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MEDIA REPORTS

INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

This page was updated on: 01/13/10

 

2007

 

Intergovernmental Organization Media Reports Archives: 2010; 2009; 2008; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002

 

DECEMBER 2007

UNEP INITIATES OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN IN REPUBLIC OF KOREA
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has set in motion an emergency action plan to help the Republic of Korea respond to an oil spill caused by the oil tanker Hebei Spirit’s collision with a barge on 7 December 2007, resulting in 10,500 metric tonnes of crude oil being released into the sea. The oil slick is affecting approximately 160 km of coastline near an important habitat for birds. A joint UN-EU rapid environmental assessment team was also sent to help the authorities mitigate the effects of the spill.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 18 December 2007

2007 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT EXAMINES CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT
On 27 November 2007, the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report on ‘Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world’ was launched in Brasilia, Brazil, with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as well as the Spanish Minister for Development, Leire Pajin, on hand. Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator, stressed that this year’s Global Human Development Report, a UNDP flagship publication, was being launched at a significant time, as governments were preparing to gather in Bali to negotiate the roadmap for further negotiations on commitments for the post-2012 period. He also noted that the Report will help galvanize action of UN Country Teams working with national counterparts on climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness. Kevin Watkins, UNDP’s lead author of the Report, stressed the threat of climate change to development given that the world’s poorest people are most vulnerable to its consequences. He said the Report argues that, with the right reforms, many of the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions can be reversed without sacrificing economic growth. To achieve this goal, the Report proposes a combination of carbon taxation, cap-and-trade programmes, energy policies and technology transfers. 

Links to further information
Human Development Report 2007/2008: Fighting Climate Change – Human Solidarity in a Divided World
UNDP Newsroom

REPORT SAYS JOB OPPORTUNITIES OFFER SILVER LINING TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Addressing the challenges of climate change will also imply significant new employment opportunities states a preliminary draft report, Green Jobs: Can the Transition to Environmental Sustainability Spur New Kinds and Higher Levels of Employment?, commissioned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Referring to the report, UNEP’s Executive Director Achim Steiner said that: “The transition is being spurred on by the existing Kyoto climate agreement with its carbon trading and clean development mechanisms and the anticipation of further and more decisive emissions reductions post-2012.” The final report will be released in early 2008.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 6 December 2007

UNGA PREPARES FOR ADOPTION OF FOREST INSTRUMENT
The UN Secretariat is organizing a High-Level Special Event during the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Plenary Session on 17 December 2007, titled “The Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (NLBI) – Heralding a New Era in Implementing Sustainable Forest Management.”  This event will follow the expected adoption of the NLBI by the UNGA on the same day. The NLBI was adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council in October 2007, after having been negotiated and adopted by the UN Forum on Forests earlier in the year.

Link to further information
Under-Secretary General’s letter informing Permanent Missions about the event, 3 December 2007

NOVEMBER 2007

 

UNEP TREE-PLANTING CAMPAIGN REACHES GOAL

Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign has achieved its objective of planting one billion trees worldwide, according to a press release issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on 28 November 2007. The campaign was initiated by UNEP, the World Agroforestry Centre and Prince Albert II of Monaco in November 2006, inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, the founder of the Kenyan Green Belt Movement, with the aim of catalyzing the pledging and planting of one billion trees in 2007. The billionth tree planted is believed to be in Ethiopia, which planted close to 700 million trees, primarily the African olive tree and the African pencil cedar, making it the campaign’s top-ranking country.

 

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 28 November 2007

TREE-PLANTING CAMPAIGN REACHES GOAL
On 28 November 2007, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced that Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign had achieved its objective of planting one billion trees worldwide. The campaign was initiated by UNEP, the World Agroforestry Centre and Prince Albert II of Monaco in November 2006, inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, the founder of the Kenyan Green Belt Movement, with the aim of catalyzing pledges and the planting of one billion trees in 2007. The billionth tree planted is believed to be in Ethiopia, which to date has planted close to 700 million trees, primarily the African Olive tree and the African pencil cedar, making it the campaign’s top-ranking country.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 28 November 2007

UNEP AND REPUBLIC OF KOREA TO ESTABLISH ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST FUND
On 22 November 2007, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced an agreement with the Republic of Korea to establish a Trust Fund that addresses key environmental issues in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), with the Republic of Korea contributing US$ 4.4 million. The Trust Fund will focus on forest depletion, declining water quality, air pollution, land degradation and biodiversity in the DPRK, in addition to supporting eco-housing initiatives, environmental education, the clean development mechanism and renewable energy technology. In 2004, UNEP signed a Framework Agreement for Cooperation in Environment with the DPRK, and published the first DPRK State of the Environment report.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 22 November 2007

UNEP ESTABLISHES SCIENCE PANEL TO BOOST RESOURCE EFFICIENT GROWTH
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced the establishment of an International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management on 9 November 2007, at the World Science Forum in Budapest, Hungary. The Panel’s overall aim is to provide scientific assessments on the use intensity, security of supplies and environmental impacts of selected products and services on a global level, with a view to boosting resource efficient growth and innovation. The Panel will be supported by a Secretariat hosted by the Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch of UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, based in Paris, France.

Link to further information
UNEP press release, 9 November 2007

UNEP LAUNCHES ALTERNATIVE ENERGY GENERATION INITIATIVES

Two alternative energy projects, led the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), aiming to develop new forms of indigenous energy in parts of Africa, were launched on 8 November 2007. Cogeneration for Africa seeks to use waste from the sugar industry to generate electricity, and the initiative has been endorsed by, among others, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia. Greening the Tea Industry entails a small-scale hydro initiative to deliver power to tea plantations across Eastern and Southern Africa. The projects are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy costs and enhance the sugar and tea industries’ global competitiveness.

 

Link to further information

UNEP Press release, 8 November 2007

 

ENVIRONMENTAL DATABASE MADE ACCESSIBLE FOR MORE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced on 16 November 2007 that more than 100 developing countries now have access to one of the world’s largest online databases of environmental science research. The “Online Access to Research in the Environment” (OARE) project, coordinated by UNEP, Yale University, the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers, and over 340 international publishers and scientific societies, was launched in 2006 to offer this free or low-cost service to 70 of the world’s least developed countries. The objective of the project is to assist in bridging the North-South scientific and digital divide, and to strengthen environmental institutions in developing nations.

