UNEP & OWG

 

UNEP      

http://www.unep.org/unea/en/

http://www.unepfi.org/psi/

.http://www.unep.org/10yfp/ActorsStructure/UNInteragencyCoordinationGroup/tabid/106260/language/en-US/Default.aspx

http://www.unep.org/10yfp/ActorsStructure/UNInteragencyCoordinationGroup/tabid/106260/language/en-US/Default.aspx

 

GFDD Sits Down with UNEP NY Deputy Director to Discuss Importance of Sustainabl​e Consumptio​n and Production

On June 30, 2014 the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) sat down with Mr. Jamil Ahmad, the Deputy Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) New York, for a focused discussion about Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) as part of the 2014 edition of the GFDD Global Round tables. 

http://www.globalfoundationdd.org/fulltext.asp?t=a&id=8837

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                      WM UNEPLOGO BANNER Mail Attachment

UNEP-CLIMATE SUMMIT: Commitment to decarbonize $100 billion of investment

United Nations and Leading Investors Launch Coalition to Decarbonize Institutional Investment Worldwide at UN Summit

Commitment to Decarbonize $100 Billion of Investment
  


NAIROBI / NEW YORK, 23 September 2014 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders from government, finance, business and civil society to bring bold announcements and actions on climate change to the Climate Summit. In response, a group of leading institutional investors – including two of the largest asset managers, and pension funds in Europe – have joined forces with the United Nations Environment Programme and its Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), to substantially reduce the carbon footprint of US$100 billion of institutional investment worldwide. Institutional investors are owners of large segments of the global economy. Therefore, it is expected that having a critical mass of them decarbonize their portfolios will send a strong and unequivocal signal to carbon-intensive companies that carbon-efficiency is now center-stage.

Co-founded by the UNEP and its Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the fourth National Pension Fund of Sweden-AP4, Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi and CDP, the most important mechanism for climate disclosure worldwide, the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC) was announced today by AP4 CEO Mats Andersson during UN Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon’s Climate Summit.

A growing number of investors from around the world recognize that GHG emissions are an unprecedented threat to economic stability and, therefore, to their portfolios and ultimate beneficiaries. In response, the PDC will convene a critical mass of investors committed to measuring and disclosing the carbon footprint of a minimum of $500 billion of investment. Subsequently, investors will commit to the PDC to substantially reduce their carbon footprint with an intermediate target of $100 billion by December 2015. As a result investors who join the Coalition will lessen their carbon exposure with regards to current annual emissions and potential emissions from current fossil fuel reserves.

The Coalition will reach out to institutional investors worldwide and it will be aided by the largest global network of investors focused on sustainable development – the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) – as well as other relevant networks.

Mats Andersson, CEO of AP4, said: “We are both proud and honoured to receive the trust of the UN Secretary-General to take the lead of this Coalition to support our peers in taking climate action. Climate change is more and more recognized as a financial risk and it is our duty, as trustees, to take concrete steps to reduce this risk.

“USD 100 billion is a significant amount but it is absolutely feasible. And we hope that by reaching this target, investors can show that a different course of action is possible, where institutional investors’ goals are aligned with, and support the common good,” he added.

“Institutional investors often have long-term investment horizons and are diversified across the economy. They have an interest in the long-term stability of the whole system rather than the short-term performance of individual market actors. That is why avoiding disruptive climate change, a truly systemic threat, is of such intrinsic interest to them,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP.

“For long institutional investors have been consistent advocates of ambitious climate-change policies. This Coalition, established by UNEP FI and key partners, now enables them to take concerted and ambitious action themselves, through their own portfolios,” he continued.

Yves Perrier, CEO of Amundi, commented, “Amundi is honored to be part of this coalition which reflects its commitment to come up with practical advices to make sustainable finance a reality.” He added: “Finance can work for the good. And this association of climate leaders is an excellent illustration of our will to consistently support our clients interest, and take full responsibility in our role in society as a global financial entity.”

The PDC is also supported by the China International Capital Corporation whose Chairman, Jin Liqun, declared “CICC is committed to promote the decarbonization of investment portfolios and the use of low carbon indexes, particularly in Asia and in China.”

Also in attendance of the launch was Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman, CDP, who said.: “For over 10 years, CDP has been working with the world’s largest institutional investors to engage with companies on reducing emissions. This Coalition represents the next logical step for investors as they look to reduce their carbon impact at a portfolio level. We fully support the initiative and look forward to equipping investors with our rigorous data to make the best decisions when managing the carbon footprint of their investments.”

For more information, please contact:

Shereen Zorba, Head of News and Media, UNEP +254 788 526000Shereen.Zorba@unep.org

Niamh Brannigan, News and Media, UNEP +254 717733348Niamh.Brannigan@unep.org

James Sniffen, Programme Officer, UNEP New York, +1-212-963-8094sniffenj@un.org

Natacha Sharp, Head of Press Relations and Digital CommunicationAmundi +33176378605, Natacha.Sharp@amundi.com

Ashleigh Lezard, Financial Communications Manager, +447811428030ashleigh.lezard@cdp.net or Chris Thorpe, +44 7582 785472,Chris.Thorpe@cdp.net

About UNEPCreated in 1972, UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. Visit: www.unep.org

About UNEP FIUNEP FI is a global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector. Over 230 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance. Through its Climate Change Advisory Group (CCAG), UNEP FI aims to understand the roles, potentials and needs of the finance sector in addressing climate change, and to advance the integration of climate change factors – both risks and opportunities – into financial decision-making. Visit: http://www.unepfi.org/

About AP4The Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund’s (AP4) brief is to contribute to the stability of the national pension system through managing Fund capital with the aim of generating the best possible return over time. AP4 is one of five buffer funds in the national pension system. AP4 is managing about SEK 276 billion in assets. More information about AP4 is available at www.ap4.se.

About AmundiAmundi ranks first in Europe and in the “Top 10″ worldwide in the asset management industry with AUM of more than €800 billion worldwide[[1] Amundi Group figures as of 30 June 2014.1]. Located at the heart of the main investment regions in more than 30 countries, Amundi offers a comprehensive range of products covering all asset classes and major currencies. Amundi has developed savings solutions to meet the needs of more than 100 million retail clients worldwide and designs innovative, high-performing products for institutional clients which are tailored specifically to their requirements and risk profile. The Group contributes to funding the economy by orienting savings towards company development.

About CDP: CDP is an international, not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. CDP works with market forces, including 767 institutional investors with assets of US$92 trillion, to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them. CDP now holds the largest collection globally of primary climate change, water and forest risk commodities information and puts these insights at the heart of strategic business, investment and policy decisions. Please visit www.cdp.net or follow us @CDP to find out more. 


