FoEME is no stranger to the importance of Earth Day and this year, on May 1, FoEME Amman celebrated Earth Day in the Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPark located in the Northern Jordan Valley. Each of FoEME’s eight Jordanian partner communities sent their field staff and twenty youth representatives. These young people have been handpicked as Youth Water Trustees to represent their communities at FoEME events. In addition, fifteen students and their teachers from Israel crossed the border to share in the day’s activities. In total there were over 200 people in the EcoPark, 175 of which were students and young people, joining together to celebrate Earth Day.
The students spent all day participating in fun filled educational activities that drew attention to the environment. The activities included face painting, card making, and environmental games. Short films were shown and handicrafts and banners were made expressing love for the Earth. Some groups took place in environmental trivia games while others expressed their feelings about the environment through poems and short songs. All of the day’s events focused on environmental issues including biodiversity, the importance of trees, water scarcity and resources, the food chain, and issues specific to Jordan.
The enthusiastic participation of youth made the day a great success and furthered FoEME’s efforts to support environmental education at an early age. For more information about the history of Earth Day, continue reading.
Earth Day began in the United States in 1970. At that time a Senator from Wisconsin proposed the idea of Earth Day as a nationwide environmental protest “to shake up the political establishment and to force [the] issue onto the national agenda.”
20 million Americans celebrated the first Earth Day and called for more awareness and action related to a healthy and sustainable environment. As a result of the nationwide demonstrations on April 22, 1970, laws were written and amended to include more environmental protections and the United States Environmental Protection Agency was established.
Earth Day officially went global in 1990. Over 200 million people in 141 countries mobilized to draw attention to the environmental issues impacting their lives. This event brought much needed attention and cooperative efforts together across nation states, helping to pave the way for the United Nations Earth Summit in 1992. Awareness has rapidly grown, as have environmental threats, and today Earth Day is celebrated in nearly every country across the globe.
This post was written by FoEME intern Tiffany Tononi. Tiffany is based in FoEME’s Amman office.