Press Information

Nairobi -Kenya
5-9 February 2001


Press Information

Official Documents

Previous sessions

Logistics information

Information Notes


Timetable of Events




Media information

Press Centre: For the duration of the meeting, a fully serviced press centre will be in operation (access via the lower level concourse - follow signs). Telephone, fax, photo-copying and internet services will be available. Meeting documents can be consulted at the press information desk. For the opening and closing sessions seating has been reserved for the media in the press gallery (conference room 2). TV footage from the meeting (including audio in English) will be broadcast to monitors in the journalists' working room in the press centre. Plug-ins for quality sound recording and up-link services will also be available.

There will be regular press briefings by ministers, Klaus Toepfer and others, in the press centre (please check the notice board by the information desk). Press conferences, special events and the official opening and closing ceremonies will be broadcast live on the Internet. For the latest information and documentation about the event go to

From 5 to 9 February, a bus to UNEP will leave from outside Chester House at 09.15.

Accreditation: Only bona fide representatives of the media - press, photo, radio, television and film - will be accredited to cover this meeting. Contact Anila Shah on tel. (254-2)-623089, fax: 623692, email: Media registration will begin 1 February.

For more information please contact:

Tore J. Brevik, UNEP Spokesman on tel: (254-2)-623292, mobile: 072-521073

Robert Bisset on 254-2-623084, mobile: 072-520231,

Nick Nuttall on 254-2-623381, mobile: 0733-632-755

Patricia Jacobs on 254-2-623088, fax: 254-2-623292,

Steve Jackson on 254-2-623332, (Audio-visuals)

Contact numbers in the Press Centre will be available Monday 5 February


Provisional timetable of events (highlights)


Note. More information about each event/meeting session, including names of participants, will be available from the press centre.

Monday 5 February

10:00: Opening of the Session/Forum (conference room 2)

  • Performance by drummers and audio-visual messages
  • Video message from Kofi, Annan, UN Secretary-General
  • Statement by the UNEP Youth Advisory Council representative
  • Policy Statement by Klaus Toepfer, UNEP Executive Director

Seats have been reserved for the media in the press gallery (follow signs). TV cameras and photographers will have access to the conference room floor.

Note. After the opening, two parallel meetings will run throughout the week - an open "plenary session" focused on environmental policy issues (conference room 2) and the "Committee of the Whole" which will look at UNEP's budget and administrative matters (conference room 1).

Check the daily conference "Journal" for more information about which documents will be discussed at what time and in which meeting. (Also posted on the board in the press centre).

Another good source of information is the Earth Negotiations Bulletin printed daily and accessible via the Internet at


13.00: Press Conference by Klaus Toepfer and the GC21 President (press centre)

15.00: During the afternoon plenary session (conference room 2) there will be a statement by an NGO representative reporting back from the NGO forum (held 1-2 February) and a statement/report from the "Global Compact in Practice" workshop (held 3 and 4 February).

Tuesday 6 February

10.00: The Plenary and Committee of the Whole meetings will continue. (Note. Former UNEP Executive Directors, Mostafa Tolba and Elisabeth Dowdeswell will be present during the day)

13.00: UNEP-IETC Briefing on "Energy and Cites - Sustainable buildings and construction" including the launch of the Environmental Management Training Resource Kit.

In 1999 all activities of the construction industries contributed over 35% of the total global CO2 emissions - more than any other industrial activity. Mitigating and reducing these impacts pose significant challenges for urban planners, designers, architects and construction industry. This requires the availability and the implementation of tools such as urban environmental management, eco-design, energy efficiency and waste minimisation techniques.

14.00: Signing ceremony of a working agreement between UNEP and UNED (press centre)

Klaus Toepfer will participate in this event which will focus on preparations for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa

18.00: Side event: Information for Decision-Making, with Noel Dempsey, Environment Minister, Ireland and Joke Waller-Huner, Director for Environment, OECD.

Chapter 40 of Agenda 21 highlighted information for decision making and posed the challenge for improving the process of environmental decision making. This is a topic that will also be addressed at the World Summit for Sustainable development in Johannesburg, South Africa next year. UNEP has been given a mission by governments to collect, assemble, and provide environmental information to the nations and citizens of the world. We need to better understand the application and impact of data and information as it works its way into the myriad decision making processes around the globe.


Wednesday 7 February

10.00: Plenary and Committee of the Whole continues.

Note. During the morning, possible live audio/video-link with climate change research ship in Antarctica, with Klaus Toepfer, Dutch Environment Minister, Jan Pronk (chair of the recent Hague climate talks) and Environment Minister of New Zealand, Marion Hobbs

13.00: Launch of youth handbook, video and survey on sustainable consumption, with Klaus Toepfer and youth representatives from around the world (press centre)

This Campaign was organized by youth in over 17 countries. The products will further promote awareness on the subject among young people and schools worldwide.

