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Environment Under Review
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Regional News

GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region presented in Lisbon

The pan-European regional assessment under UNEP’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) has been presented to the Portuguese Minister of Environment and other government officials.

Following its launch last month, outreach work has continued with a presentation of the report’s process and key findings at an open event organized by the General Secretariat of Portugal’s Environment Ministry in Lisbon, Portugal on 28 June 2016.

The report identifies air pollution and climate change as now being the two major threats to human health in the pan-European region and was presented in the Portuguese capital following World Environment Day – UNEP’s biggest event for awareness raising on the environment.

The Secretary General of Environment Alexandra Carvalho opened the session, which was attended by around 40 people at the General Secretariat of Portugal’s Environment Ministry, including government staff and representatives of the media.

In a keynote address, the Portuguese Minister of Environment Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes highlighted the importance of sharing information and lessons learned through processes such as GEO. In a video message, UNEP’s Regional Director for Europe Jan Dusik noted how the report comes at a time when the world is on a new course to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resource-efficient, resilient and sustainable future. However, “living within our planetary boundaries will require fundamental transitions in energy, food, mobility and urban systems,” he underlined, adding: “the GEO assessment forms a basis for policymakers to take action”.

The UNEP Regional Office for Europe  focal point for the science-policy interface was joined by the Scientific Co-Chair of the GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region – Prof. Diana Mangalagiu from Oxford University –and they delivered the technical presentations and participated in the discussion panel that took place during this half-day session in Lisbon. They presented the key findings from the assessment and informed participants on the details of the process for developing the report based on expert and intergovernmental consultations and a sound peer review process. 

At the discussion panel that followed the presentations participants actively engaged with the presenters, asking questions and taking part in a rich discussion. Highlights of this dialogue included the use of regional data by the team of authors, transnational cooperation and the importance of countries’ engagement in the GEO assessment process, and the use of the assessment findings at national level.

Other topics discussed were the relation between air pollution and health, green growth and the circular economy vis-a-vis the outcomes of the Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Batumi, Georgia where the GEO-6 regional assessment was launched in June. In order to view the report please click here and note the errata here.

GEO is a consultative and participatory process that builds capacity for conducting integrated environmental assessments and reporting on the state, trends and outlooks of the environment. GEO is also a series of products that informs environmental decision-making and aims to facilitate the interaction between science and policy. Using the integrated environmental assessment (IEA) methodology, UNEP has produced five global GEO reports thus far, which have analyzed environmental state and trends at the global and regional scales, described plausible outlooks for various time frames and formulated policy options. Each GEO report builds on the assessment findings of its predecessor and draws from lessons learnt. The GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region is one of the building blocks for the production of the forthcoming Global Assessment under the GEO-6 process.

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Watch Bertrand Piccard deliver an inspiring message to environment ministers

As the Solar Impulse plane completes its journey around the globe without fuel, watch one of its pilots and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Bertrand Piccard deliver an inspiring live video message to environment ministers here.  

Mr Piccard was speaking to ministers at the eighth Environment for Europe Conference taking place in Batumi, Georgia on 7-9 June. There, over 100 pledges for a Green Economy on topics such as food waste and energy efficiency were made by countries and organisations

“Be ambitious and use the solutions we have today,” he stressed, calling for the legal framework to be put in place "to change the world" and slash global emissions.  

“Normally at conferences we would not speak of pledges, we would only repeat problems. Yet now we have the opportunity to speak of solutions - and this is exactly what we need,” said Piccard, speaking from New York before flying over the Statue of Liberty. The solar flight "shows that solutions exist," he stressed.

The view the pledges made, forming the Batumi Initiative on Green Economy (BIG-E), please click on the BIG-E here

The pledges represent the first regional commitment to translating the Sustainable Development Goals into action on the ground. For more information please click here.

UNEP defines a Green Economy as one where human wellbeing is improved and inequalities reduced in the long-term without exposing future generations to significant environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

UNEP TV campaign wins green award

A television campaign commissioned by UNEP showing how organic food is the natural choice for people and the environment has been crowned a winner at the Deauville Green Awards.

The series of ads feature a doe, badger and rabbit choosing organic over conventional food and was prized with the Golden Green award under the competition’s Responsible consumption and eco-labels category. They were produced by the Geneva-based Pointprod company.

The Deauville Green Awards is an international festival involving films, documentaries and ads on sustainable development and ecology assessed by an international jury of communication and environment specialists. The fifth edition of the event took place in the Normandy town on 16-17 June.

Choosing to eat organic means opting for a healthier and more varied diet, and helps look after the environment - organic produce is free of synthetic or chemical fertilisers, is almost free of antibiotics and helps foster natural biodiversity.

The organic videos were launched in the framework of the 'Greening Economies in the Eastern Neighbourhood' (EaP-GREEN) programme, which is funded by the EU and implemented jointly by UNEP, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. 

UNEP’s work on organic agriculture in the EU's Eastern Partnership countries includes expanding domestic agri-food supply chains and fostering trade exchanges, training farmers to switch from conventional farming and awareness-raising campaigns. UNEP has furthermore given organic producers a foot-up by supporting their participation in the major organic trade fair Biofach.

To view the set of ads in English or Moldovan please click here.

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For UNEP global news, click here
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