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Climate Change
UNEP is focusing on both mitigation and adaptation and the objective is to strengthen the ability of countries in integrating climate change responses into national development processes. More

Disasters and Conflicts
Disasters and conflicts in Africa
The objective is to minimize environmental threats to human well-being arising from the environmental causes and consequences of conflicts and disasters More

Ecosystem Management
Ensuring the holistic management of land, water and living resources to promote conservation and sustainable use. More

Environmental Governance
Strengthening Global, Regional, national and local Environmental governance to address agreed environmental priorities. More

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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

Environment Under Review
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

UNEP Announces Top African Winner in 24th International Children Painting Competition
Nairobi, 9 September 2015 - Hussein Malla, a 9 year old boy from Kenya, is the regional winner for Africa of the 24th International Children's Painting Competition, organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE). 
Hussein's winning artwork contrasts the world today with the future he would like to see. It depicts a bright rainbow of renewable energy sources stretching over a grey world of polluting and inefficient technologies. An hourglass in the middle symbolizes the time that's running out for humanity to make the shift to green energy.
The theme of this year's competition "We have the Power!" supports the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All and aims to highlight the use of renewable energy and raise awareness about the importance of energy efficiency.
In 2014, the Africa Energy Outlook showed that more than 620 million people in Africa lack access to electricity while nearly 730 million rely on dangerous, inefficient forms of cooking. Initiatives, such as Africa 2020 Access to Renewables and the African Rift Geothermal Development Facility (ARGeo) are working to make Hussein's dream reality by bringing clean, affordable energy to millions of people.
Access to clean, renewable, efficient, affordable and reliable energy is essential for African welfare and can also lead to a sustainable future for all, with multiple benefits for economic and social development, human health, the environment and the climate.
More than 2,200 paintings from eight African countries were submitted for this year's edition of the International Children Painting Competition, which was open for children between the ages 9 and 14.
Each UNEP Regional Office (Africa, Asia-Pacific, West-Asia, North America, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean) chooses regional winners. The selection for the African winner was coordinated from UNEP Regional Office, in Nairobi. The selection process included a selected jury of graphic artists and experts in energy and environment.
The competition, celebrated annually since 1991, has received over three million submissions from about 190 countries so far.
The 1st and 2nd runners up respectively are Bhavini Varsini (14) and Aadil Shah (14), both from Kenya.
The International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment is part of UNEP TUNZA's strategy for children and youth. TUNZA is a word in Swahili that means "to treat with care".
The objective of TUNZA's initiative is to encourage a global movement where youth and children can participate actively in the world on activities linked to the environment, as well as fostering a generation of conscious young leaders who will influence environmental decision making processes and act responsibly to promote sustainable development.

Majority Female Ranger Unit from South Africa Wins Top UN Environmental Prize
Pretoria, 7 September 2015 - The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, a South African and majority-women ranger group, has been announced as one of the winners of the United Nation’s top environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth award.

With this award, in the Inspiration and Action category, UNEP is recognizing the rapid and impressive impact The Black Mamba Unit has made in combatting poaching and the courage required to accomplish it.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “Community-led initiatives are crucial to combatting the illegal wildlife trade and the Black Mambas highlight the importance and effectiveness of local knowledge and commitment.” 

“Their many successes are a result of their impressive courage and determination to make a difference in their community. The Black Mambas are an inspiration not only locally, but across the world to all those working to eliminate the scourge of the illegal wildlife trade.”

“While their work contributes most toward ecosystem preservation and halting biodiversity loss, Goal 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals, it also exemplifies the action-driven solutions needed to achieve all of the SDGs. With every rhino saved the Black Mambas demonstrate that action on a local level is critical to achieving global sustainability and equity.”

The unit has ensured that not a single rhino has been poached on the land they protect in over ten months. In the neighbouring reserve, 23 rhinos have been killed over the same period.

Since being founded in 2013, the 26-member unit has also helped arrest six poachers, reduced snaring by 76 per cent, removed over 1,000 snares and put 5 poachers’ camps and 2 bush meat kitchens out of action. 

The area that they protect, the Balule Private Game Reserve, is home to an abundance of wildlife – including not only rhino but leopards, lions, elephants, cheetahs and hippos. It is part of the Greater Kruger National Park, a network of over 2 million hectares of protected areas that is home to thousands of birds, impalas, giraffes, wildebeest, buffalos, antelopes, hyenas, crocodiles, fish and zebras.

Protecting the rhino is vital in South Africa, where 1,215 rhinos were killed in 2014 alone. This is an increase of over 12,000 percent since 2004 and symptomatic of a devastating epidemic that has pushed the rhino closer to the edge of extinction.

