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Minimising impacts of Harmful Substances and Hazardous Waste on the environment and people More

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Promoting Resource efficiency and Reducing adverse impacts of consumption and production. More

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The Environment Under Review sub programme aims to contribute to sustainable development and improved well-being through empowering stakeholders at global, regional and national levels. It aims to do this by providing open web platforms, services and access to timely, substantiated knowledge about the environment and emerging issues and by strengthening capacities to make use of substantiated knowledge in decision-making.

Regional News

Southern African Utilities Strive for Switching the Region to Efficient Lighting, Appliances and Equipment

Johannesburg, 20 February 2015 – Southern Africa could reduce electricity consumption by more than 35 TWh by transforming its markets to efficient lighting, appliances and equipment, equivalent to saving 5,000 MW in power capacity, which could serve to electrify 16 million homes in the region. 


Under the leadership of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), the Southern African utilities have developed a roadmap to achieve a permanent and sustainable transition to efficient lighting, appliances and equipment in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). A number of priority actions have been identified, which, once implemented, will generate significant climate, environmental and economic benefits for the region.


Fifty participants from the public and private sector participated in the workshop SADC Regional Action Plan for Leapfrogging to Efficient Lighting, Appliances and Equipment held on 19 and 20 February 2015 in Johannesburg at the premises of the South African utility Eskom. The workshop was jointly organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Department of Energy of South Africa (DoE) and SAPP.


The workshop gathered representatives of SAPP’s Secretariat and its member utilities, members of governments and regulatory bodies from Southern Africa, national and regional key stakeholders working on appliance and equipment efficiency, and international actors such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Copper Association (ICA) and representatives of leading lighting, appliances and equipment manufacturers, including Philips, Osram, ABB and Arçelik.


In her opening speech, Cecilia Kinuthia, UNEP's Head of Sub-regional office, emphasized the need to move towards efficient lighting, appliances and equipment. Ms Kinuthia highlighted the coordinated approach Southern African utilities have been taking to energy efficiency as a means to address the extremely constrained and vulnerable power systems causing frequent black-outs and slowing down economic activity. She also commented that leapfrogging the region to more efficient products will be a major step for freeing additional generating capacity.


At the end of the two-day workshop, participants adopted a communiqué that will be submitted to the Ministries of Environment and the Ministries of Energy of the SADC, inviting governments to endorse the roadmap. The proposed regional roadmap for Southern Africa builds on the Integrated Policy Approach developed under the UNEP-GEF (Global Environment Facility) en.lighten initiative that is being successfully implemented in over 30 countries. It expands the activities from lighting to appliances and equipment to quickly and effectively reduce power demand. To address the electricity crisis, the establishment of these virtual power plants is as important as building the actual power capacity, but it comes at much lower costs.


Workshop participants suggested to prioritize lighting, refrigerators, air conditioners, water heaters and distribution transformers as high impact opportunities offering the most cost-effective and fastest way to save energy in the region. To implement the roadmap in the SADC countries, participants requested UNEP and UNDP to support the region in catalyzing technical and financial resources. Participants also encouraged all SADC countries to engage and share leadership in this initiative through their Ministries of Energy and Environment, and to identify sources of finance.






Note to editors:

This initiative is part of the Global Partnership on Appliances and Equipment, a global effort led by UNEP with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to leapfrog global markets to high efficiency and affordable products, as a means to curb greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. Along with its international partners, including UNDP, ICA, CLASP, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and various key players from private sector, this public-private partnership is a contribution to the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon


For more information please contact:


Sophie LORAN
UNEP  Energy Branch Information

 Tel: + 33 1 44 37 42 83 I Email: Sophie.Loran@unep.org


Angele Luh, Regional Information Officer, Regional Office for Africa, UNEP

+ 254-20-7624292, Angele.Luh@unep.org


Cecilia Kinuthia, Head UNEP South Africa Office

+271-23548092, Cecilia.Kinuthia@unep.org


Monica Morara, Information Assistant, Regional Office for Africa, UNEP

+254-20-7621396, Monica.Morara@unep.org

Brazil and UNEP sign MoU to Strengthen Cooperation of Environmental Law for African Portuguese-speaking countries

On 30 January 2015, UNEP Deputy Executive Director, Ibrahim Thiaw and President, Brazilian Association of Judges, Joao Ricardo dos Santos Costa and Antonio Herman Benjamin President, World Commission on Environmental Law signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reinforce the collaboration between African Portuguese-speaking countries(Lusophone countries) and UNEP in the field of environmental rule of law. The African Portuguese-speaking are Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and Equatorial Guinea.

The World Commission of Environmental Law (WCEL) a network of environmental law and policy experts from all regions of the world volunteer their knowledge and services to IUCN activities, especially to those of the IUCN Law Programme while the Brazilian Association of Judges is a national organization that represents the judges of Brazil.

The main aim of the MOU is to provide a framework of cooperation and understanding, and to facilitate collaboration between the Parties to further their shared goals and objectives with regard to strengthening capacities of the Lusophone Countries in the fields of environment law and governance.

