Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day. Across the globe, individuals, communities, organizations, and governments acknowledge the amazing planet we call home and take action to protect it.

Earth Day 2013: The Face of Climate Change

Climate change has many faces.

A man in the Maldives worried about relocating his family as sea levels rise, a farmer in Kansas struggling to make ends meet as prolonged drought ravages the crops, a fisherman on the Niger River whose nets often come up empty, a child in New Jersey who lost her home to a super-storm, a woman in Bangladesh who can’t get fresh water due to more frequent flooding and cyclones…

And they’re not only human faces.

They’re the polar bear in the melting arctic, the tiger in India’s threatened mangrove forests, the right whale in plankton-poor parts of the warming North Atlantic, the orangutan in Indonesian forests segmented by more frequent bushfires and droughts…

These faces of climate change are multiplying every day.

For many, climate change can often seem remote and hazy – a vague and complex problem far off in the distance that our grandchildren may have to solve. But that’s only because they’re still fortunate enough to be insulated from its mounting consequences. Climate change has very real effects on people, animals, and the ecosystems and natural resources on which we all depend. Left unchecked, they’ll spread like wildfire.

Luckily, other faces of climate change are also multiplying every day.

Every person who does his or her part to fix the problem is also a Face of Climate Change: the entrepreneurs who see opportunity in creating the new green economy, the activists who organize community action and awareness campaigns, the engineers who design the clean technology of the future, the public servants who fight for climate change laws and for mitigation efforts, the ordinary people who commit to living sustainably…

On April 22, 2013, more than one billion people around the world will take part in the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. From Beijing to Cairo, Melbourne to London, Rio to Johannesburg, New Delhi to New York, communities everywhere will voice their concerns for the planet, and take action to protect it. We’ll harness that power to show the world The Face of Climate Change. And we’ll call on our leaders to act boldly together, as we have, in this pivotal year.

Between now and Earth Day, we’ll collect and display 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. We’ll tell the world their stories. But we need your help. We need you to be climate reporters. So, send us your pictures and stories that show The Face of Climate Change.

On and around Earth Day, an interactive digital display of all the images will be shown at thousands of events around the world, including next to federal government buildings in countries that produce the most carbon pollution. The display will also be made available online to anyone who wants to view or show it.

Together, we’ll highlight the solutions and showcase the collective power of individuals taking action across the world. In doing so, we hope to inspire our leaders to act and inspire ourselves to redouble our efforts in the fight against climate change.

Each year, Earth Day -- April 22 -- marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

The height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Protest was the order of the day, but saving the planet was not the cause. War raged in Vietnam, and students nationwide increasingly opposed it.

At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.  Although mainstream America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson's New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962.  The book represented a watershed moment for the modern environmental movement, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries and, up until that moment, more than any other person, Ms. Carson raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health.

Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center. 

The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.

As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. "It was a gamble," Gaylord recalled, "but it worked."

As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995) -- the highest honor given to civilians in the United States -- for his role as Earth Day founder.

As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people, Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the internatithe environmental community. Climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, reticent politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community all contributed to a strong narrative that overshadowed the cause of progress and change. In spite of the challenge, for its 40th anniversary, Earth Donal grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. It used the Internet to organize activists, but also featured a talking drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa, and hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on clean energy.

Much like 1970, Earth Day 2010 came at a time of great challenge for ay Network reestablished Earth Day as a powerful focal point around which people could demonstrate their commitment. Earth Day Network brought 225,000 people to the National Mall for a Climate Rally, amassed 40 million environmental service actions toward its 2012 goal of A Billion Acts of Green®, launched an international, 1-million tree planting initiative with Avatar director James Cameron and tripled its online base to over 900,000 community members.

The fight for a clean environment continues in a climate of increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day. We invite you to be a part of Earth Day and help write many more victories and successes into our history. Discover energy you didn't even know you had. Feel it rumble through the grassroots under your feet and the technology at your fingertips. Channel it into building a clean, healthy, diverse world for generations to come.


People across the globe came together for Earth Day 2013 and united in a single call for climate action. Participants in this first phase of The Face of Climate Change campaign shared their stories about how climate change is affecting their lives, showed the world what they’re doing about it, and made commitments to continue being part of the solution.