Jim Sniffen
Programme Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
tel: +1-212-963-8094
sniffenj at un.org/jsniffen88 at gmail.com
www.unep.org

 

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WN U Unep Logo                   WM GR Green coalition logounnamed 

 

UNEP News: Momentum Building for a Greener and More Inclusive Economy

Momentum Building for a Greener and More Inclusive Economy

A quarter of the world’s countries are now pursuing green economy plans.

Three new reports to support Governments in building greener and more inclusive economies unveiled at the Green Economy Coalition annual meeting.

LONDON, 1 September 2014 - Green economy policies are spreading worldwide at an increasing pace, with more than 65 countries now actively pursuing green economy policies and 48 of them taking steps to develop national green economy plans.

These figures were presented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the Green Economy Coalition’s first public annual meeting, which is assessing the status of green economy around the world and particularly progress towards financial reform.

“The green economy is a viable approach for countries interested in pursuing inclusive and sustainable growth strategies,” said Sheng Fulai, Head of Research and Partnerships for UNEP’s Economics and Trade Branch. “The new Green Economy Toolkit for Policymakers is intended to better equip countries as they advance in their plans to achieve sustainable development.”

“The change is happening, but for it to spread more quickly and more deeply, it must better respond to people’s hopes and fears. The green economy must benefit all of society,” said Oliver Greenfield, Convenor of the Green Economy Coalition.

The annual Green Economy Coalition meeting (1-2 September 2014) brings together leaders from civil society, media, policy and business for a public dialogue around the green economy. Over 200 participants are attending the event, including featured speaker Sir David King, Special Representative for Climate Change, UK Foreign Office; Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capital Solutions; and Melissa Leach, Director of the Institute of Development Studies.

“Governments will have to take the lead and set out a clear pathway for business and finance to follow,” said Sir David King. “A transition to a green economy is needed to tackle the enormous environmental challenges we face, and to take advantage of new economic opportunities.”

During the Coalition meeting, UNEP also released three new reports to guide countries interested in advancing their national green economy transitions. The Green Economy Toolkit for Policymakers provides countries with practical guidance on how to formulate and assess policies, measure progress and model future effects of the transition.

The new toolkit was produced under the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), which aims to assist Governments in their efforts to develop and implement green economy policies and strategies. The Green Economy Coalition has been instrumental in its support of PAGE, hosting dialogues and conducting national and regional-level outreach and catalysing a global movement for change.

The Toolkit includes the following three reports:

Guidance Manual for Green Economy Policy Assessment advises Governments on how to set targets, identify policy reform needs, estimate the amount of investment and assess policy impacts. Examples and case studies illustrate how fiscal policy, trade policy and regulatory measures have been used in a wide range of countries. In South Africa, for instance, a 2013 assessment study found that green economy investments could create 169,000 new jobs, restore land and increase water availability with the right enabling conditions to advance their national green economy plans.

Guidance Manual for Green Economy Indicators outlines how indicators can be used to measure progress towards a more resource-efficient and inclusive economy. The report argues that targets and priorities need to be country specific, and provides guidance on how to identify and use indicators well suited to the national context. The report also calls for prioritising green economy in the agenda-setting stage and for building green economy strategies on existing policy priorities.

Using Models for Green Economy Policymaking concerns macroeconomic planning for both short and long term, and provides countries with a range of modelling tools for formulating and evaluating the impacts of green economy policies. The report emphasizes that modelling for green economy policies requires broad stakeholder involvement and estimation of impacts across sectors. It argues that impacts must be assessed on the short, medium and long term, and that both direct and indirect effects of action and inaction must be considered.

Note to editors:

Since the UNEP Green Economy Initiative was established in 2008, it has assisted more than 30 countries in their pursuit of greener and more inclusive economies. Following the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, the green economy has been increasingly promoted by Governments as an important tool for achieving social, economic and environmental sustainable development’ seewww.unep.org/greeneconomy.

The Green Economy Coalition is made up of over 40 organizations including businesses, research institutes, trade unions and NGOs. It is the world’s largest multi-stakeholder network working on green economy; see www.greeneconomycoalition.org

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Gorelick, Information Officer, UNEP, Tel. :+254 20 762 3088 / Email: Melissa.Gorelick@unep.org

Emily Benson, Programme Manager, GEC, Tel./ Email: Emily.benson@greeneconomycoalition.org

See more at: http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2796&ArticleID=10966&l=en#sthash.XL5RgAQu.dpuf
Jim Sniffen

Programme Officer

UN Environment Programme

New York  /  tel: +1-212-963-8094

sniffenj at un.org/jsniffen88 at gmail.com  /  www.unep.org

 

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UNEP: Leading Experts and Policymakers Meet to Form Action Plan to Stop Rapid Degradation of Worlds Seas and Oceans

Leading Experts and Policymakers Meet to Form Action Plan to Stop Rapid Degradation of Worlds Seas and Oceans

Meeting a Search for Solutions to Escalating Crises of Plastic Debris in Oceans and Catastrophic Destruction of Carbon Rich Mangroves, among others

ATHENS, Greece, 29 September 2014 - Plastic debris in the ocean, collapsing fish stocks, ocean acidification and the destruction of carbon rich mangroves are just some of the topics that will be hotly debated today at the 16th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, as policymakers and leading scientists convene to form a new roadmap for the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s increasingly threatened oceans.

The three-day meeting is being held at a time when concern is growing worldwide over the threat that widespread plastic waste poses to marine life, with conservative estimates of the overall financial damage of plastics to marine ecosystems standing at US$13 billion each year, according to UNEP research.

This concern is set to intensify when findings from a new report to be published by UNEP today at the Regional Seas Meeting will set out in detail the multi-billion dollar losses that are being incurred by developing country economies as carbon-rich mangroves continue to be lost at rates 3 to 5 times greater than average rates of forest loss.

“The widespread abuse and destruction of our oceans’ fragile ecosystems means that we now find ourselves on the brink of overstepping the ‘safe operating space’ within which irreversible environmental changes to the world’s oceans remain avoidable,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“The Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans shoulder a great responsibility to stem this destruction by promoting stricter adherence by States to the existing regime of regional oceans governance.”

“I acknowledge the great efforts and achievements of the Conventions and Action Plans and encourage leaders in Athens to revitalise our collective commitment to the oceans — the largest reservoir of biodiversity left on earth and a fundamental resource upon which we all depend,” he added.

The three-day event will involve a review of 18 Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans that are designed to mitigate the greatest threats and challenges to the future conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas. The global gathering marks the 40th anniversary of the Regional Seas Programme and is seen as a unique opportunity to set in motion the integration of regional seas and oceans governance into the new Sustainable Development Goals. The existing regime of regional oceans governance, established under the Regional Seas Programme, is the world’s only legal framework to address the protection of the marine environment at the regional level, and is critical to reversing the rapidly accelerating degradation of the oceans.

During a dedicated session on plastics in the ocean, experts from the regions will take stock of the successes and challenges experienced under the Global Partnership on Marine Litter in stemming flows of plastic waste to the ocean and, based on these, decide upon priority actions to be taken over the next 10 years and beyond.