During the signing Mr. Thiaw said, this was an important step towards building a strong judiciary system that will set the stage among the Lusophone speaking countries  and an important moment for UNEP to enhance the environmental rule of law and our relation with African Lusophone speaking countries.

Mr. Joao Ricardo reiterated that the Brazilian Association of Judges is dedicated to face-out legal problems of our times; environmental legal issues symbolize issues that humanity faces; and thus the objective of the MoU is to work with UNEP and governments of Lusophone countries in Africa in  capacity building of the environmental law judiciary  adding that Brazil comes to learn and share experiences with these countries.

The Director, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC), Ms. Elizabeth Mrema, also called for increased cooperation between the Judiciary Training Institute and UNEPin enhancing environmental rule of law.

Later the visiting delegation met with judiciary officials from Kenya at the Judiciary Training Institute.  to Present at the meeting were; Justice Joel Ngugi, Director, Judiciary training institute, Hon. Lady Justice Kalpana H. Rawal, Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya and Ms.  Pauline Nyamweya from the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association.

The closing ceremony was officiated by Hon. Lady Justice Kalpana H. Rawal, Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya.


Further resources 

Environmental Rule of Law

World Commission on Environmental Law 

UNEP's Region of Africa(ROA) website


Senegal joins the Partnership for Action on Green Economy
Dakar, 18 November 2014 - Up to half a million people could be lifted out of poverty and 30,000 new jobs created in Senegal, with a switch to a Green Economy, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Green Economy Scoping Study for Senegal (Le Rapport Exploratoire sur l'Economie Verte) was presented at a high-profile event to launch the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a United Nations initiative that will assist the implementation of green economy policies in Senegal.

"The findings of this study show the enormous opportunity that a green economy transition represents, and that investing further in the environment can support Senegal's development process, without jeopardizing our future growth," said Mr. Abdoulaye Balde, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development in Senegal.

Huge potential for job creation and poverty reduction

The report was prepared by UNEP in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Centre of Policy Studies for Development under the Ministry of Economy and Finances of Senegal. It finds that increased investment will lead to higher growth, more jobs, and better environmental outcomes than similar investments into business-as-usual (BAU) sectors.

In the report, GDP is estimated to be 11 per cent higher under a green economy scenario by 2035, compared to a BAU scenario. This increased growth leads to a substantial reduction in poverty, with less than 20 per cent of the population in poverty by 2035, compared to 24 per cent in the BAU scenario. This is the equivalent of lifting 500,000 people out of poverty.

In Senegal, agriculture employs 56.7 per cent of the total population. Improvements in production in this sector will, therefore, have a large effect on the economy. Green investments in sustainable agriculture technologies and techniques will prevent soil degradation and lead to an increase in agricultural production 0.5-1.25 per cent higher than BAU by 2035.

In other sectors, such as energy, green investments are expected to bring about an increase in employment. In the renewable energy sector, increased investment could create up to 30,000 new jobs.

A green economy transition also has positive environmental impacts. In terms of CO2, emissions are anticipated to be about 9 per cent lower in green economy scenarios than under BAU (26.7 million tonnes). In addition, improvements are expected in water quality, reduced soil pollution and improved waste management.

Senegal joins PAGE

The event in Dakar also marks the start of the PAGE initiative in Senegal. The initiative unites the expertise of UNEP, International Labour Organization, United Nations Institute for Training and Research, United Nations Industrial Development Organization and United Nations Development Programme, and will promote green industry, trade and jobs, as well as research and institutional capacity building on the green economy.

"The Partnership of Action for Green Economy is a model example of the United Nations System 'delivering as one' to support countries' move to greener development paths. With five UN organizations working together, the government of Senegal is receiving a coordinated and complementary service, leveraging the expertise of these different agencies," said Mrs Bintou Djibo, UN Resident Coordinator in Senegal.

Media Contacts

Shereen Zorba, Head of News and Media, UNEP Division of Communication and Public Information, Tel. +254 788 526 000. Email: unepnewsdesk@unep.org

Moira O'Brien-Malone, Head, Communications, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, Tel: + 33 1 44 37 76 12 or mobile +33 6 82 26 93 73. Email: moira.obrien-malone@unep.org

Note to editors

The Partnership for Action on Green Economy is a partnership between UNEP, ILO, UNDP, UNITAR, and UNIDO. It was created in response to the Rio +20 Conference, which called on the United Nations to support interested countries in their transition to greener and more inclusive economies.

Senegal was admitted into PAGE after the inaugural global conference of the PAGE initiative in March 2014 in Dubai. A scoping mission was then carried out by the PAGE agencies from the 2 to 5 June 2014 in Dakar. The mission involved consultations with various stakeholders and resulted in the formulation of a draft action plan.

About UNEP

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment in the UN system. Established in 1972, UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

UNEP is an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator promoting the wise use of the planet's natural assets for sustainable development. It works with many partners, UN entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, business, industry, the media and civil society. UNEP's work involves providing support for: environmental assessment and reporting; legal and institutional strengthening and environmental policy development; sustainable use and management of natural resources; integration of economic development and environmental protection; and promoting public participation in environmental management.




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