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bringing you the latest news, information and analysis from
international environment and sustainable development negotiations




This page was updated on: 12/09/10




Intergovernmental Organization Media Reports Archives: 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002

Latest Media Reports

UNEP to Assist Maldives in Becoming Carbon Neutral

UNEP and World Customs Organization Confiscate ODS

World Bank and UNDP Launch Climate Finance Options Database


UNEP to Assist Maldives in Becoming Carbon Neutral

12 November 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced it is collaborating with GTZ and the Government of the Maldives to assist the country in becoming carbon neutral by 2020. Assistance will be provided to the Maldives through the implementation of a pilot air-conditioning project, with zero ozone depleting and low global warming potential (GWP). Under the initiative, GTZ will fund the demonstration project and UNEP will provide policy and technical assistance. The Government of the Maldives recently announced its Carbon-Neutral Government Program, under which 11 government offices will be made carbon-neutral in an effort towards achieving the country's Carbon-Neutral Pledge. The collaboration with UNEP and GTZ are intended to contribute to this. UNEP aims to replicate the cooperation model in other countries. [UNEP OzonAction Newsletter]


UNEP and World Customs Organization Confiscate ODS

A joint initiative by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Customs Organization, entitled Sky-hole Patching II and involving over 80 countries, has resulted in the confiscation of over 7,500 cylinders of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and other ozone depleting substances. Most seizures took place in the Asia and Pacific region, notably in China, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and India [Joint WCO/UNEP Operation Nets Large Haul of Ozone Depleting Substances]


World Bank and UNDP Launch Climate Finance Options Database 

30 November 2010: The World Bank and UN Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a Climate Finance Options platform, which allows users to track climate-change related finance by region, focus area, sector or financing mechanism. The database seeks to respond to information needs on the multitude of funds available for climate action in developing countries. The platform aims to help stakeholders in developing countries, such as project developers and local government officials, orient themselves in the field of climate finance and find most suitable sources of funds. [The platform]


FAO Launches IUU Initiative

22 November 2010: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced that an FAO Technical Consultation has agreed to identify a structure and strategy for the development and implementation of the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels. The new initiative aims to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by improving transparency in the global fisheries sector. The recommendations of the consultation will be presented to the January 2011 meeting of FAO's Committee on Fisheries for approval. [FAO press release]


UNEP FI Calls for Policies to Spur Private Investment in Low-carbon Growth

16 November 2010: The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Climate Change Working Group, together with partners, have called for national and international policies that will spur private investment into low-carbon growth and protect the world economy from the worst impacts of climate change, in a statement issued in the lead-up to Cancun. According to UNEP, the 259 signatories represent the largest-ever group of investors to call for government action on climate change, or risk economic disruptions far more severe than the recent financial crisis. The statement calls for domestic policies in both developed and developing countries including: short-, mid- and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets; energy and transportation policies to accelerate deployment of energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, clean vehicles and clean fuels; strong and sustained price signals on carbon emissions and well-designed carbon markets; phase out of fossil-fuel subsidies, as agreed to by G-20 leaders in 2009; adaptation measures to reduce unavoidable climate change impacts; and corporate disclosure of material climate-related risks. [Press release]


UNEP and WCO Intercept Large Haul of ODS

November 2010: A joint initiative by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), entitled Sky-hole Patching II and involving over 80 countries, has resulted in the confiscation of over 7,500 cylinders of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and other ozone depleting substances. Most seizures took place in the Asia and Pacific region, notably in China, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and India. [Press release]


UNEP Launches Reports from Carbon Mapping Project

The UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC) has launched carbon maps showing how carbon stocks in Asia, Africa and Latin America overlap with biodiversity hot spots. Launched at the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), convening in Nagoya, Japan, the maps were produced with the aim of assisting governments in setting priorities for carbon investments. According to UNEP, the maps pinpoint places where investments in carbon can contribute to community livelihoods, forest conservation and fighting climate change. The maps overlay the carbon held in the vegetation and soils of terrestrial ecosystems with population density, protected areas and economic activities. UNEP launched carbon mapping publications for Cambodia, Ecuador, Argentina, Nigeria and China on carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services [Carbon Mapping Project].


SAICM and OECD Continue Work on Perfluorinated Chemicals

The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) has announced that the Steering Group on Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is taking forward recommendations of SAICM resolution II/5 on PFCs. Under the OECD initiative, a database on PFCs is being developed for information exchange purposes. In addition, the OECD is continuing to consider the development, facilitation and promotion of national and international product stewardship programmes and regulatory approaches for PFCs with other participating organizations of the Inter-organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals. [SAICM website]


UNITAR Becomes UN-Water Member

4 October 2010: The application for UN-Water membership of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has been accepted. UN-Water is composed of representatives from 26 UN organizations. Other organizations outside the UN are partners in UN-Water. [UNITAR press release]


UNEP Joins Clean Stove Initiative

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has joined the Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves, an initiative launched at the 65th Session of the General Assembly, and aiming to reduce deaths linked with indoor emissions, by boosting the efficiency of approximately three billion cook stoves across Africa, Asia and Latin America. [UNEP press release]


UNEP Provides Adaptation Assistance to Rwanda

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have announced the implementation of the Rwandan Climate Change and Development Project - Adapting by Reducing Vulnerability (CC DARE). The project involves relocating human settlements from Rwanda's sloping Gishwati Forest, an area that has suffered severe environmental degradation, exacerbated by extreme weather events. The joint UNEP/UNDP CC DARE programme aims to complement and strengthen ongoing and planned adaptation and risk management activities, based on national priorities. [UNEP press release]


Basel Convention Announces Probo-Koala Programme in Africa

The Secretariat of the Basel Convention has announced a joint initiative with UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to assist African countries in the development of national legislation and enhance enforcement capacity for chemicals conventions, entitled the "Probo Koala Programme." According to the Secretariat, the Programme aims to assist Côte d'Ivoire in the aftermath of the dumping of hazardous waste from the Probo Koala vessel in Abidjan, through a series of training courses for implementation and enforcement authorities. Activities will also be extended to other African countries including Morocco, Madagascar, Gabon, Kenya, Djibouti and Tanzania. [Basel Convention Bulletin]


UNECE Launches Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resource Management in Georgia

23 September 2010: From 14-17 September 2010, a representative of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Water Convention Secretariat held a series of meetings in Tbilisi with representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia, other ministries, private companies, NGOs and international donor organizations to discuss water management issues in Georgia. The meetings marked the official launch of the UNECE-led National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the country, which focuses on: preparation of the National Water Law based on the IWRM principles; setting up the targets for implementation of the UNECE/World Health Organization (WHO) Protocol on Water and Health of the UNECE Water Convention; and transboundary water cooperation with its neighbor Azerbaijan. [UNECE National Policy Dialogues on IWRM Programme website] [UNECE press release]


Global Mechanism Developing South-South Cooperation Web Portal

September 2010: The Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is developing a web-based, knowledge exchange tool to strengthen the role of local stakeholders in decision-making processes related to Sustainable Land Management (SLM). The scope|acp project is a component of the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Capacity Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries programme. The project is funded by the European Commission (EC). The Global Mechanism is currently developing the web portal's features, and is seeking feedback regarding its content and structure through a survey. [scope|acp web site]


UNEP Announces Emissions Reductions Plan

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a master plan to reduce its carbon footprint. Between 2010 and 2012, UNEP has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 3% each year from 2009 levels. A key target area is work-related travel by UNEP employees, which currently accounts for over 85% of UNEP's carbon emissions. The new strategy aims to reduce employee travel by 3% each year from 2010-2012. UNEP will also introduce a 'green meetings' policy, which will require all UNEP-related conferences, events and meetings to adhere to UNEP's 2009 Green Meeting Guide. [UNEP web site]


UNEP Opens Champions of the Earth Nominations

UNEP has opened nominations for the 2011 Champions of the Earth award. Members of the public from across the world can nominate their own environmental heroes for the prize. Nominations will be accepted until 31 October 2010 and can be made via the awards website. [UNEP web site]


UNEP Launches Initiative to Link Tourism and Conservation

The UNEP/GRID-Arendal centre has announced the "Linking Tourism and Conservation" initiative, launched in response to continuing breakages from Greenland's ice sheet. The new initiative will investigate how sustainable tourism can help support the management and development of protected areas. UNEP/GRID-Arendal also plans to produce an interactive map of tourist destinations that are participating in conservation work to encourage investment in tourism projects that support conservation, and allow tourists to view a destination's green credentials before finalizing their trip. [UNEP web site]


FAO and the University of Cape Town Offer Post-Graduate Course in Pesticide Risk Management

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in a joint initiative with the University of Capetown, South Africa, is developing a distance learning post graduate course in pesticide risk management. The course aims to provide regulators with tools to evaluate new applications for registration of pesticides in their countries, based on effective risk assessment. [Rotterdam Convention web site]

JULY 2010

UNECE Executive Secretary Visits Aral Sea Area

16 July 2010: Ján Kubiš, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Executive Secretary, visited the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) on 16 July 2010, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The visit provided an opportunity to evaluate existing cooperation with IFAS, such as that carried out under the framework of the Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management, and the help offered to countries of Central Asia to strengthen cooperation on dam safety in the region by improving national legislation and by negotiating a regional agreement. The two sides also discussed future needs, including the development and implementation of the Third Aral Sea Basin Programme, which aims to coordinate efforts of Central Asian countries and the international community to mitigate the environmental and social consequences of the Aral disaster. The visit was part of broader efforts by UNECE to support the sustainable development of Central Asia, in particular by strengthening transboundary water cooperation. [UNECE press release, 16 July 2010] [Project "Regional dialogue and cooperation on water resources management in Central Asia" website]


UNGA Adopts Consensus Resolution on the UN Women Agency

2 July 2010: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has voted unanimously on a resolution (A/64/L.56), paragraphs 49 and 50, to create the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women or UN Women. The resolution focuses on strengthening the institutional arrangements for support of gender equality and the empowerment of women and the establishment of the new entity.


The new entity will merge the existing mandates and functions of four UN agencies and offices including the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW). The new entity will function both as a secretariat and implementing agency to carry out operational activities at the country level. The new agency is expected to be operational by 1 January 2011. The resolution also establishes an Executive Board, comprised of member States, as the governing body of the entity to provide intergovernmental support to and supervision of its operational activities. [UNGA Resolution] [UNGA Press Release summarizing the General Assembly meeting, 2 July 2010] [Press conference] [UN and Women]

JUNE 2010

UNEP and Basel Convention Assist in Strengthening National Waste Management Systems in Côte D'Ivoire

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Basel Convention Secretariat have commissioned a new laboratory that is equipped to test for hazardous waste from ships entering the West African port of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The laboratory is part of a joint project between the Basel Convention Secretariat and UNEP aiming to strengthen national waste management systems in Côte d'Ivoire. Led by UNEP's Disasters and Conflicts Programme, the project was instigated following an incident in Abidjan in 2006, when thousands of people were exposed to toxic waste following a dumping incident. The new scientific facility is based at the Centre Ivoirien Anti-Pollution (CIAPOL) in Abidjan. Also under the project, CIAPOL staff received intensive training on techniques such as testing soil and water samples for potential contamination. [UNEP press release, 24 June 2010]



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) have announced further initiatives to green the World Cup and assist in reducing carbon emissions. Three major greening projects were announced: renewable energy interventions in six World Cup host cities, an awareness-raising drive on green tourism, and a UNEP programme to offset the carbon emissions of eleven World Cup teams. Renewable energy interventions include twelve billboards, 60 traffic lights and 78 street lights being switched to solar power, across six cities in South Africa. Carbon offsetting is being sponsored by sports brand Puma for the following teams: Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Uruguay, Italy and Switzerland.


Link to further information

UNEP press release, 8 June 2010



On 30 May 2010, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) launched a world disaster reduction campaign, titled 'Making cities resilient: my city is getting ready.' The campaign, a two-year scheme, seeks to bring more than 1000 local government leaders around the world to sign up for and to commit to a checklist of 'Ten Essentials' that will make their cities more resilient, with a specific goal to enhance awareness about the benefits of focusing on sustainable urbanization to reduce disaster risks. The ten essentials build on the priorities identified under the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 to build the resilience of nations and communities to disasters, and emphasize actions such as to: put in place organization and coordination to understand and reduce disaster risk, based on civil society participation; assign a budget for disaster risk reduction; prepare risk assessments; maintain critical infrastructure that reduces risks; assess the safety of all schools and health facilities; apply and enforce realistic, risk-compliant building regulations and land use planning principles; ensure education programmes and training on disaster risk reduction; protect ecosystems and natural buffers to mitigate floods, storms and other hazards, and adapt to climate change by building on good risk reduction practices; install early warning systems and emergency management; and ensure the needs of survivors are prioritized during reconstruction. The campaign emphasizes that making cities safer to disasters means sustainable urbanization. When successfully applied, resilient cities help reduce poverty and provide for growth and employment, more social equity, business opportunities, balanced ecosystems, better health and improved education. UN/ISDR is coordinating the initiative, in collaboration with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).


Links to further information

UN/ISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign

Ten essentials



The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced that celebrations for 2010 World Tourism Day will take place under the theme: Tourism and Biodiversity. World Tourism Day will be celebrated on 27 September 2010, and will be officially hosted by Guangdong Province, China. UNWTO is holding a global online photo competition to raise awareness of the World Tourism Day theme, with applications due by 31 August 2010.


Link to further information

UNWTO web site

UNWTO World Tourism Day web site

MAY 2010


The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have announced an initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Under the initiative, the GEF has provided US$1 million to help retrofit solar panels on public street lights, traffic lights and billboards around the stadia in the six cities hosting the World Cup. UNEP and GEF will continue to announce activities in the lead up to the World Cup.


Link to further information

UNEP press release, 25 May 2010



The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Olympus Corporation and the Agence France-Presse (AFP) Foundation, launched a photo contest titled "Picture This: We Can End Poverty." The competition will feature work carried out in various countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 to demonstrate how ordinary people around the world are addressing their most pressing development challenges.

Last year, the photo contest on caring for the Earth focused on climate change and environmental degradation in Africa. An exhibit featuring the winning photos will be held during the UN Summit on the MDGs in September in New York. Each photo entry can focus on one of the MDGs. The deadline for entries is 16 July 2010.


Links to further information

UNDP Newsroom, 14 May 2010

Picture This Website



The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is providing support through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme Initiative to indigenous communities to record the impacts of climate change on their habitat. The videos produced will aim to support climate resilience and grassroots actions for policy change. A video produced by eight indigenous communities from Samoa was featured at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December 2009 and will be screened at the Fourth GEF Assembly, to be held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from 24-28 May 2010. This participatory video brought together indigenous women and men – from rural and fisher communities – to capture the impact of climate change on their livelihoods. In addition, the UNDP Community Based Adaptation Project (CBA) is providing grants to each community to implement adaptation strategies to cope with climate change. In the upcoming months, communities in Morocco and Namibia are expected to initiate video productions on the effects of climate change on their daily lives.


Links to further information

UNDP Newsroom, 13 May 2010

UNDP and Community Based Adaptation



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the French Government have announced the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, which is aimed at making the tourism industry environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The Partnership is designed to identify and replicate successful and sustainable initiatives. The new entity will focus on policy, projects, tools and networks for all tourism stakeholders at all levels, by addressing and working on: policy frameworks; climate change; environment and biodiversity; poverty alleviation; cultural and natural heritage; private sector sustainable practices; and finance and investment.


Link to further information

UNEP press release, 12 May 2010



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has received US$34 million from the Government of Norway towards the organization's forward-looking work programme and its Medium Term Strategy (MTS), for 2011/2012. The MTS is centered on the cross-cutting themes, including: climate change; ecosystem management; environmental governance; harmful substances and hazardous waste and resource efficiency, including sustainable consumption and production. The Norwegian funds will assist UNEP in responding to countries requesting support and advice in delivering the policies and smart market mechanisms as they move towards a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy.


Link to further information

UNEP press release, 6 May 2010



The UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) launched the Global Island Database (GID) during the 18th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York, US, on 10 May 2010. The GID aims to boost sustainable management of islands by identifying and bringing together existing sources of data and information relevant to island systems, and presenting new analyses to aid resource managers and decision-making at the island, national, regional and global levels.


Link to further information

UNEP press release

Global Islands Database



The UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC), with support from the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), has launched a new website highlighting the potential for actions on maintaining natural carbon stocks to generate co-benefits, i.e. that are additional to climate change mitigation effects. The new UNEP-WCMC website demonstrates the utility of spatial analyses to assist decision makers in identifying areas where high carbon, high biodiversity priority and ecosystem service values overlap, in order to secure co-benefits. It showcases UNEP-WCMC's recent work with in-country partners on developing such analyses and includes an interactive mapping tool that allows users to explore the spatial relationships between carbon and co-benefits.


Link to further information

Carbon, biodiversity & ecosystem services web site

APRIL 2010


UNEP announced the United Nations' highest awards for environmental leadership, the 2010 Champions of the Earth, on 22 April. Winners included: Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo for his work in forestry and ecosystem infrastructure; President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, for his international climate change campaigning; Prince Mostapha Zaher, Director General of Afghanistan's National Environmental Protection Agency, for his sustainability advocacy; Taro Takahashi of Japan for his pioneering research into how oceans cycle carbon; China's Zhou Xun for her work on green lifestyles; and Vinod Khosla of the US for his work as a green energy entrepreneur and co-founder of Sun Microsystems.


