>> UN Environment calls on governments and business to promote, protect and respect environmental rights
>> World looks to nature-based solutions for urgent water challenges
>> Historic agreement signed to protect the world’s largest tropical peatland
>> Clean Air for a Sustainable Future – UNECE Air Convention community discusses prospects for further action
UN Environment calls on governme
UN Environment calls on governments
and business to promote, protect and respect environmental rights
UN Environment is taking a stand against the ongoing threats, intimidation,
harassment, and murder of environmental defenders around the world, with the
launch of the UN Environmental Rights Initiative in Geneva.
By helping people to better understand their rights and how to defend them, and
by assisting governments to better safeguard environmental rights, the
Initiative will bring environmental protection nearer to the people. UN
Environment is also calling upon the private sector to move beyond a culture of
basic compliance to one where the business community champions the rights of
everyone to a clean and healthy environment.
Since the 1970s, environmental rights have grown more rapidly than any other
human right. And increasingly, these rights are being invoked and upheld. Courts
in at least 44 nations have issued decisions enforcing the constitutional right
to a healthy environment.
“Those who struggle to protect planet and people should be celebrated as heroes,
but the sad fact is that many are paying a heavy price with their safety and
sometimes their lives. It’s our duty to stand on the side of those who are on
the right side of history. It means standing for the most fundamental and
universal of human rights,” Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment said.
Read more at:
World looks to nature-based solu
World looks to nature-based
solutions for urgent water challenges
As more than 2 billion
people lack access to safe drinking water and more than double that number lack
access to safe sanitation, the international community is drawing attention to
nature-based solutions for the water challenges of the 21st century on this
World Water Day.
The theme of this year’s commemoration highlights the unique and fundamental
role that nature-based solutions play in regulating the water cycle, keeping
freshwater clean and improving the water security of our water cycles.
With the global population continuing to grow rapidly, demand for water is
expected to increase by nearly one-third by 2050, while our freshwater
ecosystems are degrading at an alarming rate – 64-71% of the natural wetland
area worldwide has been lost due to human activity in the last century.
Furthermore, water pollution has worsened in almost all rivers in Africa, Asia
and Latin America since the 1990’s
“We need to deal with the water paradox,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN
Environment, calling attention to the need to work together towards a solution
for our water challenge. “Water is the essence of life, but we don't save it
enough. It’s time to change mindsets, it’s not about development versus the
Read more at:
Historic agreement signed to pro
Historic agreement signed to
protect the world’s largest tropical peatland
In an unprecedented move to protect the Cuvette Centrale region in the Congo
Basin, the world’s largest tropical peatlands, from unregulated land use and
prevent its drainage and degradation, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
the Republic of Congo and Indonesia jointly signed the Brazzaville declaration
that promotes better management and conservation of this globally important
There is a lot at stake in the protection of these peatlands: the equivalent of
three years of global greenhouse gas emissions are stored in the Congo Basin,
emissions that could be released if the peatlands are degraded or the natural
To preserve the future of these valuable natural peatlands – which are about the
size of England, and were only mapped scientifically in their entirety for the
first time last year – the DRC and the Republic of Congo established a
transboundary collaboration agreement. The agreement noted the importance of
good land use and infrastructure planning that takes the nature of peatlands
Read more at:
Clean Air for a Sustainable Futu
Clean Air for a Sustainable Future
– UNECE Air Convention community discusses prospects for further action
Air pollution is not only a regional issue, but it affects countries worldwide
and emissions from one country can travel thousands of kilometers to impact
local air quality in another country.
To discuss remaining concerns, new challenges, including the global dimension of
the air pollution issue, and emerging topics in the field of air pollution,
about 300 policymakers from the UNECE region and beyond, experts and scientists
met in Gothenburg, Sweden (19-21 March 2018), for a workshop on “Clean Air for a
Sustainable Future – Goals and Challenges”.
Organized by the by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and IVL Swedish
Environmental Research Institute in close collaboration with the UNECE
Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention), the
workshop focused on themes of relevance for both science and policy and included
sessions on clean cities, clean air globally, the way forward in Eastern Europe,
the Caucasus and Central Asia, air pollution effects on ecosystems and the link
to climate, and sectors, sources and solutions for further emission reductions.
The recommendations include the need to exert more pressure in sectors where
such measures are currently lagging behind, such as agriculture, international
shipping and household solid fuel burning, and to clarify how various
international organisations can collaborate more effectively. These
recommendations will provide further input to the update of the long-term
strategy that Convention Parties are currently discussing.
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