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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

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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

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

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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

 
First African Green Growth Forum Aims to Unlock the Continent’s Economic Potential

Nairobi, 13 May 2015 – The first African Regional Green Growth Forum opened today in Nairobi, attended by the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and more than 200 delegates, including African ministers of environment, policy-makers, international financial and environmental experts, and leaders from the private sector.

The Forum is jointly organized by the Government of Kenya, the Government of Denmark and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), under the umbrella of the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) which convenes governments, businesses, investors and international organizations to act together for inclusive green growth.

The two-day conference will work to identify the barriers to Africa’s sustainable development and the ways to turn them into opportunities for green growth and improved livelihoods. It will focus on three key areas: new financing models for green growth, sustainable urbanization and sustainable lifestyles.

The forum is also expected to stimulate discussion on reliable and sustainable supply in energy for Africa, achieving sustainable industrialization through the circular economy and funnelling modern technology into the continent.

“This year, a series of events will set the development agenda for decades to come: the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda, and the climate change meeting in Paris at the end of the year,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP.

“The 3GF provides a timely opportunity for African stakeholders to define their priorities to feed into these important processes,” he added. “We are seeing the continent take advantage of the many green economy opportunities at its fingertips. Building on a strong endowment of natural resource and skills, Africa is poised to become the frontline of a global transition to more-inclusive green economies.”

“Africa in general, and Kenya in particular, holds an unparalleled green growth potential. A transition to green economy could meet many of our current challenges and create an opportunity for improved livelihoods and employment creation for all. If we want to seize this new opportunity, new, innovative, sustainable and inclusive growth and business models are needed," said Prof. Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural resources, Kenya.

“We need to unlock the African and global potential for green growth. To do so, all actors must work closer together and be ‘powerful doers’. Together we can create a common green growth pathway by facilitating concrete action-oriented partnership solutions,” said Martin Lidegaard, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denmark. “The 3GF aims to provide exactly this common space for private and public decision-makers.”

3GF-Africa is the first of a series of regional conferences that 3GF is organising in Africa, Asia and Latin America throughout 2015. By engaging high-level partners from all regions of the world, and from both public and private spheres, 3GF seeks to demonstrate that green solutions, scalable to the global level and spurring economic growth, are at hand.

UNEP will moderate the discussions, but also actively feed them through the UNEP Finance Initiative and the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, which are partners for the financial segment of the forum.

In addition to discussing the green-growth strategies for the continent, the forum’s participants will also engage in concrete partnership-building activities, especially between private and public sectors, in the areas of water, energy, waste management, circular economy and land restoration.

The outcomes of this regional conference will feed into the next 3GF global Summit which will take place in Copenhagen 20 – 21 April 2016.



Regional cooperation, working with demand countries key to ending wildlife crime, say African nations

Brazzaville, 30 April 2015 Better coordinated intelligence and law enforcement, involving communities in Africa and working with transit and destination markets outside of the continent must be at the heart of all efforts to tackle the alarming illegal trade in wild flora and fauna, African States said here today at the closing of the International Conference on Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora in Africa.

Countries must urgently work with one another to coordinate anti-poaching operations, customs and police controls, as well as strengthen cross-border law enforcement to stop the killing of wild animals and convict poachers and their accomplices.

“The plundering machine is forging ahead. I urge the international community to further mobilize against environmental crime and to commit firmly for this cause, the same way they are engaged in the fight against climate change and other global challenges,” said His Excellency Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo.

Curbing the demand needs to be a top priority, the participants added, pointing out that countries in Africa, speaking with one voice, should engage with destination countries to eliminate illegal markets and reach out to consumers about the dangers of the trade.

“This is a great step forward”, said Her Excellency Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture. “Today, Africa is coming together to tackle this horrific trade, which concerns them all. We commit ourselves to supporting this roadmap as we move forward to implement our common strategy”.

“Stopping national riches from being sold out cannot happen without modernizing legal frameworks. In many countries, engaging legal reforms will be necessary to forestall corruption and complicity at the national and outside of origin countries,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, the Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The United Nations, through its specialized agencies, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), expressed their continued commitment to support African countries to develop and finalize the African Common Strategy.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had lent his support to the conference emphasizing the need to extend every effort to put an end to environmental crime, especially the illegal trade in wildlife.

The value of wildlife crime, comprising fauna and flora, including logging, poaching and trafficking of a wide range of animals, amounts to many tens and possibly hundreds of billions of US dollars a year, according to estimates of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNEP and INTERPOL.

Wildlife trafficking destroys biodiversity and ecosystems, undermining development and eroding livelihoods for millions of African citizens and their future. It also creates insecurity, fuelling conflicts and corruption, depriving countries of their assets, compromising the rule of law and dividing societies.

Participants at the conference also agreed that addressing rural poverty, creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, and raising public awareness is a critical element in turning the tide on wildlife poaching.

“Using wildlife products and habitats responsibly, and developing sustainable tourism and other economic activities hold the promise of preserving biodiversity for present and future generations, while promoting economic growth and people’s well-being,” said Nik Sekhran, Head of Sustainable Development at UNDP.

"Illegal trade in wildlife is a serious transnational organized crime that no country or region can fight on its own. The draft strategy that is being proposed today in Brazzaville reinforces the need for a collective global, regional and national effort to counter these highly destructive crimes, working across source, transit and destination States," said John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES.

African leaders to develop common plan for stopping wildlife crime
Brazzaville, 27 April 2015 – African Heads of State, government representatives and experts are gathering at the International Conference on Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora in Africa where they will develop a common roadmap to end wildlife trafficking on the continent. The Conference will seek to advance the first-ever Africa-wide strategy and action plan to tackle the illegal trade in wild fauna and flora, to be further considered at the next African Union Heads of State Summit later this year. The four-day event is organised under the leadership of the Republic of Congo, in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), and with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the African Development Bank, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), among others. "Forests and wildlife are part of our common African heritage but are disappearing at an alarming pace," said His Excellency Denis Sassou Nguesso, the President of the Republic of Congo. “We have a duty to work together, as a continent, to safeguard our unique biodiversity for present and future generations and to craft strong collective solutions to address this calamity.” The value of wildlife crime, comprising fauna and flora, and including logging, poaching and trafficking of a wide range of animals, amounts to many hundreds of billions of US dollars a year, according to estimates of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNEP and INTERPOL. Wildlife trafficking destroys biodiversity and ecosystems, undermining development and eroding livelihoods for millions of African citizens. It also creates insecurity, fuelling conflicts and corruption, depriving countries of their assets, compromising the rule of law and dividing societies. “By the end of this event, we envisage to have a clear roadmap toward a strategy that is strong, Africa-owned and Africa-led,” noted Her Excellency Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture. “The document will aim to galvanize collective action across borders and it will offer practical, home-grown solutions towards decisively eliminating poaching and illegal wildlife trade.” Following the Brazzaville conference, the draft strategy and associated action plan will be further developed in consultation with all African Member States, and progress on the strategy will be reviewed when the continent’s leaders gather at their bi-annual meeting, this June, in South Africa. “An African strategy developed by the African Union and its Member States, and focused on the needs of the continent is an extremely important step forward,” said Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of UNEP. “Its development will require full engagement of Member States, and its implementation will require enhanced and sustained international support, strong information networks, better public advocacy and accountability, as well as adequate laws and mechanisms to fully address the problem." The International Conference on Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora in Africa builds on the momentum and outcomes of the 2014 London and 2015 Kasane High Level Conferences on Illegal Wildlife Trade, and comes on the heels of the 23rd African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, which urged African nations to apply zero tolerance approaches, to take action to strengthen laws and policies, and to engage communities to combat illegal wildlife trafficking and related criminal activities. “Trafficking in wildlife and forest products poses serious security, environmental, and development challenges”, said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. “Addressing rural poverty, strengthening governance and the rule of law, and eradicating illicit trade in wildlife are key to addressing these threats and are essential for achieving Africa’s vision for sustainable development.”

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