Link to further information

UNEP press release, 22 April 2010



To mark the International Year of Biodiversity, the UN General Assembly decided on 15 April 2010 to hold a high-level event on biodiversity, on 22 September 2010, the eve of the opening of the general debate of its 65th session. The high-level event will provide an occasion for world leaders to provide political impetus and support for a sustained global response to the world's biodiversity challenges, and the need to address each of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity. During the high-level event, roundtable discussions will discuss post-2010 biodiversity targets, the links between climate change and biodiversity, and the importance of biodiversity to poverty alleviation and development and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.


Link to further information

CBD press release, 16 April 2010



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) supported the global Live Earth Run for Water campaign, which took place on 18 April 2010, and aimed to mobilize communities in over 175 cities worldwide to raise awareness of the growing scarcity of safe, clean water. The campaign was organized around the theme: "Every step and every drop counts to solve the water crisis." It featured a series of 6 km community runs or walks, the average distance women and children walk to collect water in many developing countries. In some cities, educational Water Villages and sustainably-managed concerts featuring international artists were held.


Links to further information

UNEP press release, 16 April 2010

Live Earth Run for Water web site



On 8 March 2010, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Government of the Dominican Republic signed an agreement establishing, under the auspices of UNESCO, the Centre for the Sustainable Management of Water Resources in the Caribbean Island States in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. According to the agreement, the functions performed by the centre will include: promoting and performing scientific research on water management in the region, and hydrologic aspects thereof; promoting and facilitating applications of technology towards better practical use of water; expanding and coordinating research activities, in cooperation with the various international agencies and the relevant entities of the States of the region; and organizing and implementing activities for knowledge and information transfer for training.


Link to further information

UNESCO press release, 1 April 2010



UNEP has released the March 2010 edition of the Multilateral Environment

Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries Programme. The newsletter includes a guest article on activities being undertaken under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management and the Quick Start Programme, as well as updates on activities at the Pacific, African and Caribbean project hubs.


Link to further information

MEAs ACPs March 2010 newsletter



Earth Hour, a global call to action on climate change, took place on 27 March 2010, from 8:30-9:30 pm (local time). Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. In 2008, Earth Hour became a global sustainability movement, with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the event asked the world to turn off its lights to serve as both a "warning and a beacon of hope." International landmarks went dark as lights were switched off in thousands of cities around the world. The event was organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which said that global participation in this year's event jumped to 126 countries from 88 nations last year, with the goal as before, being to raise public awareness about the threat of climate change.


Links to further information

Voice of America press release

UNEP press release

MARCH 2010


Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Jacques Diouf launched, with the Government of Haiti, the spring planting season by distributing seeds, fertilizer and tools to farmers at a ceremony during a recent four-day visit to Haiti. The Director-General also planted fruit trees with young people in the community of Croix-des-Bouquets, outside Port-au-Prince, and pledged FAO's support to the Government's campaign to plant 10 million trees, starting with fast-growing fruit trees that provide a quicker return on investment, and later including other tree species. The FAO had recently announced the launch of its "Fruit trees for Haiti" initiative to raise funds for fruit trees in school gardens and to build awareness of the role of trees in protecting the environment and reducing risks from hurricanes, flooding and erosion. 


Link to further information

FAO media release, 15 March 2010



The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have begun collecting data on the state of forests and forest management in Europe. Data will be collected from 46 countries in the European region, and will include information on forest health and vitality, productive and protective functions, biodiversity and social and economic dimensions of forest management.


UNECE/FAO have invited national correspondents to provide measurements of a variety of numeric data, such as forest carbon stock, timber trade and employment, as well as a description of policies, institutions and financial instruments.


The results of the data collection, which is performed every four years and is based on the pan-European Criteria and Indicators for sustainable forest management, will be presented in the "State of Europe's Forests" report. This report will be released at the sixth Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), which will be held in Norway in 2011.


Link to further information

UNECE press release, 11 March 2010



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Standard Bank and the German Government's International Climate Initiative are collaborating on the Africa Carbon Asset Development (ACAD) Facility. ACAD supports African carbon projects through a combination of technical assistance, grants and preferential access to corporate finance and transactional guidance. Taking a new approach toward capacity and market development, ACAD shares costs and risks with African banks such as Standard Bank to realize and replicate projects.

