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Tomorrow is the World Environment Day



On the 5th of June, the international community celebrates the World Environment Day. It was announced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. It is the opportunity to draw the society’s attention to both global and national environmental problems and to call policy makers for targeted action.

The hot topic of this year’s World Environment Day is melting glaciers. In other words, climate change and its after-effects. About 90% of all natural calamities are associated with climate change. Within the last fifteen years Lithuania has seen substantial increases in droughts, frosts and severe storms. In the future, the after-effects of climate warming can return in heavy rainfalls, abrupt thaws, lasting droughts and extreme heats. This may also cause changes to the soil structure. All this would strongly affect not only Lithuanian nature, but also its socio-economic development and all people's lives in general. Our seacoast can feel the impact of climate change extremely well.

On the 5th of June, environmentalists will not only remind the society of climate change and other relevant environment preservation problems, but will also traditionally acknowledge the people whose environmental activities deserved appreciation and respect. Tomorrow, the World Environment Day, will be time for announcing winner of the Viktoras Bergas’ Award, which is handed out biannually for merits to environmental protection, acknowledging initiators of Lithuanian civic environmental campaigns, and awarding winners of the annual business contest “Achievements in Environmental Protection” and of the schoolchildren’s drawing contest “Manage and Sort Waste”.

In addition, latest environmental publications will be presented tomorrow at the Ministry of Environment. Firstly, these include the traditional annual environmental status review "Environment Status 2006. Facts only". This concise publication, by both structure and ways of presenting information, should raise interest of not only specialists, but also the general public. The recently released book “Gamtos riterio lobiai” (The Treasures of the Nature Knight) depicts the life story of the outstanding environmentalist Viktoras Bergas, after whose name the award of the Ministry of Environment is called. And finally, the brand new publication Lithuanian Red Book, still smelling of printing ink. This is the result of many people’s efforts and toil. Apart from being lists and descriptions of rare and endangered species of plants, mushrooms and animals, this grand illustrated 784-page publication is also a legal instrument, which provides a reference point for organising protection of those species in the country. The red colouring of the book implies a warning that man must focus all efforts on preservation of nature.

All this in mind, the World Environment Day does not end with single-day events. It continues throughout the year as care for nature is the daily need and necessity.

Public Information Division, Tel. 266 3660

4 June 2007

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas