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Global environmental dates for your diary in 2024

At Roots & Shoots UK, you are part of something big – a global movement of young people dedicated to creating positive change for people, animals and the environment. And if you’re looking to take part in major events, or channel your actions around particular themes or topics, you could choose to get involved in some of these global events.

Add each of these dates to your diaries, and get involved, whether that’s encouraging others, taking direction action, or learning more about the issues and causes. There’s lots you can do to make a positive change and inspire change in others.

Dr. Jane Goodall’s Birthday

Date: 3rd April 2024

Dr. Jane Goodall speaking at the Chan Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Dr. Jane Goodall works tirelessly to empower and inspire the world, bringing hope, and showing how all of us – every individual – can make a difference.

On the 3rd April 2024 we’ll be celebrating a very special occasion – Dr. Jane Goodall’s 90th birthday! And of course Roots & Shoots groups around the world will be celebrating. We’ll soon be sharing ways you can get involved in the celebrations, and of course you can also arrange your own celebrations, then share them with us.

If you’re looking for some ideas on how you could celebrate or make a difference in honour of her birthday, then why not check out our free online resources! 

Earth Day

Date: 22nd April

Earth Day 2024 Planet vs Plastic themes
Earth Day 2024 Planet vs Plastic themes

Earth Day is an international celebration day that draws attention to the impact we have on our precious planet, and encourages everyone around the world to take positive action – something that Root & Shoots UK is all about!

The first Earth Day took place in 1970, and the event has evolved a lot since then. This year, the theme is ‘Planet Vs Plastic’, a call to end plastics for sake of our planet’s health, and is asking for a commitment globally to a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040.

Find out more about Earth Day 2024, the research and the themes.

World Environment Day

Date: 5th June

World Environment Day 2024 press release image
World Environment Day 2024

Organised by the United Nations to promote awareness and action for the protection of the environment, World Environment Day takes place on the 5th June every year, in a different location though with a global focus.

It’s celebrated with online and in-person talks and events, and actions which can be logged centrally as a way of measuring the positive impact we can cumulatively have when we work together.

For 2024, World Environment Day will be hosted by Saudi Arabia, and the theme will be ‘land restoration, desertification and drought resilience’.

The United Nations have several conventions, or global agreements, which are designed to help garner action to combat issues faced by countries around the world. For this theme, the main conventions are the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. According to the UN, the number and duration of droughts around the world has increased by a huge 29% since 2000, and research suggests this will continue to increase if we don’t take urgent action.

Find out more about World Environment Day 2024 and its themes. 

World Ocean Day

Date: 8th June 2024

World Ocean Day 2024

With the slogan ‘one ocean, one climate, one future – together!’, World Ocean Day is about recognising the critical role the oceans and seas play in the global health of our planet.

The theme for 2024 is ‘catalysing action for our ocean and climate’, and is about forming strong collaborative bonds so we can persuade global leaders to take action on their promises, towards things like accelerating a transition to renewable clean energy, collaborating with and amplifying the voices of local community leaders, and protect and restore coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Find out more about World Ocean Day

World Refugee Day

Date: 20th June 2024

UNHCR World Refugee Day website page

Organised by the UNHCR – the United Nations  – and is dedicated to refugees around the world. It celebrates their strength and courage, and works to build empathy and understanding.

People become refugees for many different reasons. It could be due to conflict, natural disasters, climate change, political situations or more. Refugees leave behind everything they own, their home, and many of the people they know and love, and often travel miles and endure incredible hardship, just looking for a safe place to live.

On World Refugee Day, events take place globally to help raise awareness, help people develop more kindness and empathy for their plight, and help mobilise political will to ensure they can survive and thrive.

Did you know that the Olympics have a Refugee Team? This is a team composed of athletes from around the world who have been displaced, and are funded by Olympic Solidarity who helps them train, prepare and participate in the upcoming games. We know we’ll be supporting and cheering on the Olympic Refugee Team in the upcoming Paris Olympic Games!

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) Refugee Olympic Team sends a great signal about what an enrichment refugees are for our Olympic community and for society at large. Watched them compete is a great moment for all of us, and we home everyone will join. The athletes are welcome in our Olympic community, among their fellow athletes – competing with them, but also living with them together under one roof.’ – Thomas Bach, IOC President.

Find out more about World Refugee Day. 

World Chimpanzee Day

Date: 14th July 2024

‘We are not different in kind, but rather by mere degree’; these are the words of Dr Jane Goodall, who spent years working with and learning from the Chimpanzees in Tanzania. They are our closest relatives in the animal world, and 2024 marks the fifth year the day has been celebrated.

Why the 14th of July? That’s the anniversary of the day Dr. Jane Goodall, aged 26, first stepped foot in Gombe in Tanzania to study these amazing beings. Her insights transformed our understanding of chimpanzees, and redefined our relationship with the animals we share this beautiful planet with.

Find out more about World Chimpanzee Day and how you can get involved. 

International Day of Peace

Date: 21st September 2024

Every 21st of September, Roots & Shoots groups around the world join in with the International Day of Peace. Organised by the United Nations, this is a day ‘devoted to devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. Never has our world needed peace more’.

The theme for 2024 is ‘Actions for peace: Our ambition for the #GlobalGoals’. This is all about making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality, and how these will help create ‘a culture of peace for all’.

“Peace is needed today more than ever”, says United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty, and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarization.”

There are many things you can do to promote peace and work towards the UN SDGs. Many of our Roots & Shoots Activities will help promote peace, and you can read about some of the work Roots & Shoots Groups have done on other Peace Days.

Find out more about International Day of Peace 2024.

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