 

Links to further information

OARE press release, 6 November 2007
OARE official website

UNEP AND UNDP TO ASSESS OIL CONTAMINATION IN THE NIGER DELTA
Further to a request from the Nigerian government, the Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will conduct a comprehensive assessment of oil contamination in the Ogoni region of the Niger Delta. The assessment will operate within the Programme Framework for Improving Human Development in that region, led by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The past exploration and production of oil in the area have caused spills that continue to be problematic, and since their suspension 15 years ago, the lack of maintenance of the infrastructure has led to further contamination.

Link to further information
UN News Center, 5 November 2007

 

OCTOBER 2007

UNEP ANNOUNCES PLAN TO ASSIST CONSERVATION OF GORILLAS IN DRC
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced that it will assist the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) government in drafting and developing national environmental laws, regulations and guidelines. One of the objectives of the initiative is to assist in the conservation of gorillas and sustainable livelihoods in the Virunga National Park. It also calls for posting a UNEP expert in the country to provide environmental support to the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) and the UN Country Team, including environmental impact assessments for proposed development projects.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 26 October 2007

UNEP REPORT ASSESSES CURRENT STATE OF GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched its Global Environment Outlook: environment for development (GEO-4) report on 25 October 2007, highlighting that climate change, the extinction of species and the deterioration of fisheries are among the major global threats that require urgent action. GEO-4 offers the most comprehensive UN report on the environment, and was prepared by about 390 experts across the world. It assesses the current state of the global atmosphere, land, water and biodiversity, describing changes in the past two decades, and offers an outlook using four scenarios to explore futures to the year 2050.

Links to further information
UNEP Press release, 25 October 2007
GEO-4 report

UNGA PRESIDENT PROVIDES UPDATED INFORMATION ON UN REFORM PROCESSES
In a letter dated 4 October 2007, the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Srgjan Kerim, informed UN member States that Claude Heller (Mexico) and Peter Maurer (Switzerland) have agreed to continue to serve as Co-Chairs for the UNGA consultations on International Environmental Governance (IEG). The IEG consultations will resume on 26 October 2007, and at this meeting member States will be given a second opportunity to respond to the Co-chairs’ Options Paper. In addition, UNGA President Kerim has forwarded the Report of the Co-Chairs of the UNGA consultations on System-Wide Coherence. The report’s conclusions include, inter alia: that the Secretary-General should commission an independent assessment of the current UN system of IEG; and that member States should agree on the composition and mandate of the Sustainable Development Board by September 2007, and the Board should convene its first session by June 2008.

Links to further information
UNGA President Srgjan Kerim’s letter, 4 October 2007
Report of the Co-chairs of the UNGA consultations on System-Wide Coherence

INTERNATIONAL CLEANUP EVENT SHARES RESULTS ON INTERNET
The International Cleanup Weekend, jointly organized by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Google, took place from 13-14 October 2007, inviting community groups and individuals on all continents to clean up local parks, beaches and streets, and share their results on the Internet. According to the International Cleanup Weekend website, 287 cleanups were carried out by 3000 people in 35 countries worldwide.

Link to further information
UNEP News release, 4 October 2007
International Cleanup Weekend website
 

BLOG ACTION DAY FOCUSES ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
The first-ever Blog Action Day took place on 15 October 2007, giving bloggers around the world the opportunity to push for environmental protection. More than 14 million readers have viewed the 15,000 blogs participating in the event that was supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). In a news release, UNEP reported that, by raising awareness of environmental issues, the global blogging community hopes to reach millions of people and spur debate.

Links to further information
UNEP News release, 12 October 2007
Blog Action Day website

FOUR NATIONS INITIATIVE ISSUES REPORT ON UN GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
The Four Nations Initiative (4NI), which involved Chile, South Africa, Sweden and Thailand, has issued proposals on improved governance and management of the UN Secretariat, from the perspective of UN member states. The four countries released their final report on 13 September 2007 at a meeting to which all UN member and observer states were invited. “Towards a Compact: Proposals for Improved Governance and Management of the United Nations Secretariat” is based on six months of consultations with member states and UN Secretariat representatives, and contains 32 specific proposals on improved governance and management of the UN Secretariat. It discusses questions of accountability and transparency in connection to three central work processes of the UN, the mandate cycle, the planning and budgetary process and human resources, and offers proposals and ideas on how to improve dialogue and arenas between the member states and between member states and the UN Secretariat.

Links to further information
The report: Towards a Compact: Proposals for Improved Governance and Management of the United Nations Secretariat
The 4NI website

NEW ZEALAND TO HOST 2008 WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
On 1 October 2007, the UN Environment Programme announced that New Zealand, which is one of the first countries to pledge a carbon-neutral future, will be the main host of World Environment Day on 5 June 2008. The global 2008 celebrations will focus on solutions and opportunities for countries, companies and communities to "kick the habit" and de-carbonize their economies and life-styles.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 1 October 2007

SEPTEMBER 2007

UNEP AWARDS PRIZE TO LOCAL LEVEL CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS
UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has awarded the Sasakawa Prize 2007 to two non-governmental initiatives in South Africa and Bangladesh for their efforts to combat climate change on the local level: Jeunesse Park for initiating the design of the first carbon calculator in South Africa, making it easy and affordable for government, institutions and communities to offset carbon emissions; and the organization Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha for travelling through Bangladesh’s extensive river network to bring environmental education and renewable energy supplies to local communities.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 27 September 2007

UNESCO ADDS NEW SITES TO BIOSPHERE RESERVE NETWORK
Following a recent meeting in Paris, France, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added 23 sites to its Man and the Biosphere Programme. The additional sites include, inter alia, habitats in three countries that have not been part of the Programme before: mangroves in El Salvador; limestone formations in Qatar; and sea grass beds and coral reefs in the United Arab Emirates. Launched in 1970, the Man and Biosphere Programme targets the ecological, social and economic dimensions of biodiversity loss and uses its network of biosphere reserves as vehicles for knowledge-sharing, research and participatory decision-making. The biosphere reserves currently include 529 sites in 105 countries.

