United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Millions unite for `clean up the world` campaign

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Millions of people across the globe will be cleaning up their local parks, waterways and forests in a bid to restore and protect nature this Clean Up the World Weekend, in support of the United Nations 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.

Volunteers taking part in this year's Clean Up the World Weekend, held globally on 17 - 19 September, will join an estimated 35 million volunteers from 120 countries. The campaign, held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is in its 18th year and works at the grassroots level to mobilise global communities to clean up, fix up and conserve their local environments.

This year, participants will be focussing their efforts on conserving nature. Clean Up the World Chairman and Founder, Ian Kiernan AO*, welcomes the profile biodiversity is receiving from global through to local levels.

'Protecting the environment is something we've been advocating since Clean Up the World began 18 years ago so we welcome the current, high profile attention biodiversity is receiving. From marine clean ups in West Asia to reforestation in Africa, each Clean Up the World activity protects, restores and/or promotes nature and we'll continue to campaign for this for many years to come,' said Kiernan.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said, 'The current state of biodiversity and the implications of its continued loss threaten human well-being and economies North and South. By acting locally, we can work towards reducing the impacts of land-based pollution and unsustainable consumption patterns, two of the factors underlying environmental degradation and the loss of natural capital. Ecosystems, and the biodiversity that underpins them, generate services worth trillions of dollars and in doing so support lives and livelihoods across the planet. Biodiversity also has spiritual and cultural significance. It is our responsibility, as custodians of the planet today, to conserve and to promote sustainable use and to hand over a healthy, functioning and productive natural world to the next generation.'

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