ICAO and Canada celebrate 2017 World Environment Day theme: Connecting People to Nature

World Environment Day (WED) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 and is celebrated on or near 5 June each year. Earlier this week, to mark the occasion, Canada, the global host country for WED2017, co-hosted a reception with ICAO at the UN agency’s Montreal Headquarters to celebrate the WED2017 theme of Connecting People to Nature.


Speaking at the event, ICAO’s Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu noted that the UN 70th General Assembly had designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. She took the opportunity to highlight how transport, eco-tourism and national parks are intimately linked. 


“Aviation provides incomparable global tourism connectivity to protected areas all over the world,” Dr. Liu explained. “Tourists choosing to visit national parks are often eco-oriented and concerned with the environmental impact of their travel, including their CO2 footprint. ICAO, its Member States, and the aviation industry are working together to address this issue through many of our ongoing programmes.”


The ICAO Secretary General also stressed that many international airports are located near or at protected areas or ecological sanctuaries, and that special planning, construction and operation of such infrastructure is required in order to suitably respect the local ecology.


“The development and operation of airports needs to be fully integrated with the natural environment and adhere to a series of environmental protection policies and practices,” she underscored, “and we should seek to achieve this balance not only by considering the air transport component of travel, but also via a ‘carbon-free total travel’ approach. With this vision and these priorities in mind, we should celebrate World Environment Day together and work towards ensuring aviation’s sustainable future.”

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