Link to further information
UNESCO press release, 20 September 2007

UNEP TO STEP UP ENVIRONMENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN DRC
On 17 September 2007, a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) fact finding mission arrived in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to explore conservation efforts in protected areas, institutional capacity building, and ways to mitigate the impact of human activities on environment and natural resources, with a view to improving UNEP’s involvement in environmental activities in the DRC. The current mission is a result of specific recommendations made after the joint UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-UNEP mission to the Virunga National Park in the DRC in August 2007, tasked to investigate the death of a number of mountain gorillas.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 17 September 2007

UN ANNOUNCES MDG FESTIVAL TO BE HELD IN 2008
The UN announced that it will organize a MDG Festival in June 2008, which will feature high-profile international celebrities and entertainers who will present awards for outstanding achievements to promote the Millennium Development Goals.

Links to further information
UN News Centre, 12 September 2007

UNGA ADOPTS DECLARATION ON RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
On 13 September 2007, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. One hundred forty-three member States voted in favor of the Declaration, while eleven abstained and Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US voted against the non-binding text, which addresses the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, and their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues.

Link to further information
UNPFII website

AUGUST 2007

“ONE UN” PILOTS REPORT PROGRESS, CHALLENGES
The UN Development Group (UNDG) has reported that in spite of progress, the One UN pilot countries still face significant challenges. The One UN pilot initiative will test in eight countries how the UN family and its many agencies can deliver in a more coordinated way at the country level, with the aim being to ensure more effective development operations and accelerated progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. According to UNDG, to the pilot countries face challenges in ensuring programmatic coherence and strategic focus at the same time as agency inclusiveness; evaluation of the impact of the pilots; accountability and authority; and operationalization of “One Offices.”

Meanwhile, a retreat held in July 2007 in Cape Verde endorsed more detailed and inclusive outputs as regards their “Delivering as One” programme and agreed to enlarge cooperation among UN agencies. In Rwanda, the One UN Steering Committee has approved the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) that will lead the activities of the UN in Rwanda for the period 2008-2012.

Links to further information
Formula One Newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 4, July-August 2007

Reports from support missions to pilot countries

UNEP AWARDS LIFE-CYCLE PROJECTS IN BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA AND ZIMBABWE
The 2007 winners of the new UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Award include three projects that offer new approaches to assessing the environmental impacts of sugar production in South Africa, the life-cycle of newsprint paper in Zimbabwe, and the impacts of unsustainable practices on Brazil's biodiversity. The award recognizes work from academics and private companies in developing and emerging economies who have started innovative projects based on the “life-cycle approach,” which relate to the environmental impacts a product’s production, use and disposal.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 28 August 2007

UN MISSION EMPHASIZES LOCAL INVOLVEMENT FOR PRESERVATION OF MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
An expert mission supported by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and tasked to investigate the recent slaughter of nine mountain gorillas of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), concluded its 11-day visit by stressing that local communities involvement are central to efforts to preserving the endangered species. The press release issued on 22 August 2007 also stated that representatives of the DRC authorities and the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) have pledged their support for the preservation of the mountain gorillas.

Link to further information
UNESCO Press release, 22 August 2007

UN MISSION TO INVESTIGATE KILLINGS OF GORILLAS IN DRC
An expert mission supported by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to probe the recent,  apparently senseless, slaughter of mountain gorillas, a highly endangered species inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage in Danger list. The mission will investigate the reasons for targeting the animals and propose measures for their protection and for improving the conservation of the site. Some 700 mountain gorillas are estimated to still live in the area of the DRC’s border with Uganda and Rwanda.

Link to further information
UN News release, 10 August 2007

BROWN CLOUDS COUPLED WITH GHG EMISSIONS ENDANGER ASIAN WATER SUPPLIES
A new analysis of pollution-filled “brown clouds” over south Asia, carried out at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC, San Diego, US, finds that atmospheric brown clouds containing soot and trace metals from a variety of urban, industrial and agricultural sources have enhanced solar heating of the lower atmosphere by about 50 percent. The Scripps paper, published in the 2 August 2007 edition of the journal Nature, concludes that the combined heating effect of greenhouse gases and the brown clouds is enough to explain the withdrawal of Himalayan glaciers observed in the past half century. The glaciers supply water to major Asian rivers, which comprise the principal water supply for billions of people in China and India.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 1 August 2007

POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE LAUNCHES PORTAL
The launch of the portal UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) in July 2007 marked another milestone in the process of scaling-up the UNDP-UNEP global partnership on PEI. The website will be gradually built up as part of the knowledge management programme of the newly established UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Facility in Nairobi. In early September 2007, the
Division of Regional Cooperation will share with partners and stakeholders an overall update on the status of and future plans for PEI scale-up and the Poverty-Environment Facility.

Link to further information
PEI website

JULY 2007

UNEP AND ECA TO COOPERATE ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
At a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 23 July 2007, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) announced their intention to cooperate on African environment-related issues, including the economic costs of climate change and financing the shift to a low-carbon economy. They also decided to revise their existing agreement to cover environmental statistics, adaptation economics, and sustainable production and consumption.

Link to further information
UN News release, 23 July 2007

UNDP SETS OUT TO JUMP-START CARBON MARKET IN EASTERN EUROPE AND THE CIS

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has launched the project Leveraging Carbon Finance for Sustainable Development in South-eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), aiming to develop public and private sector capacities to access carbon finance, identify opportunities, and provide project management services to individual projects to help jump-start a carbon market in the region. To date participation in the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI), has been limited in many of these countries due to low awareness and understanding of carbon finance. Within the framework of UNDP’s carbon finance project, however, capacity-building initiatives have been initiated in Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Uzbekistan, as well as pilot efforts in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, with Macedonia recently presenting a strategy, developed with UNDP support, to enable participation in CDM. Training was also held recently in Ukraine to build private sector capacity to initiate and develop JI projects.

 

Link to further information

UNDP Press release, 12 July 2007

 

UNICEF PARTNERS WITH THE EU TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO WATER TO DJIBOUTI’S POOR

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the EU and the government of Djibouti have entered into a partnership to provide access to clean drinking water to at least 25,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable rural residents of the country. Through the venture, the EU will provide UNICEF with two million Euros for its water and sanitation programme with the Ministry of Agriculture. The agency will provide technical expertise and contribute an additional 60,000 Euros. The EU and UNICEF partnership programme aims to install water facilities and strengthen community participation in maintaining the water infrastructure in Djibouti.


