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Valeria Merino

VP of Global Earth Day, Earth Day Network


Earth Day 1970 marked the birth of the modern environmental movement. On that first Earth Day, 20 million Americans learned and rallied together across the US for a healthy and sustainable environment. Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, as people from all walks of life and political affiliations realized they shared the common values of clean air, water, and land. Thanks to their engagement the US Environmental Protection Agency was created, and Congress passed landmark environmental legislation which inspired others around the world to enact similar legislation. The environmental movement enjoyed a honeymoon period that lasted decades, but over the past decade, an anti-environmental sentiment has gained momentum. The 50th anniversary of Earth Day can be a catalytic moment to unite the vast array of groups and individuals who care for the earth. As the VP for Global Earth Day, I have been part of a fact-find mission. Virtually every group that we have approached has expressed a desire to work together to make the 50th Earth Day a historic moment that marks not only the achievements of the environmental movement, but also the opportunity to take stock of current and future challenges and make bold commitments to overcome them. Environmental issues will be elevated to the top of political and personal agendas, and a new quality of interventions will aim to achieve large-scale systemic change. The 50th anniversary must become the opportunity for key ethical organizations and leaders to find new ways to recognize their shortcomings and openly discuss what has not worked, embracing change and making decisions however difficult and even painful to become more effective. We need leaders with big, bold ideas to support and anchor this effort. Empowering individual and collective action on a global scale will generate a new level of optimism and impact in confronting complex environmental issues. If you are interested, please get in touch with me.

Regional Focus

Oceania, Central and Southern Asia, Eastern Asia, North America, South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Middle East and North Africa, West and Central Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa