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UNEP REGIONAL OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

AFRICA

Regional Event:
The regional environment week will be celebrated in Libreville, Gabon.

We will launch Jann-Arthus-Bertrand’s “HOME.” UNEP will work with CFAO in developing a press kit for the event.

KENYA

UNEP,UNON & UN Habitat, Nairobi

Launch of Greening UN website
Today, World Environment Day, www.unep.org/greeningun is launched. The site aims to be a platform for knowledge and creating awareness.

Through this new website we want to inspire individual UN Staff members to support and contribute to a greener UN and a greener lifestyle. Worldwide awareness and knowledge on the environment will be stimulated and inspired.

Initially this website is focusing on UN in Nairobi, where the UNEP Headquarters is based. Together with UNON and UN Habitat many initiatives have been undertaken to green Gigiri, the UN Compound in Nairobi. With time, we stimulate to include examples and success stories from many other UN duty stations!

Greenest Office
In relation to this year's World Environment Day, Step by Step has asked all UNEP Divisions and Regional Offices together with UNON and UN Habitat to take stock of their office facilities. The offices were asked to provide information on issues, such as the number of printers per staff member, whether double sided printing was installed or whether screen savers have been turned off. Also the number of desk lamps with or without power saving bulbs and the presence of private electronic appliances has been assessed.

Within UNEP, all but one office have replied. We want to thank you for your collaboration! UNON and UN Habitat will launch their stock-taking on WED and the results will be published after 12 June.

This exercise gives a good overview of which practices of environmental housekeeping are currently in place. Besides that UNEP and UNON are planning to set up an Environmental Management System (EMS). The results of this survey will help in setting up the EMS.

This year's greenest office is:

UNEP ROLAC (Panama)!!

Number two is UNEP ROE (Geneva) and number three is UNEP DEPI. Soon a full overview of the stock-taking exercise can be taken on www.unep.org/greeningun, including an explanation of how the winner was chosen.

Besides that we would like to mention a number of offices who have set up interesting and green initiatives to support the environment. Some offices do not have personal water boilers, others have automatic light switches in their bathrooms. The Geneva office even purchased a hybrid car as their official vehicle!

Green Office Competition in 2010
Next year the stock-taking exercise will be turned into a Green Office Competition between all offices, and then held annually on World Environment Day. Let’s see who the winner will be!

In the mean time, we would like to encourage you to keep your office as environmentally friendly as possible. Be an active part of all the greening activities that are going on within the UN!!

In addition to the stock-taking exercise Step by Step has initiated the following activities:

Power saving scheme
In collaboration with UNON and, in particular with the help of Charles Emer, Pradeep Sood and his team in ICTS, Step by Step has initiated the following power saving scheme, implemented today, via the Central Management System (CMS):

Monitors will be turned off after 15 mins
Hard Disks will switch off after 15 mins
The system will go to standby after 15 mins
The system will go into hibernation after 30 mins.

Of course, no data will get lost but instead the measures will save a lot of energy and thereby reduce our climate footprint.

From today, energy use in the blocks which are used by UNON, UNEP and UN Habitat will be monitored on a monthly basis and energy use will be compared with the use before the new power saving scheme has been put in place. You will be informed about the results!

Staff belonging to other UN agencies in Gigiri / Nairobi than to UNON, UNEP and UN Habitat can also contribute to a reduced energy use of the UN in Nairobi. That’s why we are asking you to also change your computer power schemes. The mentioned scheme can be a good guideline for that.

Future activities
Step by Step is also working with UNON to install motion sensor lights and dual flush systems in all bathrooms. We also collaborate with the Cafeterias and coffee stations on the compound to phase out all plastic cups and aluminium wrapping. And, we will provide coffee stations with extra buckets to collect organic waste separately from other waste.

Your help is needed
Although this should go without saying: Step by Step only has limited capacities. Greening the compound really depends on each and every staff member. So, don't forget: the aggregate is made up of all individual contributions and yours counts too!