Link to further information

UNICEF Press Release, 2 July 2007

UNDP-GEF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION PROJECT REPORTS PROGRESS
The UN Development Programme-Global Environment Facility’s (UNDP-GEF) project Biodiversity conservation in coffee, which seeks to protect coffee farmers and biodiversity in Latin America, is making strides, according to a project report dated 14 June 2007. The project focuses on establishing new, environmentally and socially responsible ways of doing business, and one of the main strategies is to transform productive practices in the coffee sector by increasing market demand for certified sustainable coffee. The project works with major coffee traders, roasters and importers to increase the volumes of Rainforest Alliance certified (RAC) coffee, one of the most rigorous and complete sustainability standards in the coffee industry. An early success has been the announcement that 1,200 McDonald’s restaurants in the UK and Ireland will exclusively sell RAC coffee.

Link to further information
UNDP-GEF Project report

JUNE 2007

UNEP FI LAUNCHES CLIMATE CHANGE DECLARATION BY FINANCE SECTOR
The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) launched its “Declaration on Climate Change by the Financial Services Sector,” signed by over 20 of UNEP FI member companies, on 5 June 2007. The declaration states, among other things, that: anthropogenic climate change is real; the cost of inaction will be extremely high; financial institutions must take greater action and integrate climate change into their everyday decision-making; and governments need to set ambitious, long-term targets for emissions reduction. The statement will remain open for endorsement in the run-up to the climate change negotiations in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007.

Link to further information
UNEP FI Statement, 5 June 2007

UNESCO REMOVES SITES FROM WORLD HERITAGE IN DANGER
The UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee, which is meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand from 23 June-2 July 2007, has announced that The Everglades National Park in the United States and Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve in Honduras have been removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The objective of the World Heritage Committee’s meeting is to examine the state of conservation of sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Link to further information
UN News release, 24 June 2007

UNDP LAUNCHES MDG CARBON FACILITY
On 5 June 2007, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced the launch of its MDG Carbon Facility, as well as an agreement with the banking and insurance company Fortis, designating it to be the financial services provider for the Facility. The MDG Carbon Facility is a mechanism seeking to provide assistance to greenhouse gas reduction projects in the developing world, as well as to harness the resources of the carbon market to deliver real, sustainable benefits to the environment and contribute to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Fortis’ role will be to purchase and sell on the emissions-reduction credits generated by these projects, and the profits from the purchases will provide developing countries with resources to finance investment and to promote development. The MDG Carbon Facility will operate within the framework of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation and aims to address the CDM’s current limitations in terms of geographical reach and focus on “end of pipe” technologies. The partnership between UNDP and Fortis covers an initial pipeline of projects which will generate 15 million credits during the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period (2008-2012).

Links to further information
UNDP Press release, 5 June 2007
MDG Carbon Facility website

UN REFORM PILOTS STARTING TO DEVELOP “ONE UN” PROGRAMMES
Several countries that are part of the “One UN” pilot initiative, which will test how the UN family can deliver in a more coordinated way at country level, have started to develop “One Programmes” by translating their joint vision, detailed by their UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), into a joint operational document. Viet Nam, which started before the “One UN” pilot initiative, has operationalized part of its UNDAF in a “One Plan” of six UN entities that will be amended to include a further five UN agencies in 2008. Mozambique has produced a common operational document and Rwanda just finalized a draft outline of a similar document. Albania has been drafting a “One Programme Framework,” while Cape Verde is discussing how other agencies can become involved in the Executive Committee agencies’ (i.e. UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP) existing common operational document.

Link to further information
Formula One Newsletter, Issue 3, June 2007

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY STATEMENTS CALL FOR ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
World Environment Day – 5 June 2007 – was celebrated globally under the theme “Melting Ice – A Hot Topic?” To mark the day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wrote an opinion column for The International Herald Tribune in which he noted that “Solutions to global warming proposed by developed nations cannot come at the expense of less fortunate neighbours on the planet.” Leaders of several UN agencies and their partners urged the G8 leaders to adopt emissions targets during their 6-8 June 2007 meeting, with senior officials from the UN Development Programme, the Convention on Biodiversity and the World Conservation Union encouraging G8 leaders “to protect the diversity of life on earth and support adaptation and mitigation of climate change” and the heads of more than 20 financial service companies who are members of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative calling on G8 leaders to adopt deep emission reduction targets no later than 2009.

Links to further information
UN news reports, 5 June 2007

UN news reports, 5 June 2007

 

MAY 2007

45 SITES NOMINATED FOR INCLUSION ON WORLD HERITAGE LIST
In a press release on 31 May 2007, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announce that 45 sites have been nominated for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The nominated sites this year include 11 natural sites, 32 cultural sites and two mixed sites. The World Heritage Committee will consider requests for the inscription of the new sites on the World Heritage List at its meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand, from 27 June-2 July 2007.

Links to more information
UNESCO Press release, 31 May 2007
The World Heritage List

GLOBAL COMPACT INTRODUCES BUSINESS LEADERSHIP PLATFORM ON CLIMATE CHANGE
In a press release on 30 May 2007, the UN Global Compact introduced the statement “Caring for Climate: The Business Leadership Platform,” drafted by the UN Environment Programme, WBCSD and Global Compact, which provides a practical platform for Global Compact participants to advance climate change solutions and demonstrate leadership. Global Compact anticipates that a significant number of business leaders will become signatories of the statement, and expects that the occasion of the Global Compact Leaders Summit (Geneva, Switzerland, 5-6 July 2007) will be used to express the urgent need to address climate change.

Links to further information
UN Global Compact Press release, 30 May 2007
The Statement

INDONESIAN TEENAGERS AWARDED FOR IMPROVING LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
Two teenage girls from Indonesia, Wening Pranaya and Vania Santoso, have received first prize in the Volvo-UNEP Adventure Award 2007. Their project ‘Waste for a Better Future’ involves removing rubbish and recycling it into souvenirs with the additional advantage of adding value and helping overcome poverty. The Volvo Adventure, in partnership with UNEP, is an educational programme that rewards environmental projects undertaken by young people to improve their local environment. ‘Waste for a Better Future’ competed against 365 projects submitted from 47 countries worldwide.

