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Hi. I’m Ian Kiernan, founder and chairman of Clean Up the World.

Did you know that, according to IUCN, the current species extinction rate is between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than it would naturally be? Sadly we, people, are the main contributing factor.

It’s a scary fact but there is plenty we can do to turn this around, starting in our own backyards.

This is why Clean Up the World Weekend, this year held on 17 – 19 September, inspires me and has done so for the past 18 years.

It’s a weekend of taking environmental action in our own patch or celebrating year-round environmental achievements. And by taking part, you’ll be joining an estimated 35 million people in 120 countries across the globe.

From cleaning up local parks to implementing water saving programmes, tree planting to awareness raising events, each Clean Up the World activity protects, restores and promotes nature.

And this is exactly what 2010 is about.

It’s the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity. That’s why we’re encouraging our participants to focus their Clean Up the World activity on biodiversity in their community – protecting the variety and wonder of plant and animal life.
And in every corner of the globe, we are seeing this take place. From clean ups in Europe to reforestation in Africa, tree planting in Asia to marine restoration in West Asia, it’s a weekend we unite to prevent any more nature loss.

I call on all communities to care for nature by organising an activity for the Clean Up the World Weekend on 17 - 19 September.

Many environmental actions equal one big, impressive outcome. So join us and protect plant and animal life in your community by registering at activities.cleanuptheworld.org.

The activity you choose is up to you. Be it restoring a local waterway or a conservation project, whatever you decide, we’ll support you by providing information and resources to help plan, promote and gain support for your activity.

Thank you to those that have already registered. Every year, I am newly enthused by the lengths people are willing to go to protect our planet for future generations. 2010 is no different.

Enjoy Clean Up the World Weekend on 17 – 19 September and in the end, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. You’re part of an international campaign, held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, that unites global communities to clean, fix up and conserve our precious environment.

Good luck with it, see you there.