Last Updated on March 20, 2021 CareOurEarth
Date: Sunday, 26 September 2021; 17th Anniversary.
Sponsor: United Nations
World Rivers Day is annually celebrated to raise and spread awareness about the role and importance of rivers and other waterways, and the threats that could potentially endanger the waterways around the world, as well as to promote the improved stewardship of all waterways for sustainable development.
Rivers play an important role in ecosystem and are extremely helpful to human life. They are one of the biggest sources of freshwater. Rivers not only provide us with fresh drinking water, but also provide water for domestic needs (e.g., food, energy, recreation, hygiene) and agricultural purposes (e.g, irrigation). They also provide a pathway to enable people and goods to move or transport from place to place.
In recent decades, human activities driven by industrialization and population growth have caused pollution and damage to numerous waterways around the world, particularly in the areas where people regularly use the rivers as a source of water and transport. Virtually, rivers in every country face an array of threats and thus need to be sustainably managed.
Inception: It was first officially held in 2005 and since then it is annually celebrated on the fourth Sunday of every September.
The proposal for a global event to celebrate rivers was based on the success of British Columbia Rivers Day in western Canada since 1980. The BC Rivers Day was founded and led by Mark Angelo, an internationally renowned river advocate, who is Chair Emeritus of the Rivers Institute at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
In response to the proposal initiated by Mark Angelo, on 29 June 2005 the United Nations officially proclaimed the 4th Sunday of each September as World Rivers Day. At that time, the United Nations launched the Water for Life Decade to help create a greater awareness of the need to take better care of the world’s water resources.
How to celebrate World Rivers Day
Learn, share, and actions!
Each year, a range of educational and promotional events are organized by different organizations and communities on the 4th Sunday of September to commemorate World Rivers Day. Celebrating activities range from symposiums, seminars, and lectures to stream cleanups, picnics, educational outings, riverside celebrations, and social media campaigns.
Each year a specific theme is selected by the United Nations for the World Rivers Day to help spread the message that waterways are vital to maintain a healthy ecosystem and to achieve sustainable development goals.