Link to further information
UNEP Press release, 30 May 2007

QATAR TO HOST FOLLOW-UP TO UNGA DEBATE ON MDGs
In a letter dated 7 May 2007, UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa has informed UN Member States about the meeting entitled “Financing Development to achieve the MDGs” to take place in Doha, Qatar, from 17-18 June 2007, which is a follow-up to the thematic debate “Partnerships to achieve the MDGs,” held in November 2006. The meeting will focus on translating existing commitments into action, reviewing developing country efforts to implement scaled up Millennium Development Goal (MDG) strategies, and exploring innovative financing sources, and could serve as an input to the preparatory process of the ‘Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus,’ which will convene in Doha in the second half of 2008.

Links to further information
UNGA President’s letter, 7 May 2007
Draft programme

UNEP, UNDP AND WORLD BANK TO STRENGTHEN COOPERATION ON ENERGY ACCESS
At a Ministerial luncheon during the Commission on Sustainable Development at UN Headquarters, New York, US, on 10 May 2007, representatives from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank expressed their commitment to strengthen their cooperation on energy access, with a view to supporting poverty reduction and sustainable development. The cooperation will build on existing partnerships such as the UNEP/UNDP Poverty Environment Facility and collaboration between UNDP and the World Bank on strategies for reducing poverty.

Links to further information
UNPD Press release, 10 May 2007
IISD RS coverage of the side event

RAMSAR, UNESCO AND IUCN SIGN MOU WITH AIRLINE GROUP
On 14 May 2007, the Ramsar Convention, UNESCO-Man and the Biosphere (MAB) and IUCN-the World Conservation Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Star Alliance airline group, thereby launching “Biosphere Connections.” This new programme will develop over the next years as a key means to communicate to the wider public the activities of the three organizations. In addition, under the partnership, the Star Alliance will assist field workers from the three environmental agencies with transport to relevant meetings.

Links to further information
Ramsar Press Release, 14 May 2007
IUCN press release, 14 May 2007
Biosphere connections website

ALBANIA LAUNCHES ONE UN PILOT PROGRAMME
On 14 May 2007, the Government of Albania together with a number of UN Agencies launched the country’s One UN Pilot Initiative. By way of a nationally led process, UN Agencies in Albania are developing the One UN Programme to enhance their efficiency and collaboration. The programme will focus on addressing national priorities such as: more transparent and accountable government; increased access to quality basic services; gender equality; and the environment.

Link to further information
UNDP Press release, 14 May 2007

UNEP/CHINESE INITIATIVE TO CURB ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME
An initiative to assist customs officers in China deal with multi-billion dollar environmental crime has been initiated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), secretariats of multilateral environment agreements (MEAs), the Chemical Weapons Convention, the World Customs Organisation and Interpol. The effort seeks to equip customs officials with the necessary skills and know-how to address this growing problem. A wide range of chemicals are controlled, banned or subject to phase outs under MEAs, nonetheless, environmental crime and illegal trade is estimated to be valued at tens of billion dollars a year.


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UNEP Press release, 16 May 2007

EQUATOR PRIZE AWARDED TO FIVE COMMUNITY GROUPS
The UN Development Programme announced the winners of the Equator Prize on 22 May 2007 during a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York, US. Five community groups from tropical regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America won the US$ 30,000 prize for their initiatives to alleviate poverty while conserving local biodiversity. The honor recognized efforts to: sustainably manage an octopus fishery in Madagascar; conserve grasslands and savannah as part of an ecotourism venture in Kenya; conserve nut forests in Guatemala; promote the alternative use of marine resources and control invasive plant species in Ecuador; and deliver information to locals about sustainable agricultural practices and market prices in Bangladesh.

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UNDP news release, 22 May 2007

Webcast of announcement

 

UNEP ANNOUNCES THAT BILLION TREE CAMPAIGN HIT GOAL ON INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
The UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) campaign to secure pledges to plant one billion trees has achieved its goal seven months early. To mark International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May 2007, Senegal pledged to plant 20 million trees, taking the campaign over its target. The campaign will now switch to ensuring that the pledges result in one billion planted trees by the end of the year.


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UNEP news release, 22 May 2007

UN INITIATIVE ON RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT GAINING MOMENTUM
The Principles of Responsible Investment, an initiative of the UN Global Compact and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), has announced that, on its first anniversary, it
has attained over 180 leading institutional signatories, representing more than US$ 8 trillion in assets under management. The Principles of Responsible Investment are voluntary and provide a framework for analyzing environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues in the investment process. The newly established PRI Engagement Clearinghouse is the first global collaborative forum for investors to work together and share knowledge to take action on ESG issues.

Link to further information
Principles of Responsible Investment Press release, 29 April 2007

APRIL 2007

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL HOLDS CLIMATE TALKS WITH BARROSO, GORE
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has held meetings with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and former US Vice President Al Gore, with climate change the key topic of discussion. The Secretary-General reiterated his strong commitment to the issue and mobilizing political will, and said he would raise the issue during the G8 Summit in June.

Link to further information
UN news release, 27 April 2007

UN LAUNCHES LEADERSHIP CAPACITY SCHEME FOR WORLD’S POOREST COUNTRIES
On 25 April 2007, the UN launched a programme to assist least developed countries (LDCs) in developing their national leadership capacity to address key development challenges, ranging from HIV/AIDS to poverty reduction. The programme will initially pilot in nine countries, including Cambodia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Anwarul K. Chowdhury, UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing States and Small Island Developing States, has indicated that, if successful, the initiative will be extend to 20 LDCs by the end of 2007 and will cover all 50 LDCs by next year.   

Links to further information
Zeenews.com, 28 April 2007
UN-Office of the
High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing States and Small Island Developing States website

INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES COORDINATE ACTION TO ADDRESS ILI-BALKHASH BASIN ISSUES IN KAZAKHSTAN
To coordinate their activities, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Centre in Almaty (Kazakhstan), the European Commission’s delegation to the Republic of Kazakhstan, the World Bank, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) and IHP met at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) office in Almaty, where they agreed to enhance their cooperation to address the threats faced by the Ili-Balkhash Basin. The Basin is affected by uncontrolled water consumption and pollution from growing industrial and agricultural needs. 

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European Commission’s Press release, 17 April 2007  

UN PUBLIC INFORMATION TO FOCUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND MDGS
Recently appointed UN Under-Secretary-General Kiyotaka Akasaka has outlined the priorities of the Department for Public Information for 2007, stating that attention will be paid to four themes: peace and security; climate change; development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and human rights. Akasaka also drew attention to the wide reach of the UN website, which logs over 50 million unique visits annually, and the important work of the UN Information Centres operating in various countries.

