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Five fuel-efficient cars up for grabs on World Environment Day 2012

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Commemoration of this year’s World Environment Day (WED) to be led by Brazil the host country, has been launched with five cars offered for grabs.

The cars will be given out to those who hold the five best activities and projects during the day.

For this year’s WED themed ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’, which is the single biggest day for positive action on the environment worldwide, held on June 5 every year, people across the world have been challenged to pledge an environmental activity for the day, and help break the record for the greatest number of activities registered in WED’s four decade history.

According to a press release issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last week, the five fuel-efficient cars unveiled by Goodwill Ambassadors Gisele Bündchen, Don Cheadle and other celebrities, have been donated by KIA and will be awarded to the best WED projects from five categories.

These are ‘People’, for the biggest number of participants mobilised for a WED activity; ‘Theme’ that best supports the WED 2012 theme: ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’ And for ‘Creativity’ as in the most innovative, unique and fun WED activity.

The rest are ‘Buzz’ for a WED activity that best harnesses the power of social media and ‘Impact’: for a WED activity that results in effective and substantive change.

To win any of the car prizes at stake, the organisers say an expert panel from UNEP will select the best activities registered at the WED website www.unep.org/wed and carried out from June 3 to 8, 2012.

They said to qualify, all activities must be registered online by June 30, 2012, while the winners will be announced  a month later on  July 30, 2012.

UNEP opines that 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 and thus encourages all to get involved by simply visiting their website www.unep.org/wed and telling the world how they will be going green on June 5, 2012.

As part of activities lined up, host country Brazil will also play host to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), from June 20-22, 2012, where governments will meet to map out the future path of sustainable development for the 21st century.

Meanwhile, 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 chain of events that will showcase individual actions towards achieving sustainable development and 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.

UNEP says 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 www.unep.org/wed

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 all of whom have recorded video messages to encourage people to beat the 2011 activity tally.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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