UNEP will also launch - The Importance of Mangroves: A Call to Action- which outlines the critical role mangroves play as both mitigators of climate change, and as highly valuable ecosystems that provide goods and services worth billions of dollars to developing country economies.

Other major topics to be tackled at the meeting are captured in the Regional Seas Strategic Directions 2013-2016 which include the issues of: applying an ecosystem approach in the management of the marine and coastal environment; green economy for oceans – decoupling economic growth from environmental pressures in the marine and coastal environment by promoting resource efficiency and productivity; and strengthening national and regional coordination and capacities to contribute to the World Oceans Assessment.

Notes to Editors:

Most of the Regional Seas Conventions function through action plans, which are adopted by member Governments in order to establish a comprehensive strategy and framework for protecting the environment and promote sustainable development. An action plan outlines the strategy and substance of the programme, based on the region’s particular environmental challenges as well as its socio-economic and political situation. See http://www.unep.org/regionalseas/globalmeetings/default_ns.asp

For more information, please contact:

Shereen Zorba, Head News and Media, UNEP, at shereen.zorba@unep.org, +254 788 526 000

Waiganjo Njoroge, Information Officer, UNEP, at waiganjo.njoroge@unep.org, +254 723 857 270

Jim Sniffen
Programme Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
tel:
+1-212-963-8094
sniffenj at 
un.org/jsniffen88 at gmail.com
www.unep.org

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 UNEP-CLIMATE SUMMIT: Commitment to decarbonize $100 billion of investment

 WM UNEPLOGO BANNER Mail Attachment

 

United Nations and Leading Investors Launch Coalition to Decarbonize Institutional Investment Worldwide at UN Summit  Commitment to Decarbonize $100 Billion of Investment   

NAIROBI / NEW YORK, 23 September 2014 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders from government, finance, business and civil society to bring bold announcements and actions on climate change to the Climate Summit. In response, a group of leading institutional investors – including two of the largest asset managers, and pension funds in Europe – have joined forces with the United Nations Environment Programme and its Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), to substantially reduce the carbon footprint of US$100 billion of institutional investment worldwide. Institutional investors are owners of large segments of the global economy. Therefore, it is expected that having a critical mass of them decarbonize their portfolios will send a strong and unequivocal signal to carbon-intensive companies that carbon-efficiency is now center-stage.

Co-founded by the UNEP and its Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the fourth National Pension Fund of Sweden-AP4, Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi and CDP, the most important mechanism for climate disclosure worldwide, the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC) was announced today by AP4 CEO Mats Andersson during UN Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon’s Climate Summit.

A growing number of investors from around the world recognize that GHG emissions are an unprecedented threat to economic stability and, therefore, to their portfolios and ultimate beneficiaries. In response, the PDC will convene a critical mass of investors committed to measuring and disclosing the carbon footprint of a minimum of $500 billion of investment. Subsequently, investors will commit to the PDC to substantially reduce their carbon footprint with an intermediate target of $100 billion by December 2015. As a result investors who join the Coalition will lessen their carbon exposure with regards to current annual emissions and potential emissions from current fossil fuel reserves.

The Coalition will reach out to institutional investors worldwide and it will be aided by the largest global network of investors focused on sustainable development – the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) – as well as other relevant networks.  Mats Andersson, CEO of AP4, said: “We are both proud and honoured to receive the trust of the UN Secretary-General to take the lead of this Coalition to support our peers in taking climate action. Climate change is more and more recognized as a financial risk and it is our duty, as trustees, to take concrete steps to reduce this risk.

“USD 100 billion is a significant amount but it is absolutely feasible. And we hope that by reaching this target, investors can show that a different course of action is possible, where institutional investors’ goals are aligned with, and support the common good,” he added.

“Institutional investors often have long-term investment horizons and are diversified across the economy. They have an interest in the long-term stability of the whole system rather than the short-term performance of individual market actors. That is why avoiding disruptive climate change, a truly systemic threat, is of such intrinsic interest to them,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP.

“For long institutional investors have been consistent advocates of ambitious climate-change policies. This Coalition, established by UNEP FI and key partners, now enables them to take concerted and ambitious action themselves, through their own portfolios,” he continued.

Yves Perrier, CEO of Amundi, commented, “Amundi is honored to be part of this coalition which reflects its commitment to come up with practical advices to make sustainable finance a reality.” He added: “Finance can work for the good. And this association of climate leaders is an excellent illustration of our will to consistently support our clients interest, and take full responsibility in our role in society as a global financial entity.”

The PDC is also supported by the China International Capital Corporation whose Chairman, Jin Liqun, declared “CICC is committed to promote the decarbonization of investment portfolios and the use of low carbon indexes, particularly in Asia and in China.”

Also in attendance of the launch was Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman, CDP, who said.: “For over 10 years, CDP has been working with the world’s largest institutional investors to engage with companies on reducing emissions. This Coalition represents the next logical step for investors as they look to reduce their carbon impact at a portfolio level. We fully support the initiative and look forward to equipping investors with our rigorous data to make the best decisions when managing the carbon footprint of their investments.”

For more information, please contact:

Shereen Zorba, Head of News and Media, UNEP +254 788 526000Shereen.Zorba@unep.org

Niamh Brannigan, News and Media, UNEP +254 717733348Niamh.Brannigan@unep.org

James Sniffen, Programme Officer, UNEP New York, +1-212-963-8094sniffenj@un.org

Natacha Sharp, Head of Press Relations and Digital CommunicationAmundi +33176378605, Natacha.Sharp@amundi.com

Ashleigh Lezard, Financial Communications Manager, +447811428030ashleigh.lezard@cdp.net or Chris Thorpe, +44 7582 785472,Chris.Thorpe@cdp.net

About UNEPCreated in 1972, UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. Visit: www.unep.org

About UNEP FIUNEP FI is a global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector. Over 230 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance. Through its Climate Change Advisory Group (CCAG), UNEP FI aims to understand the roles, potentials and needs of the finance sector in addressing climate change, and to advance the integration of climate change factors – both risks and opportunities – into financial decision-making. Visit: http://www.unepfi.org/

About AP4The Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund’s (AP4) brief is to contribute to the stability of the national pension system through managing Fund capital with the aim of generating the best possible return over time. AP4 is one of five buffer funds in the national pension system. AP4 is managing about SEK 276 billion in assets. More information about AP4 is available at www.ap4.se.

About AmundiAmundi ranks first in Europe and in the “Top 10″ worldwide in the asset management industry with AUM of more than €800 billion worldwide[[1] Amundi Group figures as of 30 June 2014.1]. Located at the heart of the main investment regions in more than 30 countries, Amundi offers a comprehensive range of products covering all asset classes and major currencies. Amundi has developed savings solutions to meet the needs of more than 100 million retail clients worldwide and designs innovative, high-performing products for institutional clients which are tailored specifically to their requirements and risk profile. The Group contributes to funding the economy by orienting savings towards company development.