Link to further information
UN News release, 30 April 2007

UNESCO URGES DRC TO END KILLING OF ENDANGERED ANIMALS IN WORLD HERITAGE SITES

In a letter from Koïchiro Matsuura, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Director-General, to Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Jean-Marie Guehenno, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Matsuura urges that measures be taken to stop the poaching and killing of endangered animals in the five World Heritage sites of the DRC. The letter follows reports that several hundred hippopotami and at least two mountain gorillas have been killed in recent months in the Virunga National Park, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979 and on the World Heritage List in Danger in 1994. Matsuura also calls for extending the mandate of the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC) to include protection of the DRC’s World Heritage sites and other protected areas.

Link to further information
UNESCO World Heritage Conservation press release, 26 April 2007

EU PROPOSES WAY FORWARD ON INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE
In a document to the Co-Chairs of the UN General Assembly informal consultations on the UN’s environmental activities, dated 20 April 2007, the European Union outlines a proposal for the next steps to be taken regarding international environmental governance (IEG). To achieve an IEG architecture that will meet the growing number and intensity of environmental challenges, the EU advocates upgrading the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) into a specialized agency, a UN Environment Organization (UNEO). Arguing that the existing processes and agreements on strengthening IEG have not been accompanied by the necessary political weight and that progress on implementation has been slow, the EU asserts that a UNEO could help achieve the essential reform by “injecting ambition and political weight.” The EU’s vision for UNEO’s mandate, institutional structure and rationalization of financing is outlined in the document. In addition, the EU argues that the establishment of a UNEO should be accompanied by a broader strategy for strengthening IEG, noting that a number of processes are open to pursue IEG reform, including UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, the General Assembly informal consultations on UN’s environmental activities, UN System-wide Coherence follow-up, and the French-led group of the Friends of UNEO.

Link to further information
EU Contribution document to Co-Chairs, 20 April 2007

UNDG LAUNCHES NEWSLETTER ON UN REFORM PILOTS
The UN Development Group (UNDG) has released the first issue of “Formula One,” a monthly
newsletter that aims to provide regular updates from the eight “One UN” pilot countries – Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay and Viet Nam. Four months into the implementation of the “One UN” initiative, UNDG reports that the pilot countries’ approaches to translating the vision for greater coherence will differ from country to country, noting that space is needed for experimentation to explore each pilot’s own solutions at the country level.

Links to further information
UNDG One UN Pilots website
Formula One, Issue 1, April 2007

SUCCESSFUL INDIAN SOLAR PROGRAMME RECEIVES AWARD
UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Indian Solar Loan Programme was honoured with the Energy Globe at a ceremony on 11 April 2007 in Brussels, Belgium. The four-year Indian Solar Loan Programme was launched in 2003 with support from the UN Foundation and Shell Foundation, and is a partnership between UNEP, the UNEP Risoe Centre, and two of India’s largest banking groups with the objective to establish a consumer credit market for financing solar home systems in Southern India. The programme’s innovative financing arrangement involves an interest rate reduction, market development support, and a process to qualify solar suppliers. UNEP has taken advantage of the Indian Solar Loan Programme’s success to expand into other areas, including solar water heating loan programmes now underway in Morocco and Tunisia.

Link to further information
UNEP India press release, 12 April 2007

RWANDA JOINS “ONE UN” PILOT PROGRAMME
In a signing ceremony on 10 April 2007, Rwanda’s government officially confirmed that it will join the “One UN” pilot programme. The initiative, which will also be carried out in Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uruguay and Viet Nam, aims to ensure coherency and effectiveness by consolidating a single UN presence in the country, while capitalizing on the strengths and comparative advantages of the different members of the UN family. The UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda, Moustapha Soumaré, said the main goal of joining the “One UN” programme is to create a more efficient UN to build a better future for Rwandans. The initiative is part of the larger reform effort called for in the UN High-Level Panel on System-wide Coherence report released in November 2006.

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 10 April 2007

MARCH 2007

G-77/CHINA AND NAM CONVEY VIEWS ON UN SYSTEM-WIDE COHERENCE
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dated 29 March 2007, the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) have drawn attention to several of their concerns regarding the System-Wide Coherence report and the follow-up process. The letter stresses that the implementation of recommendations contained in the report should follow in-depth intergovernmental consideration and agreement by the General Assembly, and states that several issues are not sufficiently covered in the report, such as the quality and quantity of financial resources for operational activities, effective intergovernmental governance, and coordination and cooperation with the Bretton Woods Institutions and bilateral donors. G-77/China and NAM also caution that the proposed creation of the Sustainable Development Board needs careful consideration to avoid duplicating the work of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Link to further information
Choike press release, 29 March 2007

UNDP SIGNS MOU TO SUPPORT CHINESE CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 26 March 2007, in Beijing, China, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the governments of China and Norway have agreed to support a new project focusing on developing and implementing provincial programmes on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Entitled “The Provincial Climate Change Programme in China,” the project will support efforts to implement China’s national climate change programme in seven provinces, and is expected to be launched in mid 2007.

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 26 March 2007

SRI LANKAN TEA PROMOTES GLOBAL COMPACT
On 19 March 2007, Sri Lankan companies Kelani Valley Plantations Ltd. and Mabroc Teas Ltd. announced plans to distribute information about the ten UN Global Compact principles to consumers worldwide in two new tea brands. With a view to connecting Global Compact advocacy with implementation, the profits from the tea’s sale will contribute to improving the living environment for some 10,000 families involved in tea production in the Kelani Valley Plantations.

Links to further information
UN News release, 19 March 2007
The ten UN Global Compact principles
 

WWF HOSTS CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAMME
WWF has launched a new corporate responsibility and sustainability programme for business managers, entitled “One Planet Leaders.” The programme is designed to develop the competencies of senior managers in international businesses to build on existing policies and apply the principles of corporate responsibility and sustainability to company strategy and operations. The first workshops will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from April to June 2007.

Link to further information
WWF website

UNDP ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR BIODIVERSITY PRIZE
On 12 March 2007, the Equator Initiative, a partnership between the UN, civil society, business, governments and communities led by UN Development Programme (UNDP), announced the finalists for its 2006 Equator Prize, honoring 25 efforts to conserve and sustainably use the equatorial region’s biodiversity with a view to reducing poverty. The finalists’ projects range from innovative ecotourism to sustainable crocodile-egg harvesting.

