World Environment Day is the United Nation's day for encouraging awareness and action to protect our planet, held annually on the 5th of June. With one of our team member's family working at the UN, we thought for this year's World Environment Day we'd find out more and share the inside scoop through a short interview. Read on and find out how you can get involved!
1) Can you give a brief overview of your background and what you do at the UN?
To enable me to join the UN security advisor my previous skills and experiences include 9-years of military service, 12 years of Police service, and 2 years of working overseas in the security for the The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Academically I have a degree and postgraduate degree, and multiple training courses. I've worked 7 years in the UN mine action service in Somalia and Iraq, joining the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2018, working in Myanmar, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and currently Iraq. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is a UN agency mandated to aid and protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, and to assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.
2) World Environment Day is led by the United Nations Environment Programme and has been held annually since 1974. You have worked for the UN for many years can you tell us what positive change you have seen because of this great initiative?
Implementation of irrigation farming and small-business initiatives, flood defences, and environmental awareness training with application to local authorities and governments.
3) Has World Environment Day personally impacted you or inspired any changes?
Yes, being aware of the environment and its impact on local community has led me to advocate for the environment and take personal action to limit my impact, as well as others.
4) Has World Environment Day impacted work within the UN? If so, what has the impact been?
The impact has been to develop projects and support with less environmental impact such as renewable energy sources and the procurement of equipment which has less effect on communities.
5) What is your drive and inspiration behind the work you do?
My drive as a security advisor, my passion and goal, are to ensure the safety of my colleague's, partners, refugees, and internally displaced people (people who are forced to leave their home but who remain within their country's borders).
6) How do you keep your spirits high?
To keep my spirits high in harder times, I make sure I eat a very healthy diet and maintain a strict exercise regime, I also try to focus on the positive impact.
7) What can people do to get involved in World Environment Day?
They can donate to reliable charities or organisations and learn about the impact they have on the environment. Use fewer consumables, recycle, and donate used clothes and other items to vulnerable communities.
8) Do you have any final recommendations for how people can engage in protecting the planet beyond World Environment Day?
Helping the environment is down to all those little daily things that we can do, do more of, or not do and cut out.
Find out more about World Environment Day and how to make sustainable living the default option here.