United Nations to proclaim 2008 as
UN Year of Planet Earth

Dear Associate Partners,

On behalf of the Management Team of the International Year of Planet Earth I wish you a healthy and exciting New Year.

It is with great pleasure that I can announce the decision by the General Assembly of the United Nations to proclaim 2008 as the UN Year of Planet Earth. On the 22nd of December the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a Resolution by the United Republic of Tanzania and co-signed by 82 nations, to proclaim 2008 as the UN Year of Planet Earth. The press release issued by the UN after adoption of the Resolution, reads as follows:

"By a draft on the International Year of Planet Earth, 2008, which the Committee approved without a vote on 11 November, the Assembly would declare 2008 the International Year of Planet Earth. It would also designate the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to organize activities to be undertaken during the Year, in collaboration with UNEP and other relevant United Nations bodies, the International Union of Geological Sciences and other Earth sciences societies and groups throughout the world. Also by that draft, the Assembly would encourage Member States, the United Nations system and other actors to use the Year to increase awareness of the importance of Earth sciences in achieving sustainable development and promoting local, national, regional and international action."

The Committee, to which the Press Release refers, is the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly where the International Year was discussed in two terms and approved before it was brought in the Plenary Session of the General Assembly. In fact, the International Year of Planet Earth will be a triennium, starting in 2007 and closing by the end of 2009, with the UN Year of Planet Earth 2008 in the centre.

UN proclamation, with significant political implications, would not have been possible without your great and continuous support and that of the Founding Partners, and Initiators, IUGS and UNESCO. On behalf of the Management Team, I would like to express our greatest appreciation and gratitude to you making this possible. We sincerely hope that the International Year of Planet Earth will continue enjoying your support and encouragement until the end of the triennium!

With my kind regards
Eduardo F.J. de Mulder
Chair Management Team of the International Year of Planet Earth

4 January 2006

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