OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - Like other parts of the globe, the World Environment Day was observed across the country, including the City, on Sunday with the purpose to creating public awareness about environmental issues and benefits of sustainable use of natural resources. The WED theme this year was Forest: Nature at Your Service. Conferences, seminars and walks were organised both at the government and private level across the country to mark one of major global events. In Lahore, an international store chain operating in Pakistan organised launching ceremony of recyclable bags. Addressing the ceremony as chief guest, Federal Minister for Environment Samina Khalid Ghurki stressed upon keeping the environment clean by adopting green initiatives. She emphasised the revival and implementation of Kyoto protocol by the industrialised countries so that the prosperity could breathe on the earth confronting with a number of challenges owing to global warming caused by excessive pollution. She directed the quarters concerned to ensure the availability of recyclable bags across the country to save the soil from ever thickening and spreading plastic cover. She said that it was high time to start behaving in an environmentally responsible way to reduce pollution and save environment from further degradation. She also visited different sections of the superstore and appreciated its adopting pro-environment procedures and technology. Lahore Waste Management Company carried out special desilting operation at Gulshan-e-Ravi drain. After completing the desilting operation, LWMC officers, officials and people from various walks of life participated in a walk along the drain to create public awareness about environmental issues. City District Government Environment Department displayed over 300 banners and steamers inscribed with writings about hazards of pollutions and benefits of clean environment at major City roads and crossings. The WED celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. The WED is also a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations. The theme for the current year Forests: Nature at Your Service, emphasizes the multi-trillion dollar value of these and other ecosystems to society, especially the poor. The WED 2011 emphasized how individual actions could have an exponential impact, with a variety of activities ranging from school tree-planting programs to community and city park clean-up initiatives, car-free and biking days, photo and essay contests, bird-watching trips, exhibits, green petitions and advocacies, and nationwide green campaigns. The WED urges, as individuals or as collective groups, to observe environment-friendly practices at homes, yards, and communities, and embark on and participate in programs and projects that help preserve natural surroundings.