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Raising public awareness and strengthening the ability of individuals, communities, and nations to adapt to climate change. More

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Supporting balanced responses to natural resource management to meet future ecological and human needs. More

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Chemicals and Waste

UNEP is a primary driving force in the UN system for international activities related to the sound management of chemicals. More

Resource Efficiency

Ensuring that natural resources are produced, processed and consumed in a more environmentally sustainable way. More

Environment Under Review
Contributing to sustainable development and improved well-being through empowering stakeholders at global, regional and national levels; 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

Reforesting Africa's highest mountain could halt severe water shortages

·      Rivers begin to dry up as the loss of Mt Kilimanjaro’s forests triggers water crisis

·     - Climate change has destroyed 13,000 hectares of the mountain’s forests since 1976 – equivalent to cutting off a year’s supply of drinking water for 1 million people

·     - East Africa’s glaciers expected to disappear within a few decades

19 October 2016 – Reforesting Africa’s highest mountain could help protect vital water supplies that are under threat across large parts of East Africa, according to a UN Environment report that looks at the impact of climate change on the region’s mountains.

Mt Kilimanjaro’s forests are a vital source of water for the surrounding towns and the wider region. Water from the mountain feeds one of Tanzania’s largest rivers, the Pangani, providing food, fuel and building materials to much of East Africa.

But higher temperatures as a result of climate change have increased the number of wildfires on the mountain. These fires have destroyed 13,000 hectares of forest since 1976. Because there are now fewer trees to trap water from clouds, the annual amount of dew on the mountain is believed to have fallen by 25%. This drastic decline is equivalent to losing enough drinking water to supply 1 million people every year. 

The Sustainable Mountain Development in East Africa in a Changing Climate report, produced by UN Environment, GRID-Arendal, East African Community, the Albertine Rift Conservation Society and Nature-RIDD, was launched at the World Mountain Forum in Uganda today.

It urges Tanzania to protect Mt Kilimanjaro’s water catchment area by reforesting the mountain,  investing in early warning systems and making climate adaptation a top priority.

Protecting East Africa’s mountain ecosystems will also help safeguard the region’s vital tourism industry, which is worth $7 billion to East Africa. Mt Kilimanjaro, for example, contributes over one third of Tanzania’s total revenue from tourism.

To read the full press release please click here.

Why the environment is important to your health

The health of people and our planet go hand-in-hand, argues UN Environment's Regional Director for Europe in an op-ed for the European Sting political affairs news portal. 

The latest estimate is that 23% of all annual deaths worldwide are linked to environmental degradation. Yet work carried out by UN Environment and partners aims to reverse this. Political will, dialogue between ministries and healthy consumption choices by citizens can ensure that we all contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, stresses Mr Dusik. 

To read the full opinion piece click here. For more information write to

Countries agree to reduce use of HFCs in move that could avoid 0.5°C of global warming

Nearly 200 countries struck a landmark deal on Friday to reduce the emissions of powerful greenhouse gases, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), in a move that could prevent up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of this century.

The amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer endorsed in Kigali is the single largest contribution the world has made towards keeping the global temperature rise "well below" 2 degrees Celsius, a target agreed at the Paris climate conference last year.

To read a full press release please click here

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