World cleanup leaders from 100 nations gather in Tallinn

  • 2020-01-24
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - An international conference of Let's Do It World that kicked off in Tallinn on Friday morning brings together world cleanup leaders and representatives of global businesses and organizations to create a strong cooperation network for solving the global garbage problem.

"With our global network, we are bringing together different partners to together find solutions to burning environmental problems. As we share the common concern about the deteriorating environmental situation, we can no longer compete but must augment each others' activities," said Heidi Solba, president of Let's Do It World and head of the network.

Solba described cooperation, where one has to look beyond self-centeredness, frames and benefit, as being critical in solving global problems.

"We all have one home, and we all have a definite role in achieving a world that is clean again," Solba said.

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said that in addition to the possibility to make our home planet cleaner, world cleanup day also offers an opportunity to change one's habits.

"Our children will be able to live well when all people -- national leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, consumers -- will make a contribution to the balance between the environment, people and the economy. It is our day-to-day habits that form the foundation of necessary change. Therefore I am glad that the cleanup actions of Estonia have evolved into a global movement for cleanness and through it into a brand of Estonia. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to every one of you who are contributing their time and energy toward our common future," the premier said.

The manager of Let's Do It World, Anneli Ohvril, said that world cleanup is a model that has proved itself in helping to find a new sustainable society model. She said that unless a change occurs in laws, infrastructure, habits and values, the places cleaned up will be littered up again.

"We must join our forces to reach the critical mass of five percent of people in each country. Only in this way can we initiate informed fast action towards a sustainable future," Ohvril said.

This year's conference places special emphasis on cooperation with civil society, public sector and business organizations. In joint panels, the floor will be taken by the UN, the African Union, but also Earth Day, one of the oldest environmental organizations in the world. Presentations will be delivered by Break Free From Plastic, Philip Morris and Decathlon, among others, and also a number of workshops and thematic discussions to find solutions together will be held. 

On Sept. 21, 2019 a record 21.2 million people in 180 countries and territories, including 1.6 million in India, 1.7 million in the United States, 2.5 million in Pakistan and 9.5 million in Indonesia cleaned up 100 tons of waste from their communities, parks, forests, rivers and oceans. The millions of volunteers were led by national cleanup leaders, environmental organizations and global corporations, who have all decided to act for a cleaner, more sustainable planet.

The conference will also look at the future of the global organization led from Estonia by electing new regional directors and leaders and deciding which country will organize the global cleanup day in 2021.

The conference is supported by the European Regional Development Fund through Enterprise Estonia, Estonian Foundation for Civil Society, British Council in Estonia, Baltic American Freedom Foundation and many more.