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Asia and the Pacific

Atmospheric Brown Haze
UNEP has brought together an international science team to study the impacts of aerosols on regional climate, the hydrological cycle, agriculture and human health.

The Atmospheric Brown Cloud Project aims to address concerns around regional scale plumes of air pollution that consist of copious amounts of tiny particles of soot, sulphates, nitrates, fly ash and many other pollutants. Large fraction of the aerosol particles that make up ABCs originate from emissions at the Earth’s surface caused by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biofuels.

Initial scientific results suggest that the brown haze is reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface by as much as 10 to 15 percent. It may also be affecting monsoon weather patterns, triggering droughts in Western parts of the Asian Continent and increasing flooding in parts of Bangladesh and India. There are also indications that the haze may be reducing winter rice harvests in India by as much as 10 per cent. A UNEP commission report suggests that pollution from the haze could be leading to "several hundreds of thousands" of premature deaths from respiratory diseases.

The first assessment report is available www.rrcap.unep.org/abc.

Environment and Health
This project aims to promote a coordinated intervention at national to regional levels for reduction of adverse impacts of environmental deterioration on human health in Asia. In 2004, UNEP in collaboration with the WHO convened the first High-Level meeting on environment and health in Southeast and East Asian countries.  The meeting requested UNEP and WHO to assist with the development and implementation of a Regional Charter for environment and health. The activities so far have resulted in the following major achievements:

  • Ministerial Forum: Convened First Ministerial Regional Forum on Environment and Health in August 2007 in Bangkok.
  • Regional Charter: Devised a Regional Charter on environment and health in South East and East Asia
  • Declaration: Ministerial level declaration (Bangkok Declaration) on Environment and Health.
  • Expert Networks: Thematic Working Groups are established and corresponding work plans have been completed for 6 priority areas:

(i) Air quality;

(ii) Water supply, hygiene and sanitation;

(iii) Solid and hazardous waste;

(iv) Toxic chemicals and hazardous substances;

(v) Climate change, ozone depletion and ecosystem changes;

(vi) Contingency planning, preparedness and response in environmental health emergencies. Progress in the implementation of the Thematic Working Group Activities are available at http://www.environment-health.asia/



University of Finland and UNEP - 12th Course on Multilateral Environmental Agreements
2-12 November 2015, Shanghai, China

The Special theme of the Twelfth Course is Climate Change.

2nd UNEP-INTERPOL Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee Conference
16-17 November 2015, INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation, Singapore

At the 2nd ECEC in Singapore, INTERPOL and UNEP brought together Chief Executives from Environmental Security and Enforcement agencies from INTERPOL member countries, as well as Chief Executive Officers from international and non-governmental organizations, to design and debate strategies to tackle environmental crime and achieve sustainable development goals.

Annual Meeting UNEP- EUROCLIMA (EC Programme to support Policy Dialogue on Climate Change issues in Latin American countries)

Special session of the Commission on Environment of the PARLATINO(Latin American Parliament) on Climate Change law.

27-28 October 2015, Panama

Global Training Programme on Environmental Law and Policy for Mid-career Government Officials

05-13 October 2015, Nairobi, Kenya

Meeting of the Senior Government Officials Expert in Environmental Law on Mid-term review of the Montevideo Programme IV

7-11 September 2015, Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo Programme Environmental Law Seminar: Laws to Promote environmental sustainability of oceans and seas
9-10 July, Panama City, Panama

Montevideo Programme Environmental Law Seminar: Legal Foundation for Environmental Sustainability

13-14 July 2015, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Meeting of Eminent Legal Experts on the Midterm review of the Montevideo Programme IV

15-16 July 2015, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Regional Training on Negotiations for Multilateral Environmental Agreements Focusing on UNFCCC and CBD as they relate to Regional Seas Convention
11-13 May 2015, Jeddah Kingdom, Saudi Arabia

Meeting of Climate Change Negotiators of Latin America and the Caribbean
14-15 May 2015, Santiago de Chile 

Regional Meeting of negotiators in preparation for Climate Change multilateral negotiators (exchange of views and discussion of key topics for the region towards COP21)

International Day for Biological Diversity 2015
22 May 2015

Biodiversity for Sustainable Development

This year’s theme reflects the importance of efforts made at all levels to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda for the period of 2015-2030 and the relevance of biodiversity for the achievement of sustainable development.

Launch of The UNEP Sourcebook 

officially launched at a side event in the margins of Ramsar COP 12 - 8 June 2015, Punta del Este, Uruguay

The aim of the Sourcebook is to provide National Focal Points of the major Biodiversity-related Conventions as well as other stakeholders working on these conventions, with options to achieve enhanced implementation of the conventions through enhanced cooperation.

Preparatory Workshops for Paris UNFCCC COP for 2015 for Least Developed countries

June 2015, Bonn, Germany

Second Congress on Environmental Policy, Law and Justice Seminar on Environmental Crimes

6-10 July 2015, La Habana, Cuba

Inter-American Congress on the Environmental Rule of Law(OAS website)
30-31 March 2015, Montego Bay, Jamaica 

The Organization of American States (OAS) co-organized the First Inter-American Congress on the Environmental Rule of Law in Montego Bay, Jamaica, an event that concluded with a call to strengthen the rule of law on to address environmental challenges in the Americas.

Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development

4 May 2015, UN Headquarters, New York, Conference Room 11