According to UNEP, the ACAD partnership couples UNEP's longstanding capacity building expertise in environmental policy and finance with the financial know-how and regional reach of Standard Bank.


ACAD has recently awarded its first grants to innovative development projects including: providing partial payment for validation costs under the Cleaner Development Mechanism on the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Kenya; and supporting the costs of engineering and carbon auditing studies required to earn carbon credits of the Lagos Waste Management Authority in Nigeria, which is developing several waste-to-energy sites.


Link to further information

UNEP press release, 3 March 2010



The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced the second call for proposals for pilot projects and technical assistance through the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Support Programme for African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP-FLEGT Support Programme). The four-year initiative has two main components: providing assistance to ACP countries in putting the European Union FLEGT Action Plan into practice, and supporting the collection, analysis and dissemination of FLEGT-related information and lessons learned among stakeholder groups in ACP countries.


Link to further information

The call for proposals



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a report titled "Environment Outlook for the Arab Region: Environment for Development and Human Well-being," which outlines the multiple challenges facing the Arab region, from climate change and food insecurity to decreasing water availability and unemployment. The report, compiled by the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE), provides a comprehensive and integrated assessment of the state of environment in the region. The report emphasizes that: the region is one of the most water-scarce in the world; biofuels and food security are among a suite of emerging and intertwined challenges facing the region; and the region is predicted to be among the hardest hit by the potential of direct and indirect climate change impacts. These predicted impacts include: loss of coastal zones; more severe droughts and desertification; increased groundwater salinity; and a surge in epidemics and infectious diseases.


Link to further information

Environmental Outlook for the Arab Region website



On 3 February 2010, Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), signed an agreement with Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), to enhance cooperation between the two organizations, notably for the benefit of tsunami early warning systems and capacity building in developing countries. At the signing ceremony, Bokova noted that the data received by the CTBTO from its global network of monitoring stations can advance research on ocean processes and marine life, and contribute to sustainable development.


Link to further information

UNESCO IOC press release, 8 February 2010



The UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has launched a global survey to identify the climate change data needs of the financial services sector. The survey aims to establish: how and to what extent financial institutions (lenders, investors and insurers) are already affected by climate change and how their exposure will develop in the future; the information needs of the financial services sector with regard to the physical impacts of climate change; and how well financial institutions are already equipped with the climate change information needed and where gaps exist.


Link to further information

UNEP FI website



On 27 January 2010, International Labour Organization (ILO) Director General Juan Somavia launched the ILO's annual Global Employment Trends report. This report indicates that unemployment reached the highest level on record in 2009, with nearly 212 million jobless worldwide, or 6.6%of the global workforce. The report provides a regional outlook and indicates that the Central and South-Eastern Europe (non-EU) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CSEE & CIS) experienced the most severe shock in terms of economic growth of all regions. The report notes that the ILO has adopted a Global Jobs Pact, aimed at creating jobs, including green jobs strategies, protecting workers and stimulating economic recovery.


Links to further information

UN News Centre, 27 January 2010

ILO press release, 26 January 2010

The Global Employment Trends report



The UN Environment Programme convened a workshop on the Green Economy Report (GER) from 17-18 November 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Green Economy Initiative (GEI) seeks to mobilize the global economy towards investments in key sectors of the economy and in "natural" infrastructure such as forests and soils. The GER, a key component of the GEI, will seek to make a macroeconomic case for increasing public and private investments in "green sectors." At the workshop, the coordinating authors and contributors presented the progress made and discussed pending issues. The report is expected to be finalized in June 2010 (IISD RS sources).



The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published a new website on assisted natural regeneration (ANR) of forests. The website explains that ANR aims to accelerate, rather than replace, natural successional processes by removing or reducing barriers to natural forest regeneration such as soil degradation, competition with weedy species, and recurring disturbances. The website also lists benefits to ANR, including providing job opportunities for communities, increasing biodiversity, and increasing carbon sequestration.


Link to further information

The website



On the 10th anniversary of the

Baia Mare accident – a cyanide and heavy metals spill into the Sasar, Lapus, Somes and Tisza rivers that reached the Danube and eventually the Black Sea – the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) issued a reminder of the need for vigilance to prevent industrial accidents. Through the Secretariat of its Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (Industrial Accidents Convention) and of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), the UNECE has been supporting its member States in their joint work to reduce the likelihood of an industrial accident. Since its entry into force in 1996, the Water Convention has provided an important legal framework and contributed to improving transboundary water management in the pan-European region.