National Theme: “Together we can Tackle Climate Change”
World Environment Week will be one of the highlights of the Environmental Outreach and Awareness Year in Kenya year with many activities organized throughout the country, including the award ceremony of the school competition organized in the country by UNEP-ROA, KOEE, KWS and other partners. The lead institution for WED in Kenya will be  NEMA (National Environmental Management Authority) who will customize the theme to highlight the specific situation of Kenya and select a venue to host national celebrations for WED.

School Competition for World Environment Day 2009.

Activities to mark World Environment Day 2009 will include an art and essay competition among schools. Stakeholders in Kenya including the Kenya organization for Environmental Education (KOEE), Wildlife Clubs of Kenya (WCK) and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) are collaborating with UNEP through its Regional Office for Africa (ROA) in organizing this event. Under this collaboration, the mentioned stakeholders are involved in notification of the institutions of learning about this event as well as the judgment of the entries from schools in all the categories enlisted.

The Arts and Essay Competition:

1- The theme
Reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new agreement at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some days later in the year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.

Concerted efforts must be made to raise environmental awareness and mobilize the larger community in preserving our environment for a better future. UNEP's Regional Office for Africa (ROA) together with the stakeholders will once again initiate an art and essay contest attracting youths in institutions of learning in line with the 2009 global theme “Your Planet Needs You-Unite to Combat Climate Change.”

2- The Target
The youth are a driving force behind Eco-friendly initiatives. This competition offers a platform to the youths throughout the country to communicate powerfully their feelings about the impacts of human activities on their environment. There is also a rising need to train future leaders in dealing with environmental issues and educate them about sustainable development.

3- The Competition
The main objective of the competition is to raise environmental awareness among the youth and create a better understanding of the impacts of human activities on the environment, society and the country at large and particularly courses and effects of climate change in the Kenyan context. It builds on partnerships with institutions of learning and community organizations to spread environmental awareness and good practices in caring for our planet.

The participants will be expected to write essays, draw or paint any violations to their immediate environment; particularly the carbon dioxide emissions and impacts of climate change. Entries in the past have increased substantially, reflecting its gaining popularity among students countrywide.

Building on the success of previous years and from lessons learnt, the main stakeholders together with UNEP/ROA are planning to further enhance the fruitful partnership with the private sector in the preparation of this event.

To maintain a record of the excellent entries received, the winning entries will be published. It is proposed that the published compilation be made available to all participating schools as well as to the rest of the public.

MEDIA

A Press release will be issued capturing the celebrations throughout the week.

Radio and TV
World Environment Week will be highlighted in the media.
A supplement will be published in the major newspapers.

UNDP Libya
Tripoli
Awareness Raising Event at Tripoli’s Green Square Marks World Environment Day 2009.
As part of their World Environment Day 2009 celebrations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Libya, the Environment General Authority, Tripoli Development Authority and the Scouts movement, organized a large public awareness raising event in Tripoli’s famous Green Square, entitled “Make Green Square Greener.”
Hundreds of Scouts gathered in Green Square for the event, some travelling as far as 180km to take part. They participated in a series of quizzes and competitions, with World Environment Day t-shirts and plants offered as prizes. Meanwhile, passers-by were handed out leaflets outlining World Environment Day and explaining ten simple steps for reducing individual carbon emissions.
The event took its inspiration from the global theme for this year’s World Environment Day, “Your Planet Needs You, UNite to Combat Climate Change”, which called upon governments and their citizens to unify in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
A special emphasis was placed on individual responsibility for climate change. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon highlighted in his speech to mark the occasion that “although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose we can make a tremendous difference.”
In addition to this, attention was focused on the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, scheduled to take place in December 2009. The international conference is intended to expand upon climate change commitments made at the Kyoto Protocol, and will bring together thousands of individuals from governments, observer organizations and the international media.
Mr. Brian Gleeson, UNDP Resident Representative, delivered a speech which not only called upon government commitment at Copenhagen, but also urged individual’s to respond to the pressing issue of global climate change. He emphasized that international agreements are powerless if realities do not change on the ground.
A key concern in Libya is the need to offer individuals more opportunities to chose a lower carbon lifestyle, Mr. Gleeson was adamant that “UNDP is keen to take a lead in spreading environmental awareness, but it is not enough to urge people to recycle when there are not facilities for recycling. It is not enough to urge extol the virtues of public transport, when vast areas of the city has no access to it. We cannot encourage people to walk when there are no safe pedestrian crossings and well-paved footpaths.”
For the Scouts gathered at Green Square, their government and other states’ responses to climate change will have a decisive impact upon their futures and that of their children. Africa stands to be worst affected by climate change, with an estimated 75 to 250 million individuals likely to be affected by severe water shortages by 2020 if significant action is not taken. UNDP Libya hopes that their active involvement in climate change issues will be matched in the international arena and has pledged to continue campaigning for greater attention to the Copenhagen Agreement.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

