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Every year since 1970, on April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day. On this day, organizations and individuals take part in events and activities to show their support of global environmental efforts. Some even extend their celebrations to include the entire Earth Week.

The day came about at a UNESCO Conference in 1969, when peace activist John McConnell suggested setting an annual celebration day for the Earth and for peace. While Earth Day was a U.S. celebration in the past, from 1990 onwards, it has been an international observance. Some recent, significant events that have taken place on Earth Day include the Paris Agreement which was signed in 2016 by around 120 countries including the U.S.A. and China. The following year, the March for Science and the People’s Climate Mobilization took place on Earth Day.

Today, more than 1 billion people in over 190 countries participate in Earth day. People march, sign petitions, plant trees, meet with their elected officials and clean up the areas in which they live. Companies and governments make pledges and announce sustainability measures.

The theme of 2019’s Earth Day is Protect our Species, aiming to raise awareness of the increasing rate of extinction of millions of species, as well as the causes, consequences, and what can be done to improve the situation, ultimately encouraging group and individual actions to help the conservation of species, and with it, the environment.