World Environment Day from Kigali to Pittsburgh on June 5

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The Independent Online

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has celebrated World Environment Day (WED) on June 5 for over 35 years, to increase people's awareness of the environment, and since a big cause requires big names, for the 2010 edition, American actor Don Cheadle and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen will take part in the UN initiatives, Cheadle in Kigali, Rwanda for the main ceremonies, and Bündchen in Brazil in a filmed ad.

Since 2010 was pronounced "International Year of Biodiversity" by the UN, this year's WED theme, "Many species, one planet, one future," will resonate in host country Rwanda, known for its environmental richness, its gorilla preservation, as well as green policies.

Goodwill ambassador Don Cheadle will take part in the main ceremony organized in conjunction with the annual Kwita Izina Ceremony, a Rwandan traditional ceremony originally conducted to name children and now extended to baby gorillas. People can still go online to name two endangered baby gorillas before June 5 on http://www.unep.org/wed/2010/english/GorillaNaming

Another UNEP goodwill ambassador, supermodel Gisele Bündchen is set to promote World Environment Day in her native Brazil in June and already appears in a filmed announcement on the UNEP website to call people to action on June 5.

Outside WED's host country, multiple events will be organized in Pittsburgh (USA), Geneva (Switerland), Milan (Italy), in Korea and on all continents. For details on every event, go to the "worldwide WED" map, however note that this website doesn't seem moderated, therefore certain events may be promotional and not always accurate: http://www.unep.org/wed/2010/english/activitymap/

Pittsburgh being the host for the North American celebrations, the Pennsylvanian city will organize over 130 events and activities around town, including conferences, a school film festival on the environment, an arts and environment festival along with sports events. Full list at: www.pittsburghwed.com

Turin (Italy) will host its renowned environmental film festival called CinemAmbiente for its 13th edition between June 1 and 6, with over 30 documentaries and short films on the environment. http://www.cinemambiente.it

Comparable events to World Environment Day include Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, a grass-roots event throughout the world launched 40 years ago, and Earth Hour started in 2007 by WWF, feted on March 28.

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