14.30: Launch of UNEP/ICRAF agroforestry site, with Klaus Toepfer, and the Director-General of ICRAF, Pedro Sanchez (Gigiri Nature Trail). Space reserved for TV/photographers.

The Agroforestry Demonstration Site is the first element in a broader initiative by UNEP and ICRAF to develop the Gigiri Nature Trail into a valued resource for UNEP, ICRAF and the general public. The site will promote awareness of environmental issues and agroforestry, improve environmental quality, and provide a secure setting for recreation.

15.00: During the afternoon Plenary (conference room 2) session there will be a special discussion on chemicals - the POPs Convention and UNEP's Chemical Agenda

18.00: Launch (and presentation) of the latest report by the German Advisory Council: "Strengthening Global Environment Policies by reforming UN organisations," (press centre)

18.30: UNEP Executive Director and GC President's reception (fountain area), including music, dancing and presentations.

Thursday 8 February

09.30: Gathering at peace pole (UN Garden of Remembrance, Gigiri). Wole Soyinka, Nigerian writer, Nobel Prize winner, to read a poem written for the occassion. (There will be space reserved for media).

Mr. Soyinka is among the greatest contemporary African writers. He is also one of the continent's most imaginative advocates of native culture and humanitarian social values. In 1986 he became the first African writer ever to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

10.00: Opening of the ministerial discussion

  • Message by children
  • Statement by the UNEP Executive Director
  • Remarks by H.E. Mr. Daniel A. Moi, President of Kenya
  • Musical performance by Ms. Tokiko Kato, UNEP envoy of Japan

13.00: Policy dialogue with parliamentarians on emerging environmental issues (conf. room 3). Note. All week, 25 parliamentarians from around the world will have their own programme.


NOTE. Lunchtime or 18.00: Possible press conference by Wole Soyinka, Klaus Toepfer and Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO (to be confirmed)

14.00: Launch of UNEP.Net (press centre)

UNEP.Net is both a Bridge for technology and a Bridge for partnerships; a virtual connector of people and solutions. UNEP’s most recent environmental Internet service, UNEP.Net, will enable sharing of environmental information around the globe. It demonstrates UNEP's leadership role in the environmental information field and will improve capabilities for mapping, monitoring, and managing the world's global ecological resources.

15.00: Ministerial plenary meeting (conference room 2) on "environment and poverty".

Note. After two keynote presentations, ministers will divide into two groups - one will discuss the topic of poverty and pollution (chaired by Netherlands Environment Minister, Jan Pronk), and the other "poverty and health" (chaired by Malawi Environment Minister, Thompson).

17.45: Ministerial plenary meeting (conference room 2) to get reports from the two groups.

18.00: Briefing: International cooperation in the Lake Chad basin (conference room 4)

The potential for international disputes over water is growing and puts increased emphasis on the need for sustainable water management. In Africa, there are 54 international drainage basins covering approximately 50 percent of the total area of the continent. The Lake Chad Basin Commission is an example of how disputes and problems over water can be avoided by effective cooperation.

20.00: Ministers working dinner: dialogue Amongst Civilisations, including presentations by Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO and Wole Soyinka. The Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Ms. Ebtekar, will initiate the discussion (held at ICRAF).

The very origin of environmental conservation is found in ancient cultures existing throughout the world. Indigenous peoples have developed throughout their history, lifestyles and cultures that are tied to nature. There are 350 million indigenous peoples in the world living in over 70 countries. They inhabit 20% of the world’s surface and 85% of the protected areas of our planet. Half of the indigenous peoples live in tropical rain forests that are known for harboring 80% of the biodiversity of our planet. Of the 6,000 estimated cultures in the world between 4,000 to 5,000 are indigenous. Year 2001 is the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilisations. The meeting today of the world’s environment ministers offers a unique framework to celebrate the Dialogue among Civilizations from an environmental perspective.


Friday 9 February

10.00: Ministerial plenary session: focus - Environmental vulnerability of natural and man-made disasters, including presentations from leading scientists (conference room 2)

13.00: Special event: renewable energy: potential for Africa (tent next to UN Commissary).

There will be a keynote presentation by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart (group managing director of Royal Dutch Shell and co-Chair of the G8 task force on Renewable Energies).

13.00: Special event: Compliance and Enforcement (conference room 3). The Norwegian Minister for Environment, Siri Bjerke, will lead the discussion

UNEP's activities in the field of Compliance and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements: especially the status of UNEP's work towards the development of guidelines to enhance compliance and national environmental enforcement and coordination in combating environmental crime.

15.00: Closing session for GC21/GMEF (conference room 2)

Note. There will be a wrap-up press conference with Klaus Toepfer and the GC21 President immediately after the end of the GC21/GMEF meeting (press centre)

18.00: Closing ceremony with music by Ali Farka Toure of Mali


Saturday 10 February

Environment ministers (+ Klaus Toepfer and Director-General of UNESCO) field visit to the Olkaria Geothermal plant, Naivasha. Topic: renewable energy and Africa.


UNEP Information Note 01/10