In London's Canary Wharf, this annual event was marked by the official launch of an on-line climate change learning programme developed by Earthwatch as part of the HSBC Climate Partnership. The programme gives HSBC employees the opportunity to learn about climate change and sustainability issues through interactive software hosted by the company's intranet.
HSBC staff at the bank's headquarters had the opportunity to try out the learning software, and find out how they could get involved in the Climate Partnership through one-day volunteering projects with local environmental organisations.
Staff from Earthwatch, HSBC and local project partners chatted to employees about the opportunities available. ‘Climate Champions' - HSBC employees who have already signed up to take part in the Climate Partnership and spent two weeks working alongside researchers at Earthwatch's Regional Climate Centre in Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire, were also on hand to talk about their experiences and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. The day was a huge success, with hundreds of enthusiastic HSBC employees signing up to get involved in the programme.
Also on World Environment Day, Earthwatch staff in the United States announced the launch of an online Earthwatch community that will reside on Eons.com, a social networking site; and 50 employees from HSBC North America participated in a project managed by the Friends of Chicago River and supported by Earthwatch. The volunteers spent the day removing invasive species from the north branch of the Chicago River, planting native species and helping to monitor water quality. Local volunteering projects for HSBC 'Climate Champions' were also held in New York City and Vancouver, Canada.
Earthwatch activities were not confined to the UK and US alone. In India, Country Director for Earthwatch India, Raghu Saxena, observed World Environment Day by spending quality time with school students at the Bombay Natural History Society's conservation education station near Delhi - a useful opportunity to inform teachers about Earthwatch's work.
In the evening, Raghu was invited to the residence of the Vice President of India to attend an environmental event which provided an opportunity to meet some grassroots conservation volunteers.
● Look out for National Parks' Week, from 28th July to 3rd August, a week set aside to celebrate the UK's 14 national parks, to see how you can get involved in events in the parks.
Earthwatch staff worldwide were out spreading the conservation message on World Environment Day, 5th June.