About CDP: CDP is an international, not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. CDP works with market forces, including 767 institutional investors with assets of US$92 trillion, to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them. CDP now holds the largest collection globally of primary climate change, water and forest risk commodities information and puts these insights at the heart of strategic business, investment and policy decisions. Please visit www.cdp.net or follow us @CDP to find out more. Jim Sniffen Programme Officer UN Environment Programme New York tel: +1-212-963-8094 sniffenj at un.org/jsniffen88 at gmail.com www.unep.org

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UNEP-SUMMIT NEWS: Governments, Business, Civil Society and Indigenous Leaders Pledge to End Loss of Forests

Governments, Business, Civil Society and Indigenous Leaders Pledge to End Loss of Forests

Declaration Would End Billions of Tons of Climate Pollution per Year, Backed With More Than $1 Billion Down Payment, Restore 350 Million Hectares of Forest

NEW YORK, 23 September 2014 - An innovative public-private partnership of multinationals, Governments, civil society and indigenous peoples today pledged to cut the loss of forests in half by 2020 and end it a decade later in 2030 – a move that will eliminate the emission of between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year. That is equivalent to removing the carbon emissions produced by the one billion cars that are currently on the world’s roads. 

At today’s Climate Summit, the New York Declaration on Forests was endorsed by countries in the developed and developing world – including the United States, the EU and a large number of tropical forest countries – as well as by multinationals from the food, paper, finance and other industries, civil society organizations and indigenous peoples from Peru to Nepal. For the first time, 155 of these global leaders agreed on a date to end deforestation, and the need for large-scale economic incentives for countries that reduce the loss of their forests. Deforestation is a frequently overlooked source of carbon dioxide emissions and a significant contributor to climate change, as trees, which store carbon, instead release it when they are burned during slash-and-burn land clearing of forests.

The Declaration, which was driven by a group of countries and companies with input from civil society and indigenous peoples, aims to change politics going into next year’s Paris climate talks and accelerate action by companies to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. The Declaration also calls for the restoration of over 350 million hectares of forests and croplands, an area greater than the size of India, which would bring significant climate benefits and take pressure off primary forests. It builds on announcements made at the Climate Summit and over the past months.

“I asked for countries and companies to bring bold pledges, and here they are,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The New York Declaration aims to reduce more climate pollution each year than the United States emits annually, and it doesn’t stop there. Forests are not only a critical part of the climate solution – the actions agreed today will reduce poverty, enhance food security, improve the rule of law, secure the rights of indigenous peoples and benefit communities around the world.”

“Today’s declaration is a remarkable step forward towards reducing the CO2 emissions resulting from deforestation – the second leading contributor of carbon emissions worldwide. Cutting forest loss by half by 2020 and ending it by 2030 may appear a mammoth undertaking. But the commitments pledged by such a diverse and influential group of actors reflect the determination required to make this a reality. With the total yearly forest loss averaging 13 million hectares, addressing deforestation will also require the development of meaningful incentives to encourage countries to incorporate forest conservation and rehabilitation in their national development planning. Resource efficiency, natural capital investment, financial policies and the equitable distribution of benefits need all to be part of a holistic approach enabling countries – through schemes such as REDD+ – pursue a more sustainable pathway to development through the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of forests,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

“The New York Declaration sends an unmistakable signal going into Paris 2015,” said Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway. “Science tells us we won’t limit global warming to two degrees without massive efforts on forests. Today, forward-thinking leaders in government, business and civil society together have begun the push to enact policies, change practices and put in place appropriate incentives to end deforestation.”

“This is a serious commitment for a serious challenge,” said Heru Prasetyo, head of Indonesia’s REDD+ Agency. “With the strong partnership of key actors from Governments, industry, indigenous and local communities as well as the international community I am confident we can achieve this ground-breaking vision.”

The Declaration’s endorsement comes as the forest sector is transformed by new policies and shifting demand from consumer goods companies and consumers, stronger land rights for indigenous peoples and greater advocacy by civil society. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is down 75 per cent since 2004, and in the past nine months alone 60 per cent of the world’s highly carbon-intensive palm oil trade has come under commitments to go deforestation-free.

“Our planet is losing forests at a rate of eight football fields every ten seconds,” said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “Today we’ve seen important commitments from companies, Governments, civil society and indigenous peoples to halt this trend. Now it is time for urgent collaboration to see these commitments realized on the ground.”

“The last few months have seen a welcome race to the top,” said Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, a consumer products company. “Consumers have sent companies a clear signal that they do not want their purchasing habits to drive deforestation and companies are responding. Better still, companies are committing to working in partnership with suppliers, Governments and NGOs to strengthen forest governance and economic incentives. It can be done and this Declaration signals a real intention to accelerate action.”

“Forests are not solely economic resources, but are the centre of spiritual life and cultural integration for indigenous peoples,” said Abdon Nababan, Secretary-General of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of Indonesia’s Archipelago (AMAN). “The New York Declaration is a long-awaited show of political will by all countries to support indigenous peoples as we fight to defend our forests.”

To support the New York Declaration, several specific commitments to action were announced today, including:

  • ·        Three of the world’s largest palm oil companies – Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources and Cargill, all of which recently announced deforestation-free sourcing policies and who jointly make up more than half of global palm oil trade – committed to work together on implementation, and joined the Indonesian Business Council in asking incoming Indonesian President Joko Widodo to support their efforts through legislation and policies.
  • ·        Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom announced they would push for large-scale economic incentives as part of the Paris climate talks in 2015, and in the next couple of years pledged to enter into up to 20 new programmes to pay countries for reduced deforestation rates, if credible programmes were put forward. The three countries also pledge to consider funding additional, credible programs thereafter, if REDD+ countries deliver the results. A global coalition of indigenous peoples spanning Asia, Africa, Central America and the Amazon Basin pledged to protect the more than 400 million hectares of tropical forests under their management. This represents the storage of over 70 gigatons of carbon dioxide.
  • ·        Peru and Liberia presented groundbreaking new forest policies, that see Peru getting up to US$300 million in funding from Norway and additional support from Germany, and Liberia receiving up to US$150 million from Norway, depending on results. Norway also announced support in the amount of US$100 million for indigenous peoples, as part of Norway’s total pledge of $3 billion for climate and forest purposes in the years through 2020.
  • ·        26 governors from provinces covering a quarter of tropical forests pledged to do more than their fair share on climate change – to cut deforestation by 80 percent – if developed countries create new economic incentives.
  • ·        The DRC, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Uganda and several other countries are set to make national pledges to restore over 30 million hectares of degraded lands, more than doubling the 20 million hectares already pledged to date under the Bonn Challenge.
  • ·        The Consumer Goods Forum, a coalition of 400 companies with combined sales over US$3 trillion, called on Governments to pass a legally binding climate deal in Paris next year that includes large-scale payments to countries that reduce deforestation.
  • ·        Several of Europe’s largest countries committed to develop new public procurement policies to sustainably source forest-intensive commodities like palm oil, soy, beef and timber. This is expected to have a significant market impact by leveraging the buying power of some of the world’s largest economies.

