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  UNEP 4 Oct 07
"Think globally, clean locally"
UNEP and Google Put International Cleanup Weekend onto Millions of Computers across the World

Nairobi , 4 October 2007 - People across the planet will be cleaning up their area and sharing the result with millions of people on the internet thanks to a new campaign by Google and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

During International Cleanup Weekend on 13 and 14 October, community groups and individuals on every continent will be heading out in small groups with friends and family to clean up their local parks, beaches, streets and neighbourhoods.

Under this new initiative, their activities and results will make history by being posted as photos and videos onto Google Map--giving a global platform to every local initiative.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP's Executive Director, said: "The power of local community action is being matched by the power of the World Wide Web. This should make a formidable partnership uniting and empowering groups from Bangalore to Bermuda and Berlin to Beijing in common cause."

"Let us hope this global Google community's effort may go further and persist beyond the International Cleanup Weekend. It may evolve into a new forum and network for ideas sharing on a wide range of challenges from local cleanups to community-based solutions to such pressing issues as climate change," he added. Notes to Editors

UNEP and Google encourage everyone to plan their own cleanup close to home, wherever they think there is the biggest need for it. To get started, go to: http://maps.google.com/help/maps/cleanup/

Joint action on the International Cleanup Weekend is part of a series of projects between UNEP and Google Inc. Last year, Google Earth featured "UNEP: Atlas of our Changing Environment", offering satellite images of 100 environmental hotspots from around the world and showing the dangers facing them.

This is the latest of many UNEP-partnered events which reach out to local communities. Every year, World Environment Day mobilises people around the world to focus on the environment. During 2007, the UNEP-led Billion Tree Campaign has attracted tree-planting pledges from all regions of the world.

The annual "Clean Up the World Weekend", organised on 14-16 September by UNEP, has inspired around 35 million volunteers to fix and conserve their local environment since its launch in 1993. It is led by Sydney-based Ian Kiernan, who set out to clean up Sydney Harbour after a yacht race which left him appalled by the amount of rubbish choking the world's oceans.

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