Link to further information

UNECE press release

, 29 January 2010



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced it will lead the environmental recovery effort in Haiti, which was struck by an earthquake on 12 January 2010, by ensuring that environmental issues are integrated into the respective cluster response plans. The UN is appealing for US$562 million, covering a period of six months, with US$1 million earmarked for environmental interventions. UNEP is providing technical assistance and support on environmental matters to the Humanitarian Country Team and to the local government, including through emergency environmental assessments of affected sites and active participation in the humanitarian cluster system. Key issues identified to date include: increasing medical waste and lack of safe disposal options; tens of millions of tonnes of demolition material; the danger of secondary spills of hazardous chemicals; and the environmental impact of massive population displacements.


Links to further information

UNEP press release, 20 January 2010

UNEP press release, 28 January 2010



As part of its ongoing efforts to promote eco-friendly sports, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced a partnership with the Indian Premier League (IPL) to reduce its carbon footprint. According to UNEP, under the partnership, the IPL will increasingly offset its games' emissions and green its operations, from waste management to energy efficiency and water use. UNEP will assist the IPL in achieving climate neutrality, supporting its efforts to reduce emissions through the introduction of renewable energy and to compensate for emissions, as well as with green merchandizing. The partnership begins on 12 March with the opening of the IPL's 45-day season. The IPL will promote UNEP initiatives including the Climate Neutral Network, the Billion Tree Campaign and World Environment Day.


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UNEP press release, 22 January 2010



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced it will lead the environmental recovery effort in Haiti, which was struck by an earthquake on 12 January 2010, by ensuring that environmental issues are integrated into the respective cluster response plans. The UN is appealing for US$562 million, covering a period of six months, with US$1 million earmarked for environmental interventions. Major environmental issues, including waste management, mass burials and disposal of demolition material, are anticipated in the early recovery phase. Together with immediate efforts, UNEP announced it will continue to develop the Haiti Regeneration Initiative, a long-term programme aimed at reducing poverty and vulnerability to natural hazards through the restoration of ecosystems and sustainable natural resource management.


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UNEP press release, 20 January 2010


In an effort to curb the unprecedented loss of the world's species and ecosystems due to human activity, the United Nations is marking 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. Although initial celebrations began in November under the slogan "Biodiversity is life, biodiversity is our life," the official launch took place on 11 January 2010, in Berlin, Germany. This will be followed by the first major event of the Year, a high-profile meeting at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), on 21 and 22 January 2010. Several other events will follow throughout the year in venues around world, culminating in a high-level meeting at UN Headquarters in New York at the start of the General Assembly's 65th annual General Debate in September and an official closing in Kanazawa, Japan, in December 2010.

In related news, Puma and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) established a strategic partnership to support biodiversity worldwide and specific initiatives in Africa. The "Play for Life" partnership will support the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity by raising awareness about habitat and species conservation among football fans and the general public during worldwide football events.

Links to further information

IYB website
UN news release, 1 January 2010
UNEP press release, 6 January 2010

UNEP press release, 11 January 2010


The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Commission have released a newsletter on the Multilateral Environment Agreements in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP MEAs) Project. The newsletter contains an article by the Managing Director of the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), describing the GM's efforts to strengthen capacities of participating ACP country stakeholders by building partnerships on key cross-cutting and horizontal thematic issues that support the implementation process of the UNCCD. The newsletter also provides information on upcoming activities in the African, Caribbean and Pacific project hubs. 


Link to further information

African, Caribbean and Pacific Multilateral Environmental Agreements website



The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released several documents in advance of the Eleventh Special Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministers Environment Forum, scheduled to convene in Bali, Indonesia from 24-26 February 2010. These include documents on: enhanced coordination across the UN system, including the Environment Management Group (UNEP/GCSS.XI/3); international environmental governance and the outcome of the work of the consultative group of ministers or high-level representatives (UNEP/GCSS.XI/4); comments by the Executive Director on the management review of environmental governance within the UN system carried out by the Joint Inspection Unit (UNEP/GCSS.XI/5); progress on mercury (UNEP/GCSS.XI/6); and the intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (UNEP/GCSS.XI/7)


Links to further information

Eleventh Special Session website

Eleventh Special Session working documents

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