These announcements form part of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for action to keep global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius by reducing emissions, moving money, pricing pollution, strengthening resilience and mobilizing new coalitions. Forests are one of eight areas identified as critical in the fight against climate change.

Further Resources

For more information, please contact:

Shereen Zorba, Head of News and Media, UNEP +254 788 526000hereen.Zorba@unep.org

James Sniffen, Programme Officer, UNEP New York, +1-212-963-8094sniffenj@un.org

Tim Christophersen, UNEP Senior Programme Officer, Forests and Climate Change, +254 723 284 204, tim.christophersen@unep.org

New York Declaration on Forests

Forests are essential to our future. More than 1.6 billion people depend on them for food, water, fuel, medicines, traditional cultures and livelihoods. Forests also support up to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity and play a vital role in safeguarding the climate by naturally sequestering carbon. Yet, each year an average of 13 million hectares of forest disappear, often with devastating impacts on communities and indigenous peoples. The conversion of forests for the production of commodities-such as soy, palm oil, beef and paper, accounts for roughly half of global deforestation. Infrastructure, urban expansion, energy, mining and fuel wood collection also contribute in varying degrees.

We share the vision of slowing, halting and reversing global forest loss while simultaneously enhancing food security for all. Reducing emissions from deforestation and increasing forest restoration will be extremely important in limiting global warming to 2°C. Forests represent one of the largest, most cost-effective climate solutions available today. Action to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forests can contribute to economic growth, poverty alleviation, rule of law, food security, climate resilience and biodiversity conservation. It can help secure respect for the rights of forest dependent indigenous peoples, while promoting their participation and that of local communities in decision-making.

With our varying mandates, capabilities and circumstances, collectively we commit to doing our part to achieve the following outcomes in partnership, including by ensuring that strong, large-scale economic incentives are in place commensurate with the size of the challenge:

  • ·        At least halve the rate of loss of natural forests globally by 2020 and strive to end natural forest loss by 2030.
  • ·        Support and help meet the private-sector goal of eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities such as palm oil, soy, paper and beef products by no later than 2020, recognizing that many companies have even more ambitious targets.
  • ·        Significantly reduce deforestation derived from other economic sectors by 2020.
  • ·        Support alternatives to deforestation driven by basic needs (such as subsistence farming and reliance on fuel wood for energy) in ways that alleviate poverty and promote sustainable and equitable development.
  • ·        Restore 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes and forestlands by 2020 and significantly increase the rate of global restoration thereafter, which would restore at least an additional 200 million hectares by 2030.
  • ·        Include ambitious, quantitative forest conservation and restoration targets for 2030 in the post-2015 global development framework, as part of new international sustainable development goals.
  • ·        Agree in 2015 to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as part of a post-2020 global climate agreement, in accordance with internationally agreed rules and consistent with the goal of not exceeding 2°C warming.
  • ·        Provide support for the development and implementation of strategies to reduce forest emissions.
  • ·        Reward countries and jurisdictions that, by taking action, reduce forest emissions-particularly through public policies to scale-up payments for verified emission reductions and private-sector sourcing of commodities.
  • ·        Strengthen forest governance, transparency and the rule of law, while also empowering communities and recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples, especially those pertaining to their lands and resources.

Achieving these outcomes could reduce emissions by 4.5¬8.8 billion tons per year by 2030. By working in partnership, we can achieve these goals and chart a new course toward conserving, restoring, and managing healthy forests for the benefit of all. We invite others to join us in committing to a world where people and forests grow together.

Jim Sniffen
Programme Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
tel: +1-212-963-8094
sniffenj at un.org/jsniffen88 at gmail.com
www.unep.org

Youtubu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX8HByqA4aE

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UNEP-WMO News Release: Ozone Layer on Track to Recovery — Success Story Should Encourage Action on Climate 

Ozone Layer on Track to Recovery

Success Story Should Encourage Action on Climate

Nairobi/Geneva, 10 September 2014 (UNEP/WMO) – The Earth’s protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks to concerted international action against ozone depleting substances, according to a new assessment by 300 scientists.

The Assessment for Decision-Makers, a summary document of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014, is being published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and is the first comprehensive update in four years.

The stratospheric ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Without the Montreal Protocol and associated agreements, atmospheric levels of ozone depleting substances could have increased tenfold by 2050. According to global models, the Protocol will have prevented 2 million cases of skin cancer annually by 2030, averted damage to human eyes and immune systems, and protected wildlife and agriculture, according to UNEP.

The phase-out of ozone depleting substances has had a positive spin-off for the global climate because many of these substances are also potent greenhouse gases. However, the assessment report cautions that the rapid increase in certain substitutes, which are themselves also potent greenhouse gases, has the potential to undermine these gains. The assessment also notes that there are possible approaches to avoiding the harmful climate effects of these substitutes.

“There are positive indications that the ozone layer is on track to recovery towards the middle of the century. The Montreal Protocol – one of the world’s most successful environmental treaties – has protected the stratospheric ozone layer and avoided enhanced UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“However, the challenges that we face are still huge. The success of the Montreal Protocol should encourage further action not only on the protection and recovery of the ozone layer but also on climate. On September 23, the UN Secretary General will host Heads of State in New York in an effort to catalyse global action on climate. The Montreal Protocol community, with its tangible achievements, is in a position to provide strong evidence that global cooperation and concerted action are the key ingredients to secure the protection of our global commons,” he added.

“International action on the ozone layer is a major environmental success story,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “This should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of climate change. This latest assessment provides solid science to policy-makers about the intricate relationship between ozone and climate and the need for mutually-supportive measures to protect life on earth for future generations.”

“Human activities will continue to change the composition of the atmosphere. WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch programme will therefore continue its crucial monitoring, research and assessment activities to provide scientific data needed to understand and ultimately predict environmental changes, as it has done for the past 25 years” said Mr Jarraud.

Key findings:

Actions taken under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are enabling the return of the ozone layer to benchmark 1980 levels.

–        Under full compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 benchmark levels- the time before significant ozone layer depletion- before the middle of the century in mid-latitudes and the Arctic, and somewhat later in the Antarctic.

–        The Montreal Protocol and associated agreements have led to decreases in the atmospheric abundance of gases, such as CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and halons, once used in products such as refrigerators, spray cans, insulation foam and fire suppression.

–        Total column ozone declined over most of the globe during the 1980s and early 1990s. It has remained relatively unchanged since 2000, but there are recent indications of its future recovery.