UNEP-ROAP

Media Coverage and Activities in Asia and the Pacific

ROAP - UNEP is planning to organize a number of events during 5-10 June 09 to celebrate  Pakistan's Year of Environment. These include the following.

- Launching of NSDS report: during the WED celebration.

- Launch and inception workshop for Karakorum project -  a project on integration and harmonization of sustainable development interventions in the Central Karakorum National Park of Northern Pakistan.

- Media workshop: A day-long media workshop is planned to build capacity of the media to cover environment and sustainable development related news and events.

- Workshop on ozone layer protection.

- ABC: UNEP is planning to organize a national workshop to sensitize the scientists, policy makers and media about the ABC.

JAPAN

This year, UNEP IETC are planning with the International Lake Environment Committee, to hold a joint exhibition for World Environmental Day and Environment Month at Lake Biwa Museum in Shiga prefecture, Japan on 2-22 June. IETC is expected to display panels concerning UNEP, World Environment Day and IETC's activities, and distribute information materials.

EUROPE

BELGIUM

The World Environment Day celebrations in Brussels took place in the Royal Park with the Echo-festival and the handing-over of the first WED UNEP-Brussels award to famous kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen and international musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. In their speeches they explained how they try to integrate environment in their art, encouraging others to do so to save our Planet (see video message from Sakamoto enclosed).

This event was also chosen to launch the Seal The Deal! campaign in Brussels, with a Wall of Commitment where among others, the Federal minister of Climate and Energy Paul Magnette and the Head of Communication - Directorate General Environment from the European Commission, Nicholas Henlay, signed on the wall.

The screening of Home, launched worldwide on this important day, was a great success, accompanying the green picnic and helping to illustrate the various threats we are facing. Finally, our partner, Marsu Edition, launched a new album of Gaston Lagaffe, addressing eco-friendly behaviour, and gave comic books to 50 children from Brussels.

CZECH REPUBLIC Prague

UNIC Prague

World Environment Day Report

       

In light of the Copenhagen conference the World Environment Day has been one of the major observances this year for UNIC Prague. There was a number activities related to the WED in the host country, many of them with direct involvement and support of UNIC Prague.

  1. UNIC prepared an information kit in Czech including the message of the Secretary-General and UNEP materials (incl. Daily Do Something Tips), disseminated them to the media, NGOs, government, education institutions and used as hand outs during WED events. All WED materials, including banners and logos (Seal the Deal, WED) were posted on UNIC website (www.osn.cz). UNIC also designed and produced a stand-up banner and 300 postcards highlighting the Seal the Deal Campaign.
  2. UNIC published the new issue of its newsletter (UNBulletin) with the main focus on Climate Change and Copenhagen. Some 400 copies were distributed through direct mailing to subscribers, the remaining copies are being distributed as hand outs during public events.
  3. Eco-festival – UNIC opened its stand at the Eco-festival organized in the capital of Prague by NGOs, the City of Prague and with support of the Ministry of Environment. During the full day festival UNIC distributed WED materials (incl. Daily Do Something Tips and the SG message), the UNBulletin, STD postcards. The stand was designed as a stamping station with people symbolically stamping a big white paper on the stand’s desk. The CoolPlanet project was also highlighted.
  4. Seal the Deal – on the World Environment Day, UNIC kicked off the Seal the Deal campaign in the Czech Republic by opening an exhibit in the UN House lobby featuring four of the series WED posters by UNEP and information banner on the STD and CoolPlanet campaigns. The text of the STD petition was translated in Czech and an enlarged copy is part of the UN House exhibit. The petition text has also been posted on UNIC’s website.
  5. HOME – UNIC was a partner of the HOME movie premiere in the Czech Republic together with the Ministry of Environment and two key climate NGOs. During the outdoor performance in a park downtown Prague, UNIC opened its STD stamping station with the STD banner and distributed UNBulletins, STD postcards and WED materials. Visitors were given a chance to STD stamp and sign a white board during the screening. Senior representatives of the Environment Ministry were present at the screening.
  6. On the WED the OiC was invited by the ABInbev Company to celebrate the Day by a presentation followed by a discussion with senior staff. The Seal the Deal campaign, the CoolPlanet and issues related to the WED were presented. WED and STD materials were distributed. It was agreed that a dialogue between UNIC and the ABInbev Company in the Czech Republic will continue to further develop a partnership in the field of protection of the environment and climate.

Michal Broza
UNIC Prague, OiC

UNITED KINGDOM - Cambridge
To celebrate World Environment Day, UNEP-WCMC will conduct a Press conference and panel discussion to mark the launch of “The Natural Fix? The role of ecosystems in climate mitigation."

RUSSIA - Moscow
Moscow - a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Organizers of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (SOCHI 2014) will be signed on 5 June 2009 -  World Environment Day in Moscow. The MoU will provide the bases for UNEP to support the organizers of the 2014 Games in their efforts to green the Games. Through this agreement, UNEP will advise SOCHI 2014 on various environmental issues including sustainable transport, renewable energy, ecosystems management, green procurement, water and waste management, climate neutrality and the engagement of stakeholders among other issues. UNEP will also undertake two independent environmental assessment of the Games.

In addition to the signing of the MoU, SOCHI 2014 will organize a tree planting event in Moscow, on 5 June as part of their World Environment Day Commemoration and their contribution to UNEP's Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign.  

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

World Environment Day in BRAZIL

      

A wide range of events have occurred all over Brazil to celebrate the World Environment Day.
 
UNCT Brazil joined UNEP in the preparation of a series of activities related to the WED. The main event was the premiere of the movie HOME, promoted by UN, Green Nation Fest and Europa Films together, which took place at Cine Odeon, in Rio de Janeiro, on 5 June 2009. The celebration counted over 350 including authorities, journalists, NGOs, students and people that are interested on environmental matters.

 The event was co-hosted by the director of CIMA (Centre of Culture, Information and Environment) and speeches were delivered the UNEP Representative, on behalf of the UNEP and the UNCT, UNIC – Rio, Europa Films, and Ministry of Environment by Secretary of Citizenship and Institutional Coordination.

The UNCT have also created a folder with the Daily do Something Tips that was widely disseminated during WED events.

UNEP Brazil has launched a hot site as a mirror of UNEP webpage aiming to bring Portuguese speakers information on the campaigns and all materials prepared for the WED.

UNESCO Brazil and ADASA (Water, Energy and Basic Sanitation Regulator Agency in the Federal District) celebrated the World Environment Day with the signature of a Technical Cooperation Term, intended for the implementation of studies on the water resources area.  The ceremony took place at the Visiting Centre of Jardim Botanico, in Brasilia, and counted with the presence of the governor of the Federal District. The cooperation agreement was signed by UNESCO Brazil, ADASA and the Director of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency.