Below, you’ll find some regional highlights from the thousands of photo-testimonials we received between February 22nd and April 22nd, 2013.

Jump to a region:


Asia

The Face of Climate Change has been shared across Asia.  Here are some highlight submissions:

In Bangladesh, The Face of Climate Change is represented by the receding water levels on the Surma River.

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In Beijing, China, The Face of Climate Change is this young boy, expressing his concern for the South China tiger. As a result of habitat degradation, the South China tiger is considered critically endangered.

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In Indonesia, The Face of Climate Change is The Education Rangers who will join the Safari 'Green' team for Earth Day events at the Bali Safari & Marine Park.

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In Malaysia we see The Face of Climate Change at a local company who is trying to practice sustainable business in the workplace.

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In The Maldives, we can see The Face of Climate Change in the rising sea levels that threaten the livelihood of all of the people living on the islands.

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In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia seventh graders at a local international school took part in an environmental education program for The Face of Climate Change.  The program was aimed at promoting awareness about the effects of climate change in the region.

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In Singapore the Waterways Watch Society spends time cleaning up trash around the city for The Face of Climate Change. Here they are at the Marina Reservoir.

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In South Korea a student represents the Face of Climate Change as she continues her youth activism to promote sustainability in Seoul

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In Kaosiung, Taiwan at the Kaohsiung Municipal Wufu Junior High School, four Faces of Climate Change demonstrated the power of collective action, taking part in a community clean-up as part of their environmental education class.

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A non-profit registered in New Zealand, The Branch Foundation (TBF) has been supporting marginalized communities across South-East Asia since 2007. This Face of Climate Change photo is from the Koung Jor Shan refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. The Shan refugee camp has limited access to energy, but residents are now able to rely on solar and biogas fuels.

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In the Thailand, The Face of Climate Change is young girl standing on a fossilized shell cemetery estimated to 75 million years old.  This beach symbolizes what can be lost to climate change.

 

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On Earth Day, these Faces of Climate Change will be joined by many others in the form of Earth Day events across Asia.  Here are some highlights:

Bangladesh: The Bangladesh Youth Environmental Initiative is integrating youth in the climate change adaptation process, by highlighting the gravity of the danger of climate change, teaching the youth on the mechanism of building adaptive capacity and climate change resilience through interactive discussions and educational games. Finally, they planned a photo exhibition called, The Earth 3600, which is set to depict the natural beauties of Bangladesh, environmental challenges and the struggle of people against the wrath of Mother Nature. All the photos were added to The Face of Climate Change.

China: In Beijing, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan organized an Earth Day event for local ambassadors.  The event focused on climate change impacts for local bamboo and rattan species.  Participants also submitted photos to The Face of Climate Change to showcase.

Indonesia: Bali Marine Safari Park hosted three days of events from April 20th-22nd for Earth Day 2013. These included beach and park clean-ups, and activities for children. The events involved park employees, local villagers, and school students from three nearby villages. Coordinators also invited the Governor of Bali to attend their event. The Bali Marine Safari Park sits on approximately 100 acres and houses more than 60 species, some rare and endangered. The park functions under a philosophy of conservation, education, and recreation.

Indonesia:  Earth Day Network partner the ROLE Foundation hosted a number of unique events for Earth Day 2013. On April 20th volunteers participated in a 50km barefoot walk around Southern Bali that was supported by pledges collected from schools, governments, and hotels. These pledges are promises to help stop climate change and create a more sustainable world in the coming year. In addition, the ROLE Foundation had an Earth Day celebration and fundraiser with the theme of Sustainable Tourism in the Face of Climate Change. This is especially appropriate given than tourism is the largest industry in Bali, making up both directly and indirectly about 80% of the employment among the Balinese population.

In Japan, Earth Day partner Earth Day Tokyo organized an Earth Day concert and talking series in Japan.  The yearly event attracts thousands from across the country.

Nepal:  VCD Nepal in Nepal cleaned local botanical garden in Kathmandu region with 120 kids & locals for Earth Day.

Nepal: The Metta School in Nepal involved thousands of people in Earth Day events with the help of different campaigns. They had a tree planting camp for 1000 students (500 student from this school and 500 different campus colleges and schools), a painting competition among 25 school teams, a cycling marathon, and an education seminar on how to reuse and recycle paper in schools.

South Korea: Ecomom Korea in South Korea organized many events for Earth Day 2013. They planned an Earth Day Flash Mob, an Earth Day Walkathon along the park, and an Earth Day Exhibition They will also showcase The Face of Climate Change wall.

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Europe

The Face of Climate Change is seen all over Europe.  Here are some of the amazing stories we received:

These kids from Austria go to a green school and make sure to recycle, conserve electricity and help tend their school garden.

In Belgium, The Face of Climate Change is the face of girl concerned about the impacts of climate change on the country’s coastline. Rising sea levels and coastal erosion are already affecting Belgium’s economy.

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In Sofia, Bulgaria, The Face of Climate Change is environmental activism. Hundreds of Bulgarians took to the streets in the Save the Forest demonstration, protesting deforestation in the region.

 

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In Croatia, The Face of Climate Change is seen in uncharacteristic weather for the region. Zadar is located on the sea coast in Mediterranean and normally has a warm climate. However, due to climate change it is now experiencing snow, which is uncharacteristic of the region.

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In Italy we see the Face of Climate Change in a classroom as students participate in Earth Day and make a giant globe mosaic.

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In Lithuania students showcase an art project about The Face of Climate Change. The students are very enthusiastic about this project and are producing posters, slide shows, videos, and discussing topics on environmental issues.

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In The Netherlands, The Face of Climate Change is seen through an art display as an Earth Day Network partner works to promote water issues.

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In Portugal, The Face of Climate Change can be seen above the ocean.  We must protect our oceans from the dangerous threats of climate change.

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In Russia we see a group of students who confess their love for nature.  These Faces of Climate Change are working to protect forests around Kirov.

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In Romania, The Face of Climate Change can be seen at a local school where students learn about sustainability and energy conservation.

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In Sweden, students showcase their Faces of Climate Change during an after school seminar on sustainable agriculture.

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The Face of Climate change is seen in the United Kingdom by members of a vegan society.

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In the United Kingdom, The Face of Climate Change is a young woman and her polar bear puppet, Polo.  The woman uses Polo to educate students about the effects of climate change and other environmental issues.

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On Earth Day, thousands of Europeans will take action on behalf of the environment. Here are some highlight events:

 

Armenia: Earth Day Network partner Armenia Tree Project planned two tree planting events in conjunction with Earth Day 2013. On April 16th, ATP planted trees with the United Nation’s Armenia Office and Armenia‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then on April 22nd, ATP planted another set of trees in coordination with the United States Embassy in Armenia and the Armenian Volunteer Corps.

Belarus: Earth Day Network partner Green Cross Belarus organized the 8th annual Children & Youth Art Contest ‘In My Homeland’. This year 15,000 participants from 30 countries submitted their creations about what they find beautiful about their homelands. The purpose of the theme is to help the younger generation find the beauty in their natural surroundings, which will hopefully foster a desire to save the environment. 486 of the best works were selected to be displayed in an exhibition that opened at the National Ecological Center in Minsk on April 19th. The exhibition traveled across Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine around the time of Earth Week and Earth Day 2013.

Denmark: One of Earth Day Network’s biggest partners, The CO2 Green Drive Project, once again planned a massive event that spans across six cities on five continents for Earth Day 2013. The project is centered in Copenhagen and organized primarily by the Danish Cultural Institute. On Sunday, April 21st, runners, bikers, pedestrians, skaters, and alternative fuel powered vehicles will used their cities as canvases and a GPS tracking smartphone app as paint to create virtual images to spell out CO2 and other phrases to raise awareness.

Hungary: The Central European University in Hungary hosted and Earth Day event that reflects the growing biking culture in the campus community and throughout the city of Budapest. The Environmental and Sustainability Office will held free bicycle repair workshops with the assistance of Hungarian Cycling Association volunteers, where the whole campus community learned how to perform routine repairs and maintenance on their bicycles. In addition, they refurbished seven bicycles in order to develop a pilot fleet for the first campus-wide bicycle share system in Hungary.

Moldova: Gutta Club in Moldova is planned a picture-contest with "The Face of Climate Change". They organized a bike-tour with posters and their volunteers stopped at the most popular places, informing and inviting people to the event. They are planned a national action on Earth Day with people planting trees in the cities and villages in Moldova.

The Netherlands: Earth Day Network partners Walas Concepts, Citaverde College, and KuS Art Organization organized a symbolic production of biofuel for Earth Day. Members from all three organizations planted rapeseed and raise bees around the Walas Concepts Carbon6 building and on its rooftop garden. Once the bees perform their pollination and the plants have bloomed, the volunteers will harvest the rapeseed and convert it into biofuel in order to demonstrate how easy it is to produce a durable, environmentally friendly fuel.

Scotland: World Forests planned a Morning Children's Event with a walk to Inchnadamph Bone Caves, a debate about the future for wildlife in Scotland with Roy Dennis, raptor expert, and talks with authors like Mandy Haggith, Jim Crumley along with the Scottish Wildlife Trust on reintroducing beavers into Scottish rivers.

United Kingdom: The Savoy in the UK is planned a book swap, a River Thames shore clean-up, and a recycled plant pot drive in their office. 

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India

Face of Climate Change photos came in from all over India. Here are some of our favorites:

In Dindigul, India, The Face of Climate Change is this group of young children. These kids are recycling their plastic bags by converting them into flower pots.

 

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This Face of Climate Change let us know that her hometown of Arossim, Goa, experienced record temperatures in March this year. These record temperatures are reflective of broader climate changes in Goa, which has seen an earlier and more severe onset of high temperatures over the last several years.

 

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In Jalandhar, India, The Face of Climate Change is seen at a local school where free saplings were distributed to students.  The students planted the trees and learned about how reforestation impacts climate change.

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In Kolkata, India a young boy shows his commitment to the environment as he participates in an awareness day about conservation.

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These women in Pipalkoti process bamboo fiber in preparation for basket and mat-weaving. They are part of an eco-tourism project that supports sustainable farming and economic development in Pipalkoti.

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School Children take part in an awareness programme to mark Earth Day at a village in Patiala.

In West Bengal, India we see the Earth Day 2013 Face of Climate Change poster along with a plant to promote clean air quality in the home.

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Meanwhile, Earth Day 2013 is gearing up to be a major success in India:

Jalandhar: Pukhraj Health Care Centre of Jalandhar—in coordination with Earth Day Network India—distributed free saplings to students at St. Soldier’s School in honor of Earth Day. They also hosted a discussion about the effects of climate change and educated students about ways to mitigate it.

Kolkata: In coordination with Earth Day Network, Swissotel organized an organic brunch to promote The Face of Climate Change.  The brunch included a fashion show and a display of organic products.

Kolkata: An Earth Day commerative concert was planned which featured Ashmaan Electro Accoustic and French Indie Pop group Isaac Delusion. The concert was free to the public and featured Face of Climate Change photograph stations.

Mumbai: Sanskar India Foundation planned an Earth Day campaign to ban plastic bags at the CST and Churchgate Rail Stations. SIF hopes to offer reusable bags to everyone in the station to educate them about the importance of recycling. 

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Middle East & Africa

The Face of Climate Change has been seen across Africa and the Middle East.  Here are some highlights of our submissions:

In Algeria a young man attends an environmental conference on sustainable practices where he showcases his Face of Climate Change.

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In Botswana you can see The Face of Climate Change at work within a cheetah conservation area.

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These Faces of Climate Change from Kumbo, Cameroon, are connected with the Integrated Rural Community Center for Agriculture, a micro-finance and education group that teaches sustainable agricultural practices to vulnerable populations. 

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In Cairo, Egypt, The Face of Climate Change is the face of woman trying to live more sustainably by starting her own garden.

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In Ghana, The Face of Climate Change is seen in the young man who works to promote animal conservation and environmental education in Youth.

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In Babylon City, Iraq the Bent Al-Rafedain Organization engages Iraqi women in a local tree-planting campaign. The organization educates women about the effects of climate change and other environmental issues.

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In Jordan, The Face of Climate Change is represented by arid, dry climate.  Desertification is a major issue in Jordan as more land is lost each year due to the changing climate. 

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In the Tetu District of Kenya, women learn how to construct improved cook stoves. Wood-based biomass provides energy for 81% of households in sub-Saharan Africa, but the particle pollution created by inefficient stoves is extremely harmful both to human health and the environment. These improved stoves are up 60% more efficient than traditional stoves, making them safer and reducing “black carbon” emissions.

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Earth Day participants plant trees in Abeokuta, Nigeria. This effort is part of a region-wide tree-planting campaign urging every family to plant and tend at least one new tree this year.

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In Pakistan a young child showcases her Face of Climate Change as she stands in front of planted seedlings for Earth Day.

A young woman from Pakistan who is working toward a degree in animal sciences so that she can become a professional wildlife conservationist in Pakistan. Her goal is to work hard every day to live sustainably, not waste water, litter, or hurt the environment.

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In Tanzania we can see The Face of Climate Change in a young man from a local NGO working to plant trees and reforest the land.

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In the United Arab Emirates students showcase their Face of Climate change costumes at an education event for Earth Day 2013.

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This woman in Tororo, Uganda, writes that ongoing drought has resulted in low banana yields and infertile soils.

On Earth Day, many more Faces of Climate Change will come forth for Earth Day events spanning the region.  Here are some highlights:

Cameroon : Save Your Future Association (SYFA) organized a talk on the local radio station about climate change. They are also invited representatives from environmental schools and clubs to help plant flowers and trees in the SYFA botanical garden.

Cameroon: Manyu Non Timber Forest Products hosted educational programs on the negative effects of illegal logging, bush burning, and the bush meat trade. They also conducted educational programs on tree planting and training women on Non Timber Forest Products collection as an income generation activity for the family.

Egypt: The Friends of Environment & Development Association (FEDA) hosted an interactive workshop, with the title, “Confronting environmental problems following the Egyptian revolution” for Earth Day 2013.

Ghana: Rural Education and Development Programme (REDEP) planned a clean-up event, a theatre presentation, and a school event for Earth Day 2013. Their cultural theatre troupe produced a play on the theme the Face of Climate Change on April 22 in one of the towns in their district. In the local schools they organized environmental and sanitation themed test as well as an essay competition.

Iraq: Bent Al-Rafedain Organization in Iraq partnered with the Environmental Department of Babylon to create a media campaign to educate the general public and an awareness seminar to educate the local government on environmental problems. 

Kuwait: Gulf Bank in Sufut, Kuwait is inviting the Kuwait community to send in Face of Climate Change pictures, and promote Earth Day and Earth Day Network to their community. They are uploaded Earth Day 2013 banner, logo, link, and information about the organization to their website.

Liberia: Developmental Media Incorporated in Liberia addressed policy regulation on charcoal production, firewood production, and the use of portable generators.  They staged and an advocacy event near to the home of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Students sold promotional bumper stickers, T-shirts, and other items.

Morocco: Sahara-Roots hosted a two day long Earth Day project in Ouarzazate, Morocco. The theme of the project was on the importance of environmental awareness, and they promoted this theme throughout campaigns in schools, tree plantings, and recycling events.

Pakistan: Earth Day Pakistan planted50,000 trees across Pakistan. They partnered with the all the relevant Government Departments, Private and Public hospitals, individuals, schools, colleges and universities, corporate partners, electronic and print media for this National action.

Sudan The musical group “3 Meters Away” presented a concert, cultural exchange forum, and other workshops in Sudan for Earth Day 2013. They organized an environmental art exhibition entitled WALK, followed by a discussion on problems and solutions regarding the environment.

Tanzania: Foot 2 Afrika in Tanzania is working in the Kilimanjaro region, focusing on the problem of the melting snow cap of Kilimanjaro Mountain. For Earth Day 2013 they hosted a themed essay competition throughout colleges, primary, and secondary schools. The theme of the essay was related to how the mountain can be saved.

Uganda: Zion Friends Anti-Aids Club in Uganda conducted a 4 hour conference based on the theme “The Face of Climate Change” with 45 participants including the clubs stakeholders and representatives from local partner organizations and networks.

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North America

The Face of Climate Change is seen all over North America.  Here are our favorite photos:

In Ya'axché, Belize for The Face of Climate Change, these students are cleaning up trash in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage site.

