On World Environment Day, the WCO joins the call for action to restore our ecosystems

04 June 2021

On 5 June, the World Customs Organization (WCO) lends its voice to the international community’s celebration of World Environment Day and joins its call for action to protect and preserve our planet.

This year, World Environment Day focuses on ecosystem restoration under the slogan “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.” urging all to take action to revive and preserve forests, wetlands, peatlands and coasts – which are all disappearing at an alarming rate – as well as to look at making our cities and other human-made systems more environmentally sustainable.

Accordingly, World Environment Day 2021 marks the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global movement encouraging all stakeholders to act together in safeguarding our planet. Unless ecosystems are revived, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement targets will not be met.

This celebration is an opportunity for the WCO to reaffirm its stance alongside its partners, especially the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in favour of supporting efforts to ensure environmental sustainability which is crucial to humanity’s survival.

“The WCO will continue contributing to international efforts towards global environmental sustainability by guiding and supporting the Customs community in implementing a resilient supply chain that respects the environment”, said Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General. “This includes not only the relentless efforts of Customs officers, the first line of defence at borders, through capacity building and major operations to thwart criminal endeavours to smuggle environmentally-sensitive goods, but also the transition to environmentally-sustainable Customs procedures and policies”, he added.

To achieve these aims, the WCO is continually enhancing the capacity of its Members as well as its network of Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs) through its Environment Programme, by delivering training, providing up-to-date educational material and bolstering Customs’ enforcement efforts. It also regularly communicates with Customs administrations on environmental issues, keeping them well-informed about the latest developments.

Restoring our ecosystems is a massive undertaking, demanding commitment at global level. Tangible and sustainable results will only be achieved if everyone plays a part. To that end, the WCO and the international Customs community join all their partners in pledging to perform to their full potential in restoring and preserving our environment for the benefit of our planet and its citizens.