“Connecting People to Nature” 2017 Theme For World Environmental Day.

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World Environmental Day, Marked or rather celebrated on the June 5th of every year since its inception back in 1972. The day was first designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972.  To date the day has earned over 100+ countries; this day is the UN’s signature annual event for encouraging environmental stewardship. From your backyard to your favorite national park, nature is closer than you think. It’s time to get out and enjoy it. I have not marked mine yet but I promise you I will I am planning on planting a tree to mark the day, that’s what is in my mind though am opening to any suggestions.

“Connecting People to Nature”, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we all share. This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

I frequently spend time outdoors to connect with nature.  A hike along the nature trail, kayaking down a river bank, a walk in the park or even a swim in my neighbourhood brings me closer to nature. My travels take me across this country and the globe at large to all the seven continents. I remember long time when I was growing up in the village, nature was part of us we planted some flowers and money maker plants in small pots on pots hanging from the roof. We have been doing these for years.… and now finally they are in full bloom. Lovely am not a great gardener but this was my life then, my first ever experience with nature were great no wonder I developed a liking of wildlife and traveling, but I am so proud of it. I know it might sound silly and it’s not a big deal… but it is for me! I had gardens before, grown strawberries on cans, spinach on sack but never liked this as much as I do now. The ideas drawn my heart in joy when I see the flower blossom on my backyard… It’s such a great way of connecting to nature, of rediscovering the time of nature and of having something to care for.

No matter where my travels take me, I’m always amazed by nature’s grandeur, stunning beauty and the plethora of free environmental services such as clean water and oxygen to soil and pollination.  Today people pay for travel tours around the world to enjoy the wilderness and nature having the first chance to experience the environmental beauty received from nature.  Compounding my natures love, which a times has made me travel for miles and many of the related externalities.

On the final thought, the global conversation on environmental sustainability focuses primarily on the big picture: how to reduce the environmental degradation and reductions of energy consumption in cities? How can we provide the infrastructure and services necessary to meet the needs of a soaring population without hurting the environment? These issues are critically important, no doubt. Are there any big design principles that all successful urban planners should follow to conserve the environment?  A step that needs to be enforced by all governing authorities of environmental conservancy.

In the 90’s environmental issues were often a thorny issues especially with the then Kenyan government, it took the brave few to converse and educate the nation on environmental issues,thanks to Wangari Maathai. Today many countries feel like they don’t have the time or resources to address those questions. Yet evidence has shown us that considerations about urban form and design are anything but cosmetic: creating vibrant public spaces within a city, for instance, a green park in the middle of the city can boost competitiveness, improve health outcomes, and strengthen social cohesion.

Environmental conservancy and urban sustainability work hand in hand to provide the many benefits that come with a well-designed city, eg waste management at a minimum cost. I would argue that the status quo of any environmental friendly city is its sustainability in the long run.  Enjoy your day Connecting People to Nature in a good clean environment.

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