–        The Antarctic ozone hole continues to occur each spring and it is expected to continue occurring for the better part of this century given that ozone depleting substances persist in the atmosphere, even though their emissions have ceased.

–        The Arctic stratosphere in winter/spring 2011 was particularly cold, which led to large ozone depletion as expected under these conditions.

The climate benefits of the Montreal Protocol could be significantly offset by projected emissions of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) used to replace ozone depleting substances.

–        The Montreal Protocol has made large contributions toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. In 1987, ozone-depleting substances contributed about 10 gigatonnes CO2-equivalent emissions per year. The Montreal Protocol has now reduced these emissions by more than 90 per cent. This decrease is about five times larger than the annual emissions reduction target for the first commitment period (2008–2012) of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

–        Hydrofluorocarbons  (HFCs) do not harm the ozone layer but many of them are potent greenhouse gases. They currently contribute about 0.5 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions per year. These emissions are growing at a rate of about 7 per cent per year. Left unabated, they can be expected to contribute very significantly to climate change in the next decades.

–        Replacements of the current mix of high-GWP HFCs with alternative compounds with low GWPs or not-in-kind technologies would limit this potential problem.

The annual Antarctic ozone hole has caused significant changes in Southern Hemisphere surface climate in the summer.

–        Ozone depletion has contributed to cooling of the lower stratosphere and this is very likely the dominant cause of observed changes in Southern Hemisphere summertime circulation over recent decades, with associated impacts on surface temperature, precipitation, and the oceans.

–        In the Northern Hemisphere, where the ozone depletion is smaller, there is no strong link between stratospheric ozone depletion and tropospheric climate.

CO2, Nitrous Oxide and Methane will have an increasing influence on the ozone layer

–        What happens to the ozone layer in the second half of the 21st century will largely depend on concentrations of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide – the three main long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Overall, CO2 and methane tend to increase global ozone levels. By contrast, nitrous oxide, a by-product of food production, is both a powerful greenhouse gas and an ozone depleting gas, and is likely to become more important in future ozone depletion.

The Scientific Assessment Panel is expected to present the key findings of the new report at the annual Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, to be held in Paris in November 2014. The full body of the report will be issued in early 2015.

Notes For Editors:

The “Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014″ was prepared and reviewed by 282 scientists from 36 countries (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Togo, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zimbabwe.)

Co-Chairs of the ozone assessment are Prof. Ayité Lô Nohende Ajavon (Université de Lomé, Togo), Prof. John Pyle, University of Cambridge  and National Centre for Atmospheric Science, UK, Dr. Paul Newman, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, USA; Prof. A.R. (Ravi) Ravishankara, Colorado State University, USA

For more information, please contact:

At UNEP: Shereen Zorba, Head of News and Media, +254 788 526000, Email: Shereen.Zorba@unep.org

At WMO: Clare Nullis, Media Officer, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel: +41 (0)22 730 8478; e-mail:  cnullis@wmo.int,

Co-Chairs of the ozone assessment:

Prof. John Pyle, University of Cambridge and National Centre for Atmospheric Science, UK; Tel: +447733446983

Dr. Paul Newman, NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Center, USA; Tel: +1 301 614 5985

Prof. A.R. (Ravi) Ravishankara, Colorado State University, USA; Tel: +1 970 491 2876

The pre-print version of the ADM can be downloaded from: http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/SAP/SAP2014_Assessment_for_Decision-Makers.pdf

Relevant links include http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/gaw/ozone/index.html and www.unep.org/ozone

Jim Sniffen
Programme Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
tel: +1-212-963-8094
sniffenj at un.org/jsniffen88 at gmail.com
www.unep.org

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WM SEED UNDP IUCN LOGOs

WN U Unep LogoUNEP: From Mobile Solar Computer Classrooms to Novel Baobab Products: Green Entreprene​urship is Thriving Across Africa and Beyond


From Mobile Solar Computer Classrooms to Novel Baobab Products: Green Entrepreneurship is Thriving
Across Africa and Beyond
 

2014 SEED Awards Honour Low Carbon and Women-Led Enterprises

Nairobi, 10 September 2014 – Nairobi plays host to one of the largest gatherings of start-up social and environmental enterprises ever, as 41 green entrepreneurs are celebrated at the 2014 SEED Awards Africa Symposium, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today.

The SEED Awards identify and support innovative social and environmental start-up enterprises which can tackle key sustainable development challenges at community level, in developing and emerging economies. As in previous years, the 2014 SEED Awards have a special focus on Africa, with 28 Awards made to enterprises in Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. A further ten SEED Low Carbon Awards go to climate-smart enterprises across the globe that contribute towards grassroots climate change mitigation and/or adaption. Special recognition is also given to three women-led enterprises that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment as their core objectives.

Every SEED Award Winner will receive a financial contribution, technical assistance, access to different supporting institutions, and tailor-made support to develop their business and skills.

From an enterprise that produces premium outdoor furniture out of recycled plastic and organic waste materials in Colombia, to a women’s farming cooperative that improves food security in Nepal, to enterprises that market solar electricity kiosks in rural off grid areas of Malawi and promote bikes as subsidised moving billboards for the rural poor in Mozambique – this year’s SEED Winners again demonstrate that innovation, working in partnerships, and a dedicated focus on sustainability contribute significantly towards building a world of flourishing communities in which eco-entrepreneurship drives sustainable development.

The 2014 call for applications saw contributions from 84 countries, representing the collaborative efforts of partnerships between enterprises, non-governmental organizations, women’s and youth groups, labour organizations, public authorities, international agencies, and academia. Most of the applications were in the agricultural and rural development sectors; others were in energy and climate change, and ecosystem management. Many entries at the same time addressed IT applications, and education and training.

All the 2014 SEED winners were honoured at a high-level International Awards Ceremony at The Nairobi Safari-Park Hotel in Kenya. The Award winners will receive from SEED a package of individually tailored support for their businesses, technical assistance, access to other supporting institutions, and a financial contribution of US$5,000.

The winners were selected by the independent SEED International Jury of experts (details below).

The International Awards Ceremony was a highlight of the SEED Africa Symposium, which brought together over 250 entrepreneurs and business people, policymakers, and representatives from civil society and support institutions from across Africa around the theme “Making growth sustainable: co-creating solutions through social and green entrepreneurship.”

Representatives of the SEED Partners said about the SEED Winners:

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General, UNEP Executive Director: “The SEED Winners are visionaries who are spearheading the green economy among diverse communities and across a wide range of sectors. We are especially proud of the SEED’s acknowledgement of women-led green enterprises having introduced the Gender Equality component since 2011.”

“We salute the vision, innovation and resilience of these trailblazers as they lead the way towards a greener and more sustainable future,” he said.

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator: “The 2014 SEED Winners, have followed enlightened social and environmental pathways in their entrepreneurial activities. They offer good examples of how local entrepreneurs can contribute to successful and sustainable development.”

