Thousands ‘volunteering for our planet’

Volunteers register more than 370,000 hours of climate

13 November 2009, Bonn, Germany – People around the world are volunteering hundreds of thousands of hours to tackle climate change and send a message to world leaders that everyone is part of the solution.

A new website, has drawn thousands of visitors to register the time they have spent as environmental volunteers since World Environment Day, 5 June, and the time they will spend until International Volunteer Day, 5 December. Since the website started two weeks ago, people have registered more than 370,000 hours of volunteer effort. The countries with the most hours registered so far are India, Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria and the Philippines.

The website is part of a campaign by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to promote a successful outcome at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which opens on 7 December.

“Our climate is changing and everybody needs to get involved to help us cope,” said Flavia Pansieri, UNV Executive Coordinator. “Volunteers started the global environmental movement and we are an essential part of the solution to climate change. So our theme for International Volunteer Day is ‘Volunteering for our Planet’ and we would like you to join us. We can send a strong signal to the Copenhagen conference that people want to help and can be involved as volunteers.”

Volunteers are taking action across many areas, including environmental education in Egypt, agriculture in Kenya, energy in China, waste and pollution in Germany, water and sanitation in Brazil and biodiversity in the United States.

“Taken on their own, a few hours of effort by an individual volunteer might not look like very much,” Ms Pansieri said. But our campaign is demonstrating that the combined actions of thousands of volunteers around the world add up to a tremendous contribution to the global effort to address climate change.

“People want to help and they are taking positive action to do something about this issue. As world leaders meet in Copenhagen, we want them to recognize that the solution lies not only with governments and industry, but with every one of us, and that every
hour counts.”

To learn more about the campaign and to Volunteer for our Planet, please visit

‘Volunteering for our Planet’ is the UNV contribution to the UN campaign to Seal the Deal at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The United Nations Volunteers programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.