World Environmental Day is observed on the 5th of June every year, aiming to promote environmental protection through awareness and action. Supported by various NGOs, businesses, governments, and the United Nations, World Environmental Day has played a crucial role in raising awareness about issues like marine pollution, overpopulation, global warming, sustainable development, and wildlife crime.  

People With banners Protest as Part of a Climate Change March | Source: AS

Established by the United Nations during the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972, World Environment Day is participated by over 143 countries and provides a theme and forum for businesses, NGOs, communities, governments, and celebrities to come together and advocate for environmental causes. The first World Environment Day took place in 1973 with the theme “Only One Earth,” emphasizing the need to integrate human interactions with the environment. 

Eco Volunteers Cleaning a Beach | Source: AS

This year’s World Environmental Day is hosted by Côte d’Ivoire and supported by the Netherlands and centers around the theme of tackling plastic pollution. Côte d’Ivoire takes the lead in fighting plastic pollution through a ban on plastic bags since 2014 and the emergence of environmentally-minded start-ups in Abidjan. 

World Environmental Day on Numismatics 

United Arab Emirates – UAE 1 Dirham Coin, 2009, Commemorative, World Environment Day | Source: Banknote World

The United  Arab Emirates issued a 1-dirham coin to commemorate the 2009 World Environment Day Celebration. The 6.4-gram copper-nickel coin features the denomination on its obverse. On its reverse are a world map and a WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY inscription along with the date.

Zimbabwe 1 Cent – 100 Trillion Dollars 66 Pieces Full Complete Banknote Set, 2006-2009, P-33-98, UNC | Source: Banknote World

This 66-piece complete banknote set that comes with Zimbabwean dollar banknotes and bearer cheques from 2006 to 2009 highlights the noteworthy Chiremba Balancing rocks on their obverse. Some of these banknotes feature various fauna and a natural environment on their reverse such as Mount Nyangani, the Zambezi River, and Victoria Falls.  

Costa Rica 10,000 Colones | 2019 | Source: Banknote World

The reverse of the 2019 Costa Rica 10,000 Colones Banknote depicts a rainforest along with a three-toed sloth, orchid flower, birds, and cup mushrooms. On the obverse is Jose Figueres Ferrer’s portrait. The polymer banknote bears a simulated security thread and a clear window watermark with a holographic Coat of Arms and an image of Jose Figueres Ferrer.  

New Zealand 5 Dollars | 2014 | Source: Banknote World

The 2014 version of the New Zealand dollar polymer banknote features mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary on its obverse. Known for being the first to reach the summit of Mt Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary devoted his life to environmental and humanitarian endeavors, particularly aiding the Nepalese people. The back of the note displays a  yellow-eyed penguin and a subantarctic lily flower. 

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