Eco Week 2015 has kicked off today at Tashkent Plaza ahead of World Environment Day (WED). Organized by the State Committee of Uzbekistan for Nature Protection in partnership with the UN Office in Uzbekistan, ministries and educational institutions, Eco Week will include a string of events seeking to encourage the broad public to take better care of the environment.
Environmental protection is presently one of the most important areas of the United Nations’ activity, and World Environment Day, which is annually celebrated on 5 June, is an effort to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment amidst mounting evidence that people consume far more natural resources than our planet can sustainably provide. The theme of this year’s WED is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care”.
This was echoed in the speech by UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Stefan Priesner at the opening ceremony of the Eco Week. Other keynote speakers included Bahodir Tajiyev, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Agrarian and Water Issues of the Parliament’s Legislative Chamber, and Kamoliddin Sadykov, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Uzbekistan for Nature Protection.
This year, in breaking with tradition, the State Committee for Nature Protection presented Certificates of Honor at the very beginning of the Week, not at the closing ceremony as it has previously done. The State Committee of Uzbekistan for Geology and Mineral Recourses was awarded a Certificate of Honor for contributions to the 2013-2017 Program of Action for Environmental Protection in the Republic of Uzbekistan. Also honored were the winners of a competition to improve and reconstruct the Botanical Garden for ministries and agencies. Also, new national environmental competitions were announced.
An exhibition held as part of the opening ceremony of the Week gave those gathered an opportunity to learn about environmental technologies and innovations, ecopure products, alternative energy sources, and educational resources.
Slated to run until 6 June, Eco Week 2015 will include conferences, eco marathons, festivals, environmental campaigns and a presentation of the results of a collaborative project run by the State Committee of Uzbekistan for Nature Protection, UNDP and the Global Environmental Facility.