Clean Up the World

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Clean Up the World
Clean Up the World (logo).jpg
Founded 1993
Founders Ian Kiernan Order of Australia, AO
Kim McKay, AO
Type Non-governmental organization
Focus Environmentalism
Origins Clean Up Australia campaign
Area served
Sponsorship, donations
Clean Up (Flurreinigung) St. Johann in Tirol Austria Europe

Clean Up the World is a community-based, environmental campaign that inspires and empowers communities around the globe to clean up, fix up and conserve their environment.

The campaign's flagship event is Clean Up the World Weekend, celebrated globally on the 3rd weekend in September each year, however Clean Up the World encourages and supports groups to undertake activities throughout the year.

Clean up the World was established in 1993, after Clean Up Australia founders, Ian Kiernan and Kim McKay, approached the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with the idea of taking the Clean Up Australia concept globally. The resulting partnership now mobilises an estimated 35 million volunteers from 120 countries annually, making it one of the largest community-based environmental campaigns in the world.

UNEP assists Clean Up the World to promote the campaign and encourages participation through its networks. Clean Up the World works across six global regions identified by the United Nations and in three languages - English, French and Spanish.

In 1998, Ian Kiernan was awarded the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Sasakawa Environment Prize for his vision and implementation of this worldwide environmental movement.[1]


Organizations and groups can join Clean Up the World, with free membership for non-business organisations, renewed annually. The Clean Up the World campaign brings together businesses, community groups, schools and governments in a range of activities and programs that positively improve local environments. While participants are encouraged to hold environmental events on or around Clean Up the World Weekend (always the 3rd weekend in September), Clean Up the World encourages and supports groups to undertake activities throughout the year.

From Botswana to Bulgaria and Vietnam to Venezuela, volunteers from a range of organisations take to their local parks, beaches, forests and waterways to conduct a range of activities including clean ups, tree planting and awareness raising events with the common goal of cleaning up, fixing up and conserving their local environment. Participants are encouraged to develop local-level alliances as a way to expand activities. Building relationships with local businesses, like minded organisations and/or government bodies can facilitate support, extend public awareness and increase public participation.


Since the first campaign in 1993, the improvements achieved due to the efforts of millions of concerned volunteers around the world have been impressive. Examples of community-led Clean Up the World activities include:

  • Recycling and resource recovery
  • Tree planting
  • Education campaigns
  • Water reuse and conservation
  • Competitions
  • Exhibitions

Activities are profiled on the global Clean Up the World map on

Whilst the Clean Up the World initiatives include single activities, the Campaign also supports groups that carry out longer term projects, which may involve an ongoing process of recycling and waste recovery, tree planting, education campaigns or water reuse and conservation.

The Ambassador Program[edit]

Clean Up the World’s Ambassador Program is an initiative which sees high profile people, with a passion for improving our environment, raise awareness of the Clean Up the World campaign. The Ambassadors have been chosen because they share Ian Kiernan’s vision that each of us can turn our passion into action and address the many environmental issues facing our world today.

In spreading the Clean Up the World message to communities in the various regions of the globe, the Ambassadors share the philosophy that when communities think and act locally, their combined efforts have a huge global impact.

The Clean Up the World Ambassadors include:

  • Arron Wood - Passionate, award winning Australian environmentalist and successful campaigner for healthy rivers
  • Céline Cousteau - "Oceanaut", Documentary maker and Educational Ambassador
  • David de Rothschild - British adventurer, author and National Geographic Fellow

The Allies Program[edit]

Through the Allies Program, Clean Up the World works with organisations whose mission and vision are complementary to its own, and with whom a relationship will facilitate campaign growth, global environmental awareness and provide additional support to its members.

Current Clean Up the World Allies include:


Many organisations provide assistance to enable Clean Up the World’s vital work to continue. While their financial and in-kind support is crucial, the support and participation of their employees in the Clean Up the World activities is equally as important. The Partners involved in the 2009 campaign are:

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Primary Partner
  • Brambles - Sponsor
  • Qantas - Sponsor
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) - Supporter
  • Armor - Supporter
  • Marriott International, Inc - Supporter

See also[edit]


External links[edit]