Today, June 5, we celebrate World Environment Day, established 48 years ago by the UN. This year, the he spotlight is on biodiversity. An online debate organised jointly by the UNEP/GRD-Warsaw Cente and the Rzeczpospolita daily is dedicated to the  biodiversity loss and its effects on our health and safety. As every year, the theme of World Environment Day will build a context for longterm activities of the Green Ribbon #orThePlanet social campaign 2020.


Biodiversity is the totality of all organisms on Earth, species in all their variability, and the ecosystems they create. Biodiversity is the foundation on which the Earth's life system is supported. Its impoverishment affects every aspect of our well-being, ranging from clean air and water, and ending with disease control and climate change. Interference with the natural environment, which has intensified in recent years, has disturbed this delicate balance of nature by creating favorable conditions for the spread and formation of zoonotic pathogens (including coronaviruses).

"What we have taken for granted: our health, walks, fresh air – we feel it is in jeopardy now. COVID-19 is the most powerful message received from our planet so far – a request that we have to change our behavior," said Inger. Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in a speech on this year's World Environment Day.


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Online debate

The state of the natural environment and challenges related to its protection constituted the core of the online discussion that took place as part of the debates organised by the Rzeczpospolita daily. Discussion "The richness of nature – necessity, not luxury", facilitated presentation of the viewpoints of the country's most important actors of social and economic life – regulators, business representatives, academia, and NGOs.

The participants of the debate were:

Łukasz Rejt, Director at the Department of Nature Conservation at the Ministry for the Environment;

Nina Dobrzyńska, Director at the Department of Climate and Environment at the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development;

Professor Zbigniew Karaczun, SGGW,

Andrzej Raj, Director of the Karkonosze-Mountains National Park, and at the same time, the President of the Employers' Union of Polish National Parks;

Bartosz Toczony, Director of the Strategic Sectors Department, Santander Bank Polska S.A.;

Professor Bolesław Rok, Kozminski University;

Maria Andrzejewska, Director of the UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre co-organising debate.


Threat awareness motivates a change

The goal of this years's campaign is to focus the greatest possible social attention on the need to inhibit loss of biodiversity in the context of human security: "Save Nature. Save ourselves.". The two-stage campaign communication plan assumed the phase (1) of building awareness of the problem of biodiversity and related losses as an action carried out before World Environment Day, and the phase (2) ECO-commitments online as an action of proposing solutions to mitigate and minimize losses, and which began on that day.

Until June 4, animated video clips and posters in public transport and shopping malls, the press, and social media showed how letter by letter, words denoting individual genres, groups of genres, and Nature – all disappear. This disappearance of words signaled Nature's disintegration, and it was to mobilize us to take action.


Why the Eagle disappeared?

To reinforce this message, on June 3 and 4, the newspaper's symbol – Eagle – disappeared from Rzeczpospolita's vignette. The action "Why the eagle disappeared?" was planned jointly by the UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre and the Rzeczpospolita daily as a key element of the Green Ribbon #ForThePlanet 2020 campaign. The puzzle's solution, printed on June 5, presents the logo of the Rzeczpospolita and the vacuum in lieu of the Eagle next to it, covered with the Green Ribbon #ForThePlanet logotype. During these three days, this teaser was accompanied by publications in Rzeczpospolita of three expert texts on the 2020 campaign's leading theme.



From today, on the campaign website ten suggestions on changing habits are available – ECO-commitment to be made online. In this way, we learn how to stop the progressive loss of biodiversity. The advantage of Eco_commitments is that they are within our reach. Everyone can have impact – by modifying even one daily habit, everyone can contribute to reducing global negative impacts on the environment. ECO-commitments educate us, but they are also a factor in taking responsibility for the safety of Nature, and thus – also of ourselves.


Supporting #ForThePlanet campaign

Honourary patronage over the campaign was taken by the Minister for the Environment, the Minister for Climate, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Development, the European Commission Representation Office in Poland, the National Foundation of Environmental Protection and Water Management, and the Olympic Committee in Poland. The campaign is held under the patronage of the Australian Embassy, ​​the Embassy of France, the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Embassy of Norway. The media patron of the event is the daily RZECZPOSPOLITA.

Numerous companies, organizations and local governments joined the campaign – as a strategic partner of the #DlaPlanety campaign: Santander Bank Polska; main partner: BASF Polska, BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A, Grupa Żywiec, McDonald's Polska, Zakłady Farmaceutyczne Polpharma S.A.; partner: Biedronka stores, CEC Government Relations, CEETRUS Polska Sp. z o.o., ERGO Hestia, Fundacja Veolia Polska, Galeria Mokotów, Galeria Wileńska, GAZ-SYSTEM, Havas PR Warsaw, L’OréalWarsawPlant, Lorisa Malaguzzi Village Foundation, New Orleans, ORANGE Polska, SUEZ, Syrena Communications, Westfield Arkadia, Wroclavia; community partner: CultureLab Foundation, Responsible Business Forum, PLANET HEROES; local government partner: City of Poznań, City of Warsaw; media partner: CR Navigator Resilience, Grupa OLX Sp. z o. o.,, PLANETE +, STRÖER Media, Teraz Środowisko.