World Rivers Day
World Rivers Day is a global celebration of the world's waterways, observed every last Sunday in September. Established in 2005, it highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness while encouraging the improved stewardship
Stewardship is an ethic that embodies responsible planning and management of resources. The concept of stewardship has been applied in diverse realms, including with respect to environment, economics, health, property, information, and religion, and is linked to the concept of sustainability...
of rivers around the world. World Rivers Day occurs annually on the last Sunday in September.
Promoting River Stewardship
Rivers in every country face an array of threats, and World Rivers Day promotes the active involvement of citizens to ensure the health of rivers in the years ahead. Events include riverside cleanups, habitat
* Habitat , a place where a species lives and grows*Human habitat, a place where humans live, work or play** Space habitat, a space station intended as a permanent settlement...
restoration, nature walks, paddle trips, school projects, art displays, music festivals, and parades. Citizens are encouraged to join an event in their area, or start one of their own.
United Nations linksWorld Rivers Day has been endorsed by various agencies of the United Nations and is intended to complement the broader efforts of the United Nations Water For Life Decade http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/. The event was launched with the support of the United Nations University
United Nations University
The United Nations University is an academic arm of the United Nations established in 1973, which serves purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The UNU undertakes research into the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of...
http://www.unu.edu/ through the International Network on Water, Environment, and Health. The UN Water for Life - Canadian initiative has also been a strong supporter.
Origins of World Rivers DayWorld Rivers Day is based on the great success of BC Rivers Day in British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
which started in 1980. The BC event was founded by acclaimed river conservationist, Mark Angelo
Mark Angelo, hails from Burnaby, British Columbia and is an internationally-celebrated river conservationist, writer, speaker, teacher and paddler. He is the founder and chair of both BC Rivers Day and World Rivers Day, an event now embraced by millions of people in more than 60 countries...
, who also served as the inaugural World Rivers Day Chair. Under Mr. Angelo's leadership, BC Rivers Day grew to the point where it attracted up to 100,000 participants across the province and its success also inspired the creation Canadian Rivers Day
Canadian Rivers Day
Canadian Rivers Day is held annually on the second Sunday in June to promote public awareness of the importance of preserving the heritage and health of Canada's rivers. It is an opportunity for all Canadians to honour and commemorate the important sustaining role of rivers in Canada and globally...
. When the United Nations launched the Water for Life Decade initiative in 2005, Angelo believed that a grassroots-led international event focusing on the need to better care for the world's waterways would be a great complement to this event. After extensive communications with environmental non-government organizations along with lobbying various UN agencies, the first World Rivers Day took place in 2005 and was embraced by millions of people in close to 30 countries.
To find out more about World Rivers Day, visit the Web sites below.
World Rivers Day Web Site
United Nations "Water For Life Decade" Web Site
Wonder Of Water Web Site
United Nations University