UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors, actor Don Cheadle and model Giselle Bündchen, are among the faces of the campaign to highlight deforestation, this year’s theme.

They will be planting trees in the ‘WED Challenge’, a kind of “tree-off”, to see who can plant the most trees.

Participants in WED can register their activities on the WED website, pledging it to Cheadle or Bündchen. The Goodwill Ambassadors will then plant a tree for each pledge they receive.

India is hosting the event and has major events planned in New Delhi and Bangalore.

25,000 runners will take part in the World 10K Race in Bangalore and will also inaugurate a World 10K Forest, to celebrate this year’s theme ‘Forests: Nature at Your Service’.

The theme was chosen to highlight the environmental, economic and social importance of the world’s forests in the face of mounting deforestation.

Around 5.2 million hectares of forest is lost each year due to continuing deforestation. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will release their Forests in a Green Economy on the 5th June.

The report outlines the potential of public and private investment in forest management and resources to boost employment, reduce deforestation and help tackle climate change.

Other events worldwide will include a clean-up expedition to remove litter on Mount Everest, an international summit on tropical forest basin in Congo-Brazzaville and a tree-planting and beach-cleaning campaign in Bahrain.

For more information on World Environment Day or to register an event, go to the UNEP website.

Alison Brown

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