Leitah Mkhabela, a member of the Black Mamba rangers, said: “I am not afraid, I know what I am doing and I know why I am doing it. If you see the poachers you tell them not to try, tell them we are here and it is they who are in danger.”

“Animals deserve to live; they have a right to live. Do your part. When demand ends, the killing will end. Say yes to life. Say no to illegal rhino horn and elephant ivory.”
For three weeks at a time, the rangers patrol the park – walking up to 20km a day, checking its fences and seeking out poachers, their trails, camps and snares. They know their ground so well that even a moved stone alerts them to poachers. 
During their time off, they also use their local networks to identify potential poachers and take appropriate action to discourage them. One ranger specifically targets the children in the communities, seeking to connect them with the parks’ wildlife, soil and water. 
In their communities, they contribute to the local discussion about the connection between money, criminal gangs and poaching. They understand how the extreme poverty that surrounds the park and demand from Asia combine to produce the current surge in poaching. They encourage, by example, positive engagement with the parks and discourage new members of the community from being recruited to the poachers’ network. 
Their difficult, intense and dangerous work both within and outside the park fundamentally undermines the international poaching syndicates that threaten to wipe out populations of rhino and elephant in the wild. 
The award, to be presented in New York on the 27 September 2015, is in acknowledgment of this fierce, practical courage.
About Champions of the Earth
The annual Champions of the Earth awards are the highest environmental accolade that the United Nations can confer upon outstanding individuals and organizations. Previous laureates of this inclusive award range from leaders of nations to grassroots activists – all visionaries whose leadership and actions drive the world ever closer to its aspirations of environmental sustainability and a life of dignity for all. To date, the Champions of the Earth Awards have recognized 67 laureates in the categories of policy, science, business and civil society. 
This year, the award year aims to support the Sustainable Development Goals by illustrating, through the examples of the laureates, that the transition to low-carbon, resource-efficient, inclusive and sustainable economic models is not just possible, but already in progress.
The remaining laureates will be revealed throughout September. The awards will be handed out at a Gala Ceremony at the close of the Sustainable Development Goals summit, on September 27.
For Further Information Contact
Mohamed Atani, Regional Information Officer, +254 727531253, mohamed.atani@unep.org 
Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga, Head, UNEP Office in South Africa, +27 12 354 8092, cecilia.njenga@unep.org

UNEP Executive Director Concludes Visit to Uganda

Kampala, 27 August 2015 - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner yesterday concluded a successful visit to Uganda, where he met with H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, to present the Uganda Wetlands Atlas as a contribution to launching a major wetlands restoration initiative for the country. He also discussed enhanced UNEP-Uganda cooperation on key environmental issues affecting the country, including sustainable development and green economy solutions, renewable energy options and the consequences of climate change on Uganda's people and natural resources.

Mr. Steiner said, "Uganda is a country blessed with natural resources. While true across the world, it is even more apparent here that the environment is the foundation of all of our livelihoods. UNEP is keen to continue to cooperate with Uganda to address vital environmental issues and help chart a sustainable development path for the country that will benefit Ugandans long into the future."

During his trip, Executive Director Steiner also met with Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister of Water and Environment, with whom he signed a Country Cooperation Framework agreement.

Mr. Steiner also participated in two launches during his time in Kampala. Alongside Minister Kamuntu, he unveiled Volume One of the Uganda Wetlands Atlas and the Uganda-wide initiative, "Greening of the Economy through Massive Tree Planting and Sustainable Forest Management". He also participated with the Minister in a ceremonial tree planting at the headquarters of the National Forestry Authority.


About Uganda Wetlands Atlas

The Uganda Wetlands Atlas is an essential tool for policy makers, planners and legislators that resolves some longstanding questions on accurate facts, figures and statistics. Produced at the request of the Ugandan Government, in partnership with several national institutions and development partners, it provides evidence-based assessment of the rapid changes taking place in the country's critical wetland ecosystems in urban areas. Using earth observation systems to underpin scientific analysis of the country's wetlands ecosystems, the assessment spanned a period of 10 years in the urban areas of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso. The Atlas will contribute to firming up Uganda's resilience to the negative impacts climate change is expected to have on wetland areas.

About UNEP-Uganda Cooperation Framework

The UNEP-Uganda Cooperation Framework aims at laying the foundation for strengthening and consolidating long-term cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Uganda and UNEP. The Framework is designed to deepen the collaboration in ensuring that environmental sustainability becomes a key pillar in Uganda's development agenda at all levels. It is intended to consolidate UNEP's support to Uganda and enhance effectiveness, improve coherence and integration within the Uganda UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2010-2014 and UNDAF 2016-20, as well as to lay the foundation for the development and implementation of Joint Programmes and other activities.




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