April 23, 2012

Events to mark Earth Day have been taking place around the globe on Sunday as people join together to celebrate and promote environmental causes.

In Long Beach, Occupy demonstrators formed a human peace sign to bring attention to pollution as part of their Earth Day celebrations.

The City of Santa Monica celebratesd with a sunset light show on the Pier. The world's only solar powered Ferris wheel will showcase a spectacular display of green light using energy efficient light bulbs.

From conservation efforts in El Savador to parades by activists in Indonesia, this year's event is as colorful and diverse as ever uniting over a billion people in 192 countries, according to organizers, Earth Day Network.

Earth Day is focusing efforts on creating "A Billion Acts of Green" in 2012.

Billed as "the world's largest environmental service campaign," organizers hope the effort will demonstrate widespread support for coordinated action to tackle environmental issues.

Pledges large and small have been flooding into the official Earth Day web site since its launch in November 2010 and a rally at the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Sunday will coordinate a final push to break through the one billion barrier.

The environment has been "put on the backburner by world leaders," according to Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network.

"That's why we're coming together on the Mall and standing in solidarity with millions of people at thousands of Earth Day events around the world," Rogers said in a statement on the Earth Day website.

Earth Day was conceived by U.S. senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 after he witnessed a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California the previous year.

The inaugural event attracted the support of 20 million Americans but has grown rapidly in recent decades.

In 1990, Earth Day saw 200 million people participate in 141 countries, according to organizers and by the turn of the century over 5,000 environmental groups worldwide were involved.(SOURCE)

PHOTOS
-- An Indian boy plays in the polluted waters of the Yamuna River in New Delhi. Women wearing leaves and flowers ready for a celebration in Barcelona. A girl holds a poster calling for water conservation amid a rain storm in Washington.

The 42nd Earth Day is being marked all over the world today and AP photographers were there to capture it.

In this Saturday, April 21, 2012, photo, from left, Alyssa Alcantara, 6, Andrew Wiranata, 6 ,and his sister Sofie Wiranata, 5, pet Daisy May, the Virginia Opossum, at the Museum of Science and History's display during Earth Day activities, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jacksonville Landing hosted the 2012 Earth Day celebration, the 22nd year of the event which featured informational booths set up by museums, vendors and groups to raise awareness of nature and ways to help recycle and conserve resources. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Self)

In this Saturday, April 21, 2012, photo, a White Argentine Taegu lizard, owned by David Collins, draws the attention of children as he rests over Collins' shoulder at the Jacksonville Herpetological Society's exhibit during Earth Day activities in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jacksonville Landing hosted the 2012 Earth Day celebration, the 22nd year of the event which featured informational booths set up by museums, vendors and groups to raise awareness of nature and ways to help recycle and conserve resources. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Self)

In this Saturday, April 21, 2012, photo, Chuck Smith, with the Jacksonville Herpetological Society, holds his 30-year-old Burmese Mountain Tortoise, Big Girl, for visitors to touch during Earth Day activities in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jacksonville Landing hosted the 2012 Earth Day celebration, the 22nd year of the event which featured informational booths set up by museums, vendors and groups to raise awareness of nature and ways to help recycle and conserve resources. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Self)

Melina McGaw, 14, left, of New York City, rallies with other youth members of the Earth Action Team as part of Earth Day activities, despite a steady rain on the National Mall, in Washington, on Sunday, April 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Ellis James, 4, of Charleston, S.C., right, reaches out to feel the rain under from an umbrella with his sister Lily James, 3, during a steady rain storm during Earth Day activities on the National Mall in Washington Sunday, April 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A May Apple grows in Moreland Hills, Ohio, on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Women are seen reflected in a mirrow as they get ready to take part in a performance to celebrate the Earth Day in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday April. 22, 2012. Earth Day, a day in which people across the globe hold events to celebrate the Earth's environment and spread awareness on how to conserve its natural resources. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Lilah Gilliam, 7, of Huntsville reacts as she holds a scarlet kingsnake at the 42nd Earth Day Celebration at Hays Nature Preserve near Huntsville, Ala. Saturday April 21, 2012.(AP Photo/The Huntsville Times, Glenn Baeske)

People participate in Earth Day activities on the National Mall in near the U.S. Capitol, background, as steady rain dampens the scheduled events in Washington Sunday, April 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

In this photo taken on Saturday, April 21, 2012, local residents carry plastic containers on their shoulders as they line up to fetch drinking water from a lake in Yangon, Myanmar. Earth Day, a day in which people across the globe hold events to celebrate the Earth's environment and spread awareness on how to conserve its natural resources, will be marked on April 22. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

A woman wears colourful makeup and a costume to mark international Earth Day in Montreal, Sunday, April, 22, 2012. The 42nd Earth Day is being marked all over the world on Sunday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)

Occupy Long Beach demonstrators form a human peace sign as part of Earth Day celebrations. (KTLA-TV)

VIDEO Earth Day Celebrated Around the World

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