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General IUCN: “With the environment at their heart, these innovative enterprises create economic opportunities for communities that are often located close to natural resources, but are nonetheless deprived of sustainable livelihoods and social facilities. Speaking as Chairman of the SEED Board, we are impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit and the commitment these new SEED Winners bring to their communities. They can count on our support to help them to scale up and replicate, and so to inspire others to follow suit.”

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director UN Women: “Women’s economic empowerment is central to achieving gender equality. It’s more than a matter of basic fairness: it’s an established positive cycle. With a livelihood and an income of their own, women have increased status, can provide for their families, and become empowered in other parts of their lives as well, such as making decisions about education, housing, food choices, and medical care. We are pleased to be working with SEED and supporting the SEED Gender Equality Awards for the outstanding women-led social and environmental enterprises that are leading the way.”

Li Yong, Director General UNIDO: “Economic growth, environmental sustainability and the alleviation of poverty cannot take place without women. Women’s empowerment is crucial for inclusive and sustainable industrial development and UNIDO is committed to promote gender equality in its work. This year’s SEED Gender Equality Award Winners are best case examples of how women-led enterprises can be leading the way towards a green industry growth path and we are eager to see their businesses flourish in the months and years ahead.”

The 2014 SEED Gender Equality Award winners (by country) are:

Bangladesh:
·        “JITA Social Business” is an innovative rural distribution network, providing jobs and a regular income for women from low socio-economic communities across Bangladesh. Called Aparajitas – meaning “women who never accept defeat” – the women earn commissions selling a range of products from solar lamps to food and sanitary items on a door-to-door basis.

Nepal:
·        “Women’s Off-season Vegetable Production Group” is a women-led initiative growing and marketing organic vegetables in a climate where weather usually limits year-round production. The enterprise deploys agricultural techniques, notably poly-tunnels and greenhouses, to help improve food security and nutrition while empowering marginalised women through job creation.

Zimbabwe:
·        “Precious Life Foundation’s Outgrower Project” teaches bio-intensive, organic agricultural techniques to vulnerable women living at its shelter who then pass on their knowledge to the community. The enterprise empowers these women as teachers while working towards improved food security in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland South Region. Women farmers who benefit from the training donate labour or produce back as a form of payment for service.

 

The 2014 SEED Gender Equality Awards are largely supported by UN Women, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) which promotes inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Additional support is given by the international law firm, Hogan Lovells.

The 2014 SEED Low Carbon Award winners (by country) are:

Colombia:
·        “Diseclar: Ecological design and production” makes furniture, decks and pergolas from recycled plastic and agro-industrial waste, including sugar cane pulp, coffee and rice chaff, based on a method developed by the enterprise itself. Diseclar is working in co-operation with a university and a local government agency.
·        “Fundación Huellas Verdes” helps to protect communities at risk of landslides by planting tiva, at the same time as providing a carbon offset mechanism for enterprises and institutions. The grass, also known as vetiver, has great potential to store carbon in its roots and prevents erosion when planted on slopes at risk of landslides. Working closely with the affected communities the enterprise ensures maximum benefits for them.
·        “Proplanet” transforms materials that are hard to recycle, such as long-life Tetra Paks, into food packaging, construction materials and paper fibre. It is the first enterprise in Colombia recycling Tetra Paks. Through intensive research on how to improve its recycling processes, Proplanet managed to increase the spectrum of recycled materials and expand its product range, considerably reducing the pressure on landfills in Colombia.

India:
·        “Frontier Markets” provides rural low-income families with affordable solar energy lanterns, torches, and home-lighting systems using a hub-and-spoke distribution model. The specific needs of rural low-income families are integrated into the business model through after-sales services and regular product use needs assessments. Using solar energy products allows customers to reduce their energy expenses and to reduce the use of traditional polluting fuel sources such as kerosene.
·        “Last Forest Enterprises” is a marketing platform promoting fair trade principles, sustainable harvesting and biodiversity in India. The enterprise markets and sells 68 kinds of organic, forest-based or indigenous products such as handicrafts, garments, honey and timber products. Founded by a non-profit organization (NGO), the platform sells the sourced and branded products at its own retail sites or on e-commerce portals.
·        “Switch ON: ONergy” overcomes the obstacle of last-mile distribution of solar-energy products by providing solutions such as solar micro-grids and lanterns to rural communities, using a full-service distribution infrastructure, based at Renewable Energy Centres. By partnering with national banks, microfinance institutions and credit co-operatives, the enterprise ensures off grid village households can sustainably finance the products.

Tanzania:
·        “L’s Solution” promotes and sells solar powered lamps, chargers and cookstoves at village trade fairs and installs larger-scale devices such as solar water pumps and solar PV panels. By focusing on promotional activities the enterprise generates income and entrepreneurial opportunities for vendors, marketers and distributors, especially women. The products themselves reduce fuel consumption by 60 per cent, reducing deforestation and reducing health risks from indoor air pollution.

Uganda:
·        “Green Bio Energy” is an enterprise distributing its own brand of Briketti charcoal briquettes, solar lamps and EcoStove outdoor cookstoves to low-income families in Uganda through its network of trained micro-entrepreneurs. Its long-burning briquettes are made of 100 per cent recycled agricultural waste and its cookstoves have very low carbon emission rates. The enterprise regularly implements capacity-building workshops for its network of micro-entrepreneurs, thus enabling them to generate higher incomes for their families.

·        “Green Heat” is an enterprise installing and marketing biogas digesters that convert decaying organic material from latrines and agricultural waste into biogas fuel for cooking and heating. By using biogas digesters, urban and rural households, schools, prisons, hospitals and tourist lodges in Uganda reduce their dependence on firewood and charcoal, improve their waste management systems, and help reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emission rates related to methane release.

Vietnam:
·        “The Elegance Company” showcases agricultural products and livestock, renewable energy technologies, and organic farming techniques through its zero-waste, multi-culture, multi-crop and closed loop system implemented on its model farm. Partnering with NGOs and research institutions the enterprise provides consultancy services for product incubation, sustainable farm design, and development of new technologies.


The 2014 SEED Low Carbon Awards are largely supported by the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. 

The 2014 SEED Africa Award winners (by country) are:

Ethiopia
·        “Asrat & Helawi Engineering Partnership” manufactures and sells clean cookstoves for private and institutional customers. Heated with electricity, biogas, or ethanol the stoves considerably reduce both fuel costs and health risks related to indoor air pollution. Local communities help produce the stoves while additional indirect jobs are created through a retail network.

