UNEP at Work
UNEP at work

UNEP undertakes a wide range of activities in promoting and facilitating the development and uptake of clean technology. Here are a couple of recent examples. For further examples of UNEP’s climate change work visit www.unep.org/unite/30Ways

New “Cool Tools” for Waterbird and Wetland Conservation

An innovative tool for tracking the migratory patterns of waterbirds has won first prize in an ESRI International Conservation Mapping Competition. The “Critical Site Network Tool” (CSN Tool) and the supporting “Flyaway Training Kit” (FTK) are some of the products of the Wings over Wetland (WOW) project, the largest flyway-scale waterbirds conservation initiative ever attempted, covering the 118 countries included in the range of the African-Eurasian Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA).

The WOW project is funded by the GEF (Global Environment Facility), the German Government and several other donors, and it is implemented by UNEP as a joint effort by leading global conservation organizations and partners such as Wetlands International, BirdLife International, the AEWA, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and UNEP-WCMC (World Conservation Monitoring Centre) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

An estimated 50 billion migratory birds make phenomenal annual journeys across borders and regions of the world, covering thousands of kilometers. For this reason, they are a link between countries and ecosystems, making them one of the world’s great wonders. Because of their use of several habitats as stopover sites during migration, the health of migratory birds is an important indicator of the state of our environment.

The CSN Tool will be instrumental to improve our understanding of waterbirds migration, and it will promote their conservation through better management and more informed decision making at the flyways scale. This will also help combat the adverse effects of climate change by protecting the critical wetlands habitats used by water birds. These habitats are also important for the livelihoods of millions of people in rural communities living around those wetlands.


UNEP wins UN21 Award for Climate Neutrality

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) won the UN21 Award for Climate Neutrality. UNEP was the co-winner of the award along with the UN Department of Field Support during a ceremony at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium at UN Headquarters in New York in August. Held every year, the UN 21 Awards recognize outstanding initiatives by United Nations staff members or teams to improve the delivery of the Organization’s programmes and promote its values. The winners’ stories are intended to inspire other staff members to follow their example, replicate good practices and make strides to improve the delivery of UN programmes and services.

UNEP, which has been climate neutral since 2008, is at the forefront of ongoing sustainability efforts within the United Nations. Last year, it became the first UN organization to publish an Emission Reduction Strategy, including a target to reduce emissions by three per cent per annum in 2010-12 (from 2009 levels). Implementing the efficiency measures could save UNEP an estimated US$800,000 per year. The new office facility that houses UNEP and UN-HABITAT headquarters in Nairobi also set a new benchmark for sustainable buildings when it was opened by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon in March 2011.

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