UNEP Support for Sustainable Development Part of New Beginning for South Sudan
Juba (South Sudan), 12 July 2011 – Following the independence ceremony for South Sudan on 9 July, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has reaffirmed its long-term commitment to assisting the people of Sudan to maintain peace, recovery and development on an environmentally sustainable basis.
UNEP's Sudan Integrated Environment Programme, which began in 2007, will continue to support the effective management of water, forests and other natural resources in both the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan.
"UNEP remains committed to the work at hand and we look forward to continuing to play a constructive role in addressing environmental issues in the north and the south," said Robin Bovey, UNEP's Sudan Programme Manager.
Mr Bovey and UNEP's South Sudan Coordinator, Joseph Bartel, represented UNEP at the historic independence ceremony last week.
UNEP has been working with the Government of Southern Sudan for several years and already has an office in Juba from where it implements projects focusing on waste management, sustainable forestry and environmental governance, among others.
Speaking at the ceremony in Juba, the United Nations Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon highlighted the role of natural resources in shaping the future of South Sudan.
"Together, we welcome the Republic of South Sudan to the community of nations and together we affirm our commitment to helping it meet its many responsibilities as a nation," said the Secretary-General.
"We must not underestimate South Sudan's remarkable potential: its resilient and talented people, abundant natural resources, huge areas of arable land, and the great Nile running through it.
"With these assets, South Sudan could grow into a prosperous, productive nation capable of meeting the needs of its people," the Secretary-General said.
UNEP's commitment to assisting the people of Sudan over a long-term period was outlined in its Sudan Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, produced in 2007.
Since then, UNEP has been working with national state and local leaders, civil society and the international community to make a tangible difference on the ground. UNEP assisted the Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources and the Sudan Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Physical Development to develop the South Sudan Environmental Policy 2010 and the 2010 South Sudan Environment Act.
Earlier this year the cleaning of central Juba entered a new era with the introduction of the city's first public garbage bins and solid waste management contracts supervised by UNEP and Juba County, with support from the Italian Development Cooperation. The city centre is now being cleaned twice a week, with the waste transported to a landfill site outside the city.
The Keep Juba Green tree planting campaign, a UNEP initiative, has involved local communities in planting one million trees in and around Juba since mid 2010.
The main donor supporting UNEP's work in the north and the south is UKAid from the Department for International Development.