Tanzania
·        “Arusha Women Entrepreneurs” is an enterprise training and employing women in the production and marketing of aflatoxin-free peanut butter. Smallholder farmers supply the peanuts which are processed into peanut butter and sold in bulk to a large wholesaler as well as to supermarkets and kiosks, and through door-to-door sales. Gender quotas ensure women are able to hold leadership positions in the enterprise.
·        “Mesula – Meru Sustainable Land” supports bio-intensive farming by providing Arusha smallholder farmers with technical advice on how to convert to organic farming. Smallholder farmers see increased crop yields and higher incomes. Mesula buys their organic produce and sells it, together with conserves made by a group of local women, at a farmer’s market and a local supermarket.
·        “Village Inc. Africa” supports the creation of village companies in the Babati area of Tanzania. Communities structure their village like a business, thus giving them access to low interest loans to fund enterprises and projects. Profits are used to fund urgent social projects, such as sanitation. Villagers become shareholders once a village company meets a series of good governance and fiscal targets.

Uganda:
·        “Appropriate Energy Saving Technologies” works closely with local farmers in Uganda’s Teso District to provide households in the district with clean, sustainable cooking fuel. The farmers provide the enterprise with bio-waste which is used to manufacture the biomass briquettes. The enterprise then sells and distributes biomass charcoal briquettes and fuel-efficient cookstoves to local community groups.
·        “Bringing gas nearer to people” has developed a strategy to reach underserved rural and peri-urban communities in the central region of Uganda with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as an alternative clean energy solution for cooking purposes. The enterprise is trialling a door-to-door gas delivery service and alternative payment schemes tailored to the needs of rural low income communities, such as pioneering pay-as-you-go LPG community kitchens.
·        “Budongo Women Bee Enterprise” is a co-operative beekeeping enterprise producing honey and beeswax products. In mobilising women in the Masindi region to become beekeepers, the enterprise uses the honey business as a vehicle for community development, including promotion of sustainable land-use and climate change adaptation.
·        “Girls Agro Investment”, implemented by KadAfrica, trains young rural women to manage and run smallholder agricultural businesses in passion fruit farming. The girls are given rent-free land and training for two and a half years, during which KadAfrica buys back their produce. Empowering the girls to continue farming at the end of their internship, the enterprise offers an economic alternative to rural exodus in western Uganda.
·        “Kataara Women’s Poverty Alleviation Group” runs an innovative small-scale enterprise selling handicrafts made with paper produced from elephant dung. The paper is used to make cards, menus, and notebooks that are sold to tourists. Women employed by the enterprise are also trained to construct energy-efficient cookstoves which are marketed locally. The group aims to not only alleviate regional poverty but also to conserve its environment for future generations.
·        “KingFire Briquettes” is an urban recycling enterprise in Kampala which uses organic material, otherwise considered waste, to create biomass briquettes. Sourced from local materials, the briquettes offer an alternative energy source to firewood or charcoal and provide quality, affordable, sustainable fuel for heating and cooking.
·        “Southwestern Women Bean Growers Union” works to rally together the existing smallholder sugar bean farming community in south western Uganda. Women can join the enterprise’s collective where they are trained in how to increase production and sales and receive social support and wide market access. Through multiple partnerships, the enterprise also works to protect the local environment, replanting trees that have been cut to stake the beans.
·        “The Mobile Solar Computer Classroom” is helping bridge the digital divide in Uganda by making computer skills accessible, affordable, and relevant to rural schools and community libraries in Uganda. The enterprise uses solar powered computers – housed in modified SUV vehicles fitted with solar panels – to bring its technology to its trainees. A digital literacy curriculum is delivered to each participating venue over the course of two years.
·        “The Sustainable Mushroom Farming Initiative” is a community enterprise which farms and sells organic oyster mushrooms in the Kanungu District of Uganda. Providing alternative livelihoods for disadvantaged women and indigenous Batwa people living adjacent to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the enterprise reduces pressure on the gorilla habitat, as fewer community members engage in illegal foraging for food in the National Park.

Malawi
·        “Electricity4All” sells and rents solar battery kits and accessories at solar electricity kiosks in rural off grid areas. Each kiosk serves up to 500 customers who can use mobile phones to process payments. By collaborating with international foundations and multinationals, the enterprise helps rural entrepreneurs power their private businesses, reduces energy expenditures, contributes to forest protection, and eliminates the use of toxic batteries.
·        “Honey Products Industries” creates an agribusiness value-chain out of high-quality honey. By training young adults to operate business outlets via a franchise model and providing beekeeping equipment to smallholder farmers, the enterprise increases income generation and improves market access for rural communities in Malawi.
·        “Kumudzi Kuwale” provides renewable energy solutions to off grid communities by selling cookstoves, lamps and lanterns, by supplying electricity at village charging stations, and by installing larger-scale solar energy projects. The enterprise thus contributes to forest protection and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
·        “Powered by Nature” has developed a clean-energy value chain providing quality-proven and affordable clean energy devices to rural households in Malawi. By partnering with community stakeholders the enterprise educates the general public about clean technologies and trains women to construct cookstoves and make biomass briquettes, so becoming clean energy entrepreneurs themselves.

Morocco
·        “Recycling for Environmental Recovery” recycles plastic waste to produce secondary raw materials that are used in the lucrative plastics industry. Women waste workers are trained about the health and safety hazards and encouraged to join a co-operative to help regulate waste collection.

Mozambique
·        “Baobab Products Mozambique” provides hundreds of women harvesters with a new source of seasonal income from the processing of fruits of the baobab tree. Harvesters are trained in processing techniques and are paid to supply seeds and pulp used to make baobab powder and other products for both national and international markets.
·        “Mozambikes” engages in breaking the poverty cycle in Mozambique by selling locally-built custom-designed bikes at low prices. The enterprise enlists the private and public sectors to buy and distribute branded bikes in remote communities for various marketing and employee initiatives. The bikes then act as ‘moving billboards’, while women are trained how to ride and maintain the bikes.
·        “Piratas do Pau Upcycling Centre” employs and trains underprivileged youth in the design and production of modern furniture and other household products made from 90 per cent reclaimed materials. The enterprise reduces waste and teaches Mozambicans about the benefits of up-cycling.
·        “Pro-Sofala Verde” uses bees and a reforestation project to show a rural Mozambican community how sustainable living can lead to social, economic and environmental benefits. Families are given beehives and trained in good beekeeping and harvesting techniques. The high-grade honey is sold back to the enterprise, which processes and distributes it in small and affordable portions.

The 2014 SEED Africa Awards in Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda are largely supported by the European Union and the Government of Flanders. The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. It is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders. The Government of Flanders is active in Southern Africa.

The 2014 SEED South Africa Award winners are:

·        “All Women Recycling” turns discarded plastic bottles into unique gift boxes, called kliketyklikboxes, which are sold internationally. In the production of the gift boxes the enterprise employs young women, primarily previously unemployed single mothers. All Women Recycling also contributes to cleaner townships by strengthening environmental awareness, particularly in schools which, as a result, set up collection points for plastic bottles.
·        “Growing the Future” promotes nutritious and organic food production and improves household food security by providing a three-step gardening programme for unemployed people. After receiving an innovative wicking-bed gardