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From a man in the Maldives worried about relocating his family as sea levels rise, to a polar bear in the melting arctic, climate change has many faces. To celebrate International Mother Earth Day, images of people, animals, and places directly affected or threatened by climate change – as well as images of people stepping up to do something about it, have been collected all around the world. (See the gallery)

Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet Earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet. For instance, Bolivians call Mother Earth Pachamama andNicaraguans refer to her as Tonantzin.

The proclamation of 22 April as International Mother Earth Day is an acknowledgement that the Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.

Recognizing that Mother Earth reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit, the General Assembly declared 22 April as International Mother Earth Day (A/RES/63/278) to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives.

Harmony with Nature

The world has been slow to respond to the emergencies posed by global warming and the damage human activities are causing the planet. In 1972, the United Nations organized the first UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. It marked the beginning of a global awareness of the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species, and our planet.

International Mother Earth Day promotes a view of the Earth as the entity that sustains all living things found in nature. It honors the Earth as a whole and our place within it. It does not seek to replace other events, such as Earth Day, which has been celebrated by many people around the world on 22 March since the 1970s, but rather to reinforce and reinterpret them based on the evolving challenges we face.

In 2009, at its Eighth Session, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues requested special rapporteurs to prepare a Study on the need to recognize and respect the rights of Mother Earth. At its Ninth Session, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will discuss the findings of the study, as well as works toward establishing a Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.

from: http://www.un.org/en/events/motherearthday/

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