The Brazilian Congress joined the Ministry of Environment in the A3P program – the Public Administration Environment Agenda that already gathers 83 public institutions.  During the ceremony it was launched the A3P Award – that is co-sponsored by UNEP and will be delivered to the public institutions that will present the best environmental performance by the end of the year.

 UNEP also supported the Environmental Team of Caixa Economica Federal (official development bank responsible for housing and sanitation) in the preparation of events that took place in Brasília during the Environment week, including the launching of a sustainable building seal (Casa Azul). There was also a award ceremony of the 6 bank´s agencies that best performed on water and energy efficient use. The event counted on the participation of the President of Caixa Economica Federal, Minister Carlos Minc and UNEP representative.

Caixa also organized with UNEP the presentation of HOME in Brasilia. The movie was watched by over 450 people and closed the WED events of 2009.

For more infromation, please contact:
Cristina Montenegro
EQSW 103/104-lOTE 1- Bloco C- 2 andar
Tel: +55 61 30389233
Fax: +55 61 30389239
E-mail: pnuma.brasil@pnuma.org

BRAZIL

UNCT Brazil is fully engaged in the WED and together we designed a series of activities listed below using spot, Home, poster and other UNEP initiatives such as the billion tree, and the CCCC guide. The UNCT is also sharing the costs translation of the documents and hospitality. Main planned activities are:

  1. Launching of the HOME on 5 June – Europa films have kindly agreed to release the film that will be presented in a special session in Rio.  Ministry of Environment and UNEP representative in Brazil will deliver the WED message together with other UN representatives. The ceremony will take place at the Odeon – an iconic movie theater followed by a cocktails,  with expected participation of special guests politicians, environmentalists, artists, film makers and the press.
  2. UNEP TV spot “United to combat climate change” will be broadcasted by a GloboNews and/or BandNews (kind of Brazilian CNN) and also on airports and airplanes.
  3. Folders on the 12 steps to help you kick the CO2 habit” and will refer to CCCC. Kick the habit have been revised and adapted to the local  environmental conditions and translated to Portuguese and some 10,000  copies will be distributed during the above events among others;
  4. A WED hot site has been developed in Portuguese and will be on air  for approx. 4 weeks (will advise electronic address shortly)
  5. Poster of the WED campaign will be printed and distributed (number pending on-going fund raising)
  6. Launching in Brasilia of a book produced by UNESCO on climate change.

NORTH AMERICA

Santiago del Estero, Argentina

      

Omaha, NE

North American celebrations for World Environment Day, observed annually on 5 June, will centre on Omaha, Nebraska.

Businesses, organizations and individuals in the host city, Omaha, will work with the UNEP Regional Office for North America (RONA) to schedule a series of events for the Day, as well as activities for the six weeks between Earth Day on 22 April and World Environment Day.

“It is important to bring this message to all parts of the United States, and we are proud to be partnering with the City of Omaha on World Environment Day 2009,” said Amy Fraenkel, Director of RONA.
 
Events in Omaha and at venues around the world will highlight resources, initiatives and methods that promote low carbon economies and lifestyles, such as improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption, among others.

Bayer Corporation, UNEP’s World Environment Day partner in North America, will sponsor the youth programme for the Day, which includes the opening of a special exhibition of the International Children’s Painting Competition (ICPC), an awards ceremony for ICPC North American winners and an interactive environmental workshop for Omaha students led by Mae C. Jemison, a scientist and the first African-American female astronaut.

Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, will serve as the international host city for this year’s World Environment Day, whose theme is “Your Planet Needs You – UNite to Combat Climate Change,” and which seeks to propel nations to reach agreement on a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol in Copenhagen in December.

