World Rivers Day (WRD) is annually observed across the globe on the 4th Sunday of September to promote awareness about the importance of rivers and aims to encourage the improved protection of all rivers around the world.
- The day also promotes the conservation and sustainable management of these vital natural resources. It is a celebration of the world’s waterways.
World Rivers Day (WRD) 2023 was observed on 24 September 2023.
- WRD 2022 was observed on 25 September 2022 and WRD 2024 will be observed on 22 September 2024.
i.In 2005, the United Nations (UN) launched the “International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015″, to help create a greater awareness of the need to better care for water resources.
ii.Following this, WRD was established in response to a proposal initiated by Canada’s internationally renowned river conservationist, Mark Angelo.
iii.The proposal for a global event to celebrate rivers was based on the success of British Columbia (BC) Rivers Day, which Mark Angelo had founded and led in western Canada since 1980.
- BC Rivers Day eventually evolved into WRD.
iv.That first WRD was observed in 2005 and was celebrated across 12 countries.
About Mark Angelo:
i.Mark Angelo is the founder and Chair of both BC Rivers Day and WRD.
ii.He is the Chair Emeritus of the Rivers Institute at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, BC, Canada.
iii.He was also the inaugural Chair of the BC Heritage River System from 1997 to 2001, the first provincial initiative of its kind.
iv.He was also the long-time head of BCIT’s Fish, Wildlife and Recreation Program.
v.He received both the Order of BC in 1998 and 2 years later, he received the Order of Canada (Canada’s highest honour) in recognition of his river conservation efforts over the past four decades.
- He became a Royal Canadian Geographic Society (RCGS) fellow in 2013
To commemorate the WRD 2023, WRD organised a series of events such as paddling trips down major rivers, river conferences, online panel events, and various new projects like riverside plantings and habitat restoration projects have been launched.
- A campaign for the “Rights of Rivers” and the launching of “Adopt a Rivers” programs were also organised.