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UN Environment Assembly opens in Nairobi aiming to ensure ‘healthy planet, with healthy people’

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Baku, May 24 AZERTAC

Hundreds of key global decision-makers are gathering in Kenya today for the second United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2), aiming to tackle some of the most critical issues facing our planet, from the air pollution that kills millions of people every year to an illegal trade in wildlife that is pushing species to the brink of extinction.

Held at the headquarters of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, UNEA is the world’s most powerful decision-making body on the environment. This year, leaders will seek to pass a raft of resolutions, including those on food waste, the fading health of oceans, the world’s natural capital, and sustainable consumption and production.

Addressing the opening session, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner noted that since the first UNEA held in 2014, “the environment has shifted from the margins of attention to the centre of global decision making.”

Mr. Steiner urged participants to focus on action and use this first global decision-making platform since the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement to review and accelerate progress.

Climate change is exacerbating the scale and intensity of environment-related health risks. Estimates from the WHO indicate that 250,000 additional deaths could occur each year between 2030 and 2050, mostly from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress, as a result of climate change.

Gender and Plastic Management looked at the differing roles of men and women in plastic use and consumption, identifying women in wealthy regions as important stakeholders in reducing plastics in basic consumer goods.

2016 Global Report on the Status of Legal Limits on Lead in Paint found that efforts to tackle lead in paint are advancing. As of early 2016, 70 of 196 countries worldwide, or 36 per cent, had established legally binding limits on lead in paint.

UNEP Frontiers found that there has been a worldwide increase in emerging zoonotic diseases, outbreaks of epidemic zoonoses, a rise in foodborne zoonoses and a troubling persistence of neglected zoonotic diseases in poor countries.

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