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 12 March 2007

CO-CHAIRS REPORT ON ENVIRONMENTAL REFORM DOCUMENTS
In a letter dated 5 March 2007, Co-Chairs Berruga (Mexico) and Maurer (Switzerland) of the General Assembly informal consultations on environmental governance have informed UN Member States that a summary of the debriefing on their attendance at the Paris Conference for Global Ecological Governance and the 24th session of the UN Environment Programme Governing Council/Global Environment Ministerial Forum, held on 15 February 2007, is available online. The letter also highlights that the dedicated website has been updated with the talking points used for the Co-Chairs’ presentation at the meetings in Paris and Nairobi, in addition to all available country statements made during the informal consultations in January 2007.

Links to further information
Co-Chairs’ letter, 5 March 2007
UN Reform Environmental Governance

INTERNATIONAL BIOFUELS FORUM LAUNCHED AT UN
The International Biofuels Forum, a joint project of Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the United States and the European Commission, was launched at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 2 March 2007. The forum will seek to expand the world market for alternative fuels and to structure the dialogue among the biggest producers and consumers of biofuels to establish common norms and standards, and work towards the commoditization of biofuels. A further objective is to identify ways to encourage investment in countries with the potential to develop alternative fuels. The International Biofuels Forum will meet regularly for one year and plans to convene an international biofuel conference in Brazil in 2008.

Links to further information
UN News Release, 2 March 2007
Wired News press release, 3 March 2007

GLOBAL COMPACT AND SAN FRANCISCO LAUNCH CLIMATE PARTNERSHIP
The UN Global Compact, the City of San Francisco and a number of Bay Area businesses launched on 1 March 2007 the Principles on Climate Leadership and Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) initiatives. The new partnerships will involve voluntary actions to address climate change. The initiative will give Bay Area businesses a forum in which to share best practices to reduce greenhouse gases, and it will also seek to create a model for climate action in the commercial and public sectors that the Global Compact will aim to place in companies and cities around the world.   

Link to further information
UN Global Compact press release, 1 March 2007

UNEP FI OFFERS E-LEARNING COURSE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
On 1 March 2007, registration opened for UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) latest e-Learning course, “Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities for the Finance Sector,” which will be held from 4-25 June 2007. The course will seek to support staff in financial institutions to enhance their knowledge on, inter alia: the effect of climate change on energy financing and energy alternatives; carbon finance; and the Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms.

Links to further information
UNEP FI website, 1 March 2007
To register online visit UNITAR website

FEBRUARY 2007

INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR LAUNCHED
The International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 officially began on 1 March 2007. Events to mark this date included an official opening ceremony at Palais de la Découverte, a science museum in central Paris, France. IPY New Zealand held a launch event at Scott base, Antarctica, attended by the New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Sir Edmund Hillary.  To assure full and equal coverage of the Arctic and the Antarctic, IPY 2007-8 will actually cover two full annual cycles, from March 2007 to March 2009. It represents the largest polar research programme in 50 years, with a major focus on global warming, and will involve over 200 projects with scientists from over 60 nations examining physical, biological and social research topics.

Links to further information
IPY website
UN News Release, 26 February 2007

E-DISCUSSION LAUNCHED IN PREPARATION FOR ECOSOC MINISTERIAL
The UN Development Group’s (UNDG’s) is hosting a month-long e-discussion on “Strengthening Efforts to Eradicate Poverty” in March 2007. This discussion will feed into the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) annual ministerial substantive review (AMR), which was mandated by the 2005 World Summit to assess progress made towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and implementation of other goals and targets agreed at the major UN conferences and summits over the past 15 years. The two-day AMR will convene during ECOSOC’s high-level segment in July 2007, with a number of activities feeding into it. In addition to the e-discussion, a global AMR preparatory event is planned to take place in New York in March 2007 and three tentative country-led meetings are planned in Mexico, Bangladesh and Morocco in the first half of 2007.

Link to further information
NGLS invitation to participate in e-discussion

PROGRAMME PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ARAB STATES INITIATED
The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), a UN-backed initiative, was launched at the 24th session of UNEP Governing Council in Nairobi, Kenya, on 7 February 2007. AFED will seek to bring together civil society and the private sector to solve local and global environmental concerns. Its targets include: developing a common market for environmentally-friendly technologies and products; and producing an annual environment progress report.

Link to further information
UNEP press release, 7 February 2007

UNDP AND UNEP LAUNCH POVERTY AND ENVIRONMENT FACILITY
On 6 February 2007 the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) fortified their partnership by launching a joint Poverty and Environment Facility at the 24th session of UNEP Governing Council in Nairobi, Kenya. The facility is one of the first concrete examples of UN reform and will help developing countries integrate sound environment management into their poverty reduction and growth policies

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 6 February 2007

UNDP AND CHINA PARTNER ON CARBON FINANCE PROJECT
On 6 February 2007, in Beijing, China, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Chinese government announced the launch of a carbon finance project entitled “MDG Carbon: Carbon Finance for Achieving Millennium Development Goals.” The initiative seeks to alleviate poverty and develop the renewable energy sector in western China by introducing carbon trading in 12 provinces. The carbon trading will be used as a tool to generate income for impoverished communities by increasing “green” investments.

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 6 February 2007

RAMSAR ENHANCES COLLABORATION WITH GRASP

On the sidelines of the 24th session of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC-24/GMEF) in Nairobi, Kenya, Ramsar Secretary General Peter Bridgewater and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, in the presence of Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) Team Leader Melanie Virtue, signed an exchange of letters to enhance their collaboration. The GRASP Partnership is a World Summit on Sustainable Development Type II Partnership lead by UNEP and UNESCO, intended to lift the threat of imminent extinction faced by gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans across their ranges in equatorial Africa and southeast Asia. The project partners include: Ramsar; great ape range States and donor governments; the biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements; UN institutions; international and national great ape conservation NGOs; the global great ape scientific community; and private sector entities. The letters provide that the Ramsar and GRASP Secretariats will, when feasible, cooperate: in the elaboration of management plans for Ramsar sites with great apes; towards the designation of new Ramsar sites with great ape habitats; on projects in or around transboundary sites with great apes habitat; and towards capacity building of Ramsar and GRASP focal points and site managers.

Link to further information
Ramsar press release, 9 February 2007

ITALY SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH UNESCO TO SUPPORT WWAP
The World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) was founded in 2000 as a collective response of the 24 agencies comprising UN-Water to assist countries in reaching their commitments in key water-related challenge areas. On Friday 2 February, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, and the Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea of the Republic of Italy, Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, signed an agreement whereby the Ministry will support WWAP during its third phase (2006-2009) and the WWAP Secretariat will be transferred to Perugia, Italy. The main objective of the third phase will be the production of the third World Water Development Report, which will be launched on World Water Day in March 2009.

Link to further information
UNESCO Press release, 6 February 2007

UNESCO REITERATES COMMITMENT TO SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN AFRICA
In his address at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 29 January 2007, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said UNESCO would help implement Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action, citing UNESCO’s work in the areas of biotechnology, biodiversity conservation and satellite remote sensing for environmental monitoring.

Links to further information
UNESCO press release, 1 February 2007
Director-General Ko�chiro Matsuura�s address

UNDG ANNOUNCES PILOT COUNTRIES FOR UN REFORM
UN Development Group (UNDG) announced on 1 February 2007 that Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay and Viet Nam will become pilot countries in the UN reform programme �One UN,� which will assess how the UN system can deliver in a more coordinated way at the country level. All eight pilot countries host a wide range of UN activities and reflect a broad range of size and levels of income, said Kemal Derviş in his role as the Chair of UNDG. The creation of these pilots was recommended by the High-Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence in November 2006.

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 1 February 2007

UNEP HONOURS CHAMPIONS OF THE EARTH 2007, ANNOUNCES AWARD FINALISTS
UN Environment Programme (UNEP) revealed on 1 February 2007 the seven leaders who will be honoured as Champions of the Earth 2007, attributable to being �role models who have committed themselves to realizing a more just, equitable and sustainable world.� The winners, whose achievements range from chemical safety, sustainable waste management and the greening of sporting events to the conservation of deserts, rainforests and the global climate, will be presented with their awards at a special ceremony in Singapore on 19 April 2007.

UNEP also announced ten finalists for five Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development (Seed) Awards on 25 January 2007.  The Seed Awards aim to encourage local entrepreneurs to promote economic growth, social development and environmental protection. Finalists are engaged in a range of entrepreneurial partnerships, including the promotion of traditional medicine, support of community-based tourism, and production of alternative fuels. The five winners will be announced at the 15th session of the Commission for Sustainable Development in May 2007 in New York.

Links to further information
UNEP/Grid-Arendal press release, 1 February 2007
UNEP press release, 25 January 2007

JANUARY 2007

UNEP REPORT HIGHLIGHTS ENVIRONMENTAL LEGACY IN LEBANON
A report prepared by the UN Environment Programme�s (UNEP) Post Conflict Branch released on 23 January 2007 stresses that the environmental problems stemming from the recent Lebanon conflict, such as damaged water infrastructure, toxic waste and cluster bombs on farmland, need to be urgently addressed. While the post conflict assessment report provides a comprehensive picture of the many serious environmental challenges facing Lebanon, a positive finding is that the marine environment appears to have escaped serious long term damage.

Link to further information
UNEP press release, 23 January 2007

UNDP PARTNERS WITH AZERBAIJAN TO PROMOTE RENEWABLE ENERGY
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Azerbaijan signed two projects to support development of renewable energy on 17 January 2007, which will focus on creating a healthy investment environment for small hydropower applications, and addressing legal and institutional constraints to enable sustainable and commercial wind energy development.

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 17 January 2007

STRENGTHENED UNEP TOP TEAM ANNOUNCED
In a press release on 19 January 2007, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced a strengthened management team, which according to UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner will �bring enhanced capacity, vision and action to UNEP in order to fulfil its mandate and meet the big challenges facing the environment and sustainable development in the early 21st century.� The new appointees include: Sylvie Lemmet (France) who has been appointed Director, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics; Peter Gilruth (US), Director, Division of Early Warning and Assessment; Ibrahim Thiaw (Mauritius), Director, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation; Janos Pasztor (Hungary), Secretariat of the Environmental Management Group; Juanita Casta�o (Colombia), Chief of UNEP�s New York liaison office; Paul Akiwumi (Ghana), Chief of UNEP�s Executive Office; and, John Scanlon (Australia), Special Advisor on Policy and Operational Matters. The search for a suitable candidate for the position as Director of the UNEP/Global Environment Facility Division is ongoing.

Link to further information
UNEP press release, 19 January 2007

FRANCE JOINS UNEP�S TREE PLANTING CAMPAIGN
UNEP has launched a second appeal to the international community to join its global tree planting campaign, �Plant for the Planet: the Billion Tree Campaign,� from France, with several French partners endorsing the initiative. The campaign, which seeks to help mitigate climate change and encourage environmental action around the world, has to date recorded over 157 million tree planting pledges globally, including 5.5 million in France.

Link to further information
UNEP press release, 18 January 2007

ECOSOC PRESIDENT OUTLINES 2007 GOALS
In a press briefing on 18 January 2006 to outline the UN Economic and Social Council�s (ECOSOC) goals for 2007, newly-elected President Dalius Čekuolis (Lithuania) suggested ways to rejuvenate ECOSOC by involving a larger variety of people, such as government ministers, activists, academics and business executives, in its work. In the year ahead, ECOSOC will be tasked with two major new functions: the Annual Ministerial Review that will assess ECOSOC�s progress in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and the biennial Development Cooperation Forum, which involves outreach to non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders with which ECOSOC interacts. Čekuolis noted that the new functions would help to strengthen accountability in delivering and implementing the MDGs, and better coordinate the actors engaged in the development agenda.

Links to further information
UN News Centre, 18 January 2007
Press Conference by New ECOSOC President, 18 January 2007 

UNDP AND UZBEKISTAN PARTNERS TO TAP CARBON FINANCE POTENTIAL
On 15 January 2007, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Uzbekistan launched the project �Capacity Building for Clean Development Mechanism in Uzbekistan,� which will help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fund sustainable development by tapping the global carbon finance market. The initiative seeks to develop public and private sector capacities to access carbon finance by creating the necessary legal and institutional frameworks, and to build competence for identifying and implementing GHG reduction projects.

Link to further information
UNDP press release, 15 January 2007

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