Day brings together millions of people to celebrate environmental action and inspire governments, businesses and individuals to create a more sustainable world. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event, which has been led by UNEP since 1973. The 2023 campaign is supported by the Government of the Netherlands.

Source: unep