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In Bermuda organizers from a local solar company stand over their newly installed solar panels to show how The Face of Climate Change is impacting communities for the better.

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In Canada, organizers from a local nonprofit show The Face of Climate Change as they work to defend costal life.

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In Costa Rica, The Face of Climate change is seen within the volunteer who is helping plant trees to repopulate the rainforest. 

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El Salvador has experienced The Face of Climate Change in the floods that caused entire village evacuations.

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In Mexico, students represent The Face of Climate Change as they stand over a newly installed recycling bin.

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You can also see the Face of Climate Change at Earth Day events across North America.  Here are some highlights:

Cayman Islands: The Chamber of Commerce in the Cayman Islands is partnering up with other departments and organizations on the islands, including the Department of the Environment, Radio Cayman, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, Cayman Islands Environment Programme, and Divetech, and the Department of Environmental Health.  Events included a trash pick-up, which usually attracted 1500 volunteers, a children’s poster contest on recycling, a beach and reef clean-up, as well as events throughout the month (including “Buy Green Day” and “Live Local Day”).

Costa Rica: Kids Saving the Rainforest in Costa Rica planted trees in celebration of Earth Day.  They then posted pictures of the event to The Face of Climate Change website.

Grenada: Ocean Spirits in Grenada held a beach clean-up.  The participants were from schools in the surrounding community and volunteers from the organization.

Mexico: Tortugas Fundación Yepez in Mexico organized a sea turtle patrol event for Earth Day. This event was coupled with a reforestation campaign and a beach clean-up.

Nicaragua: La Mariposa Spanish School in Nicaragua hosted a trash pick-up for students.  The students separated plastic bottles and bags from the trash.  They used the plastic bottles to build chairs and stools, and the plastic bags for crocheting bags to sell.

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Oceania

The Face of Climate Change is seen all over Oceania.  Here are some highlights among the submissions:

The Face of Climate Change is the face of a young girl in Alawa, Australia. She serves as the Northern Territory representative for the Keep Australia Beautiful “The LITTLE Committee”—a task force created to organize clean-ups and recycling programs.

 

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We can see The Face of Climate Change in Wollongong, Australia, where passion about improving the global environment is apparent.

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Children from Naviti District Primary School in the remote Yasawa Islands of Fiji plant fresh produce to share the message of sustainability.

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In Auckland, New Zealand, The Face of Climate Change is present at an Earth Day event to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship.

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At Mount Cook, New Zealand, the Face of Climate Change is a mountaineer. In the midst of what is usually prime mountaineering season, the glaciers are melting at a surprisingly fast rate this year, creating impassable crevasses. More importantly, glacial melting is contributing to rising sea levels, which threatens many low-lying islands across Oceania.

 

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In Manila Bay, Philippines, hundreds of environmentalists, students and activists gathered along the Manila Baywalk to call on the Philippine Reclamation Authority to stop projects that could cover allegedly as much as 26,000 hectares on Manila Bay for a private reclamation project which could deprive the public of the view of the famous Manila sunset.

 

Many more Faces of Climate Change have come forth in Oceania and Southeast Asia for Earth Day 2013.  Some highlight events include:

Australia: Keep Australia Beautiful oragznied a clean-up with representatives under 15 years old from all around Australia for Earth Day. They compiled a video of each of them with pledge, tip/message and community service announcement.

Australia: Conservation Volunteers Tasmania in Australia is planned a volunteer working event with a local community group to participate in a tree planting and weed removal.

Micronesia: The Xavier High School in Chuuk, Micronesia Chuuk planned an Earth Conference 2013 on the theme “The Face of Climate Change” with a neighborhood/community cleanup, they had schools from the islands come together setting up tents and booths, guest speakers spoke about  climate change. They planned workshops, games, discussions put in place to encourage students to start earth councils at their schools, to become active/create environmental resolutions. Finally, they wrote and performed an environmental themed school song competition and a discussion on what can be done in Chuuk.

 

New Zealand: Kawaipurapura planned an event that included a tree planting, a garbage initiative, a composting workshop, organic gardening classes, environmental films and activities for children, a social feel good environmental theme dinner, and live entertainment.

Palau: The Palau Conservation Society organzied games and contests among school children for Earth Day around the theme of Water and Climate Change.

