June 5 Is World Environment Day
June 2, 2005 -- San Francisco will host the 12th annual World Environment Day celebration, an international event sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme where mayors, city planners, and other stakeholders will gather to discuss environmental issues and sustainable development in urban areas. This year's theme is called "Green Cities -- Plan for the Planet!"
World Environment Day was established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Another resolution, adopted by the assembly the same day, led to the creation of UNEP.
A 2003 National Research Council report, Cities Transformed: Demographic Change and Its Implications in the Developing World, examines how the majority of growth in the world's population over the next 20 years will take place in urban areas. The report also looks at many national governments' efforts to decentralize their programs in poverty, health, and education -- a shift that has deposited many public services in the hands of untested municipal and regional governments.
Another Research Council report, Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability, recommends that societies should approach sustainable development as an ongoing, adaptive learning process. The report proposes a strategy for using scientific and technical knowledge to better inform future action in the areas of fertility reduction, urban systems, agricultural production, energy and materials use, ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity conservation, and suggests an approach for building a new research agenda in sustainability science.