World Environment Day
The event focused on climate change, and was entitled Melting ice – a hot topic. The celebrations were held in Tromsø in Northern Norway.
The Arctic Cathedral
Three bishops conducted the church service; Desmond Tutu, Per Oscar Kjølaas and Sofie Petersen. Guests from all around the world gave testimony as to how climate change is already influencing everyday life.
Melting ice from Spitsbergen was placed both inside and outside the cathedral. After the service, a procession walked down to the waters edge, where archbishop Simon of Murmansk blessed the water.
Childrens art exhibition
The awards to the winners of the best drawings depicting climate change were another highlight. Some 13,000 children from all over the world have participated in the drawing competition initiated by UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme. The competition was open to children aged 6 to 14, and the winners were invited to the event in Tromsø.
Crown Prince Haakon awarded the prizes to eight regional and one global winner. A selection of the drawings will be on display at Tromsø Museum this summer.
The evening culminated in a televised gala performance.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.