Philippines: Greenwatch Philippines Inc. hosted the Negros Occidental Junior Green Artists Summer Competition that aims to involve the youth in promoting environmental awareness. The theme of the competition was: “Climate Change in the Eyes of a Child.”, and pit 177 young artists from four cities against each other in an on-the-spot-painting contest. The project is in cooperation with the Negros Occidental provincial government, district representatives, local and school officials, teachers. Together with their individual coaches, the local and school officials, volunteers, and guests, the event gathered close to 400 people during the entire duration of the activity.

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South America

The Face of Climate Change is evident across South America.  Here are some of our favorite submissions:

In Argentina, The Face of Climate Change is seen in this classroom where students are learning about the global impacts of climate change.

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In Brazil, The Face of Climate Change is increasingly severe flood and drought cycles over the last decade. This photo, taken in Sao Paulo in February, reflects the devastating nature of these events.

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The Face of Climate Change is found in Brazil where a young girl learns about issues related to Macaw poaching in the rainforest.

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In Colombia, The Face of Climate Change is seen as the hiker looks over one of the most important ecosystems in the region. The Sumapaz Paramo is one of the most biodiverse areas in all of Colombia.  Climate Change is threatening the livelihood of the species that live here.

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In Ecuador, volunteers will plant trees on Earth Day for The Face of Climate Change .

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In Chile, The Face of Climate Change can be seen in the classroom as students learn about the importance of conservation.

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Across South America Earth Day events have showcased The Face of Climate Change.  Here are some of our favorite events:

Argentina: Surfrider Foundation planted evergreens and Tamarisk shrubs to help create a barrier against wind erosion.  Along with these preventative measures, they planned a beach clean-up and finished the day with live music and a tango exhibition.

Brazil: Viração in Brazil held a class for teenagers on Earth Day and climate change and they organized a poster contest for the teenagers.  These posters were submitted to The Face of Climate Change website.  They also held a vegan picnic with a seed exchange and Earth Day games.

Chile: Tenio Natural Reserve in Chile built a greenhouse with Colegio Nuevo Horizonte, a small, rural school.  The Inauguration of the greenhouse took place on Earth Day.

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United States

The Face of Climate Change response in the United States has been huge!  Here are some of our favorite submissions:

In Riverside, California, Seniors Go Green—in partnership with the Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful Adopt A Street program—participate in a neighborhood clean-up to show their Face of Climate Change.

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Students are the UC Santa Cruz participated in their 12th annual Earth Summit to educate themselves about climate change and other environmental issues.

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In Baylands, California a man urges his coworkers show The Face of Climate Change and practice business more sustainably.

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In Denver, Colorado a young boy shows his Face of Climate Change as he expresses his concern for the future during a climate change demonstration.

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The Face of Climate Change is seen in Florida with a young girl who works to conserve Florida’s beautiful variety of plants and flowers.

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The Face of Climate Change is seen in Sixth Graders in Freehold, New Jersey making pledges to help protect the environment, signified by handprints.

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The Face of Climate Change is seen in New York, as residents at a LEED-certified Assisted Living facility show their commitment to environmental issues by hosting an educational fair each year to discuss climate change and the ways that individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.

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In New Orleans, the founder of Green Light New Orleans installs energy efficient light bulbs in a local home.

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A young boy in Massachusetts shows his Face of Climate Change as he expresses his concern for the environment while painting Easter eggs.

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In Ohio a student at University of Cincinnati prepares her Face of Climate Change sign for their week long set of Earth Day activities.

In Texas, The Face of Climate Change is seen in this young girl working in a community garden to promote sustainable agriculture.

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In Tennessee, The Face of Climate Change is seen by a family who made a sustainable solution when purchasing their car.

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The Face of Climate Change is in Horicon, Wisconsin. Horicon is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the US and an important breeding ground for waterfowl, particularly the endangered Whooping Crane. Like much of the American Midwest, however, the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge suffered from extreme drought in 2012, putting a strain on the local wildlife.

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All across the United States millions of people came out to participate in Earth Day events in their communities.  Here are some of the highlights:

California: More than 35,000 people attended this year's Earth Day Festival in Santa Barbara, California. People rode bikes, test drove fuel efficient cars, brought their own reusable water bottle, donated their shoes, learned about environmental issues, ate local food, and celebrated all the great achievements, technologies, and breakthroughs that are making the earth a happier, healthier place to live.

Colorado: Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center hosted the 7th annual Wild Earth Day in Colorado. They planned a climate change speaker forum, exhibits from local green organizations, as well as recreational and educational activities.

Florida: This year marked the 43rd Earth Day Tampa Bay celebration with a multitude of vendors including a farmers market, sustainable living demonstrations, and activities for all ages. Hosted by University of South Florida’s Patel College of Global Sustainability, Office of Sustainability, and Tampa Bay Sierra Club, this festival is attracted thousands for its fun, “go green” persona.

Illinois: Illinois Department of Natural Resources organized an Earth Day event entitled, “Earth Day in the Parks.” Their goal was to hold an event at every state park in the state. Sing the program began 6,662 students and adults have participated, and they expect to have 1,000 participants this year. The projects were designed according to the specific needs of each park, but many involved removing invasive plant species, and cleaning up trash.

Iowa: Iowa Interfaith Power and Light hosted a “Food, Faith, and Climate Workshop” It focused on connecting the dots between our food practices and climate change.  Those who attended the event learned about how our food system contributes to climate change, they reflected on what our faith traditions have to say about sustainable food systems, and they looked at their households’ food practices and create a plan to make more climate-friendly choices.

Massachusetts: Earthport Film Festival in Newburyport hosted its second annual Earth Day film festival in Newburyport, Massachusetts promoting awareness of Climate Change through short, independent films embracing the theme of The Face of Climate Change.

Missouri: The St. Louis Earth Day Festival hosted many events for Earth Day 2013. Their Earth Day Symposium was built around the theme, “Climate Trends: Impacts and Adaptation.” The Symposium was a two-day training and networking program for local government staff, officials, and the professional community that educated attendees on the impacts of climate change on water resources and subsequent adaptation strategies. Additionally, they planned three more Earth Day events that were free and open to the public.

Nevada: Reno Earth Day organized workshops with the local university and federal agencies, a high school science fair, and various games involving environmental education. They also planned a Face of Climate Change photo shoot and showcased the photo wall at their Earth Day event.

New York: White Plains, New York hosted its second citywide Earth Week Celebration with activities for everyone to enjoy including a variety of demonstrations, environmental awareness workshops, contests, food, and music. White Plains’ Earth Week is a collaborative community event showcasing the many Faces of Climate Change.

North Carolina: The Raleigh Museum of Natural Sciences hosted a free Planet Earth Celebration at the museum educating its participants in sustainable living through awareness. With entertaining activities for all ages, the variety of exhibits and events had something for everyone!

Ohio: Green Columbus’ 7th Annual Earth Day Celebration is the largest volunteer service effort (based on volunteer hours) across the country. Over the past seven years, Green Columbus’ Earth Day events have resulted in over 40,000 hours of donated labor and 19,000 newly planted trees. This year, on the weekend leading up to Earth Day volunteers pulled invasive plants, cleaned up neighborhoods, and prepared gardens in over 1000 volunteer sites across the region. On the weekend following Earth Day there will be a celebration of their accomplishments with food, music, and local green businesses.

Texas: Earth Day Texoma hosted workshops, vendors, speakers, electric & hybrid cars, e-waste recycling, a used book sale at a nearby library, and more to educate Texans about Earth Day.

Washington: The University of Washington hosted a post-Earth Day trash-in, where all the university’s waste for an entire day will be diverted to a central public space. Students are asked to stop by and assist with sorting out recyclables. This event will build awareness around recycling initiatives as well as educate about best recycling practices.

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On April 22, 2013, more than one billion people around the world will take part in the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. From Beijing to Cairo, Melbourne to London, Rio to Johannesburg, New Delhi to New York, communities everywhere will voice their concerns for the planet, and take action to protect it. We’ll harness that power to show the world The Face of Climate Change. And we’ll call on our leaders to act boldly together, as we have, in this pivotal year.

Then, on Earth Day, we’ll highlight the solutions and showcase the collective power of individuals taking action across the world. In doing so, we hope to inspire our leaders to act and inspire ourselves to redouble our efforts in the fight against climate change.