New York, NY

  • The observance of WED in New York included:
  • Launch of "Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009", by the Executive Director, on 3 June
  • Meeting between the Executive Director and Climate Hero Sho Scott for his upcoming Japan bike ride
  • Screening of "Earth: the Sequel", co-sponsored by the UN-NGO Values Caucus, at UNHQ, 4 June
  • Opening of Photographic Exhibit “Shared Destiny: Wildlife from Africa to the Arctic”, featuring work of UNEP
  • Climate Hero Luo Hong and Nigel Barker, at UNHQ, 4 June
  • WED Interfaith Service to Honor the Earth, at the UN Church Center, 5 June
  • “Seal the Deal” multimedia banner/petition signing, at UNHQ, 5 June
  • Screening of documentary “Between Fire and Water”, co-hosted by Mexico, at UNHQ, 5 June
  • Reception for the screening of “Home”, hosted by the French Mission, 5 June
  • Outdoor Film screening of “Home”, in NYC’s Central Park, 5 June (rain date 7 June)

WEST ASIA

ROWA will organize the following activities in commemorating WED and takes it as opportunity for catalyzing civil society.

1- Youth and children celebrate the World Environment Day 2009 in West Asia

Activities prior to the event
 
(i) Plant for the planet

- This activity is inspired by the campaign that UNEP launches previously (in 2003) in order to develop a culture of planting and caring for trees and plants among children in schools. It could also be considered as a part of the billion tree campaign.  In this regard, students should cultivate trees and/or plants during 2 months before June 5th. This activity aims at involving children into UNEP’s activities and gives them a sense of responsibility in taking care of their plants.

(ii) Waste paper recycling

- In collaboration with our partner ALBA (Aluminum Bahrain) bins should be distributed to 5 schools in order to recycle waste paper. The objective in achieving this activity is to develop skills and add tools to the process of facing environmental challenges.

(iii) Clean up campaign
 
- This activity aims at establishing a campaign that should mobilize students to clean up and conserve their local environment. The clean up campaign includes coastal and marine areas.

WED’s celebration in the City Center Mall
 
- Students’ contribution also includes songs, plays and other activities related to the theme of this year. They will also address letters to experts, officials and decision makers around the world. The celebration will be held in the biggest commercial center in Bahrain, the City Center where students will involve public into their activities.

(iv)The World Environment Day in the MEDIA

Newspapers

A Press release will be issued before each activity and on 3 June.

Radio and TV

In collaboration with Bahrain TV, the overall activities will be shot in order to make later a video clip that will be disseminated through the television and through  LCDs in the city center.

Video messages from officials should be disseminated through Bahrain Radio and television. (It should be a great pleasure if ED could provide us with a video message).

Bahrain TV in collaboration with UNEP/ROWA will broadcast an emission on the climate change and which gathers experts and youth.

Moreover, Future TV in Lebanon in collaboration with NGOs (particularly Arcenciel) will campaign for WED.

WED’s logo on the phone cards

Telecommunication corporations (Batelco and Zain) might issue phone cards for May and June with WED’s logo as design. (Ongoing discussions)

Mupis


Caption: I want to help protect the environment to save the world for the future

Billboards (called mupis) are one of the best vehicles to disseminate messages. Kassab Media Marketing will provide us with 40 mupis during one month starting from 5 May to 7 June.
                                                                                                           
AFGHANISTAN - Kabul:

  • Awareness-raising campaign through schools and mosques (including distribution of all our EE materials such educational storybook, posters, Islam and environment publication, banners, etc.) in the week leading up to 5 June in the larger neighbourhood (approx. 1,500 households) in which our office is situated through local environment NGO.
  • Neighbourhood clean-up on WED itself (which is a day off here, and coincides with Friday prayers, so likely to be very successful).
  • This event is partly to create an impression amongst the community in which we work that we are giving something back to the community, which doesn't happen much here amongst international agencies, and which is likely to improve the security of our compound and therefore our staff.

 
AFGHANISTAN - Bamiyan:

  • Children's nature painting and essay writing competitions (as our focus is on CBNRM and protected areas in this province).
  • Followed by usual talk-shop kind of event with key political and other provincial figures making speeches and have tea, etc afterwards.
  • This bigger profile media event is a good opportunity for us to launch our new office in the province.
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