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Happy Earth Day 2017! UN Calls for Environmental and Climate Literacy to Save Mother Earth

Apr 23, 2017 12:55 PM EDT

In lieu of Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, the United Nations have emphasized the need for environmental and climate literacy to save the planet.

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, during a protest against the effects of the industrial revolution for more than a century. The protest led to a rampant change in environmental laws, with US Congress and President Nixon creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Also in the same year, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act were passed, CNN reports.

Since 1970, April 22 has been marked as a celebration for Mother Earth. The holiday is celebrated around the world with 192 countries and 1 billion people participating in this event. Earth Day has been a venue for groups to raise environmental awareness to the greater public.

For this year's theme, Earth Day 2017 is campaigning for environmental and climate literacy. According to the Earth Day Network, proper awareness and education about the unprecedented threats of climate change to the Earth are vital to lay out plans to protect the environment.

"Education is the foundation for progress ... Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs," the Earth Day Network wrote in a news release.

The Paris Agreement has also prioritized climate and environmental literacy, encouraging its member countries to educate people through policies and access to information. CNN noted that since the establishment of Earth Day in 1970, climate education has evolved and expanded. From just focusing on the natural world, climate education now includes sustainable development and its benefits to the economy.

Recognizing that Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year, the United Nations also designated this day as International Mother Earth Day via resolution A/RES/63/278 adopted in 2009.

Meanwhile, in honor of Earth Day, many organizations, including NASA, has commemorated this special day. The space agency has released a stunning Ultra High Definition video of planet Earth taken 250 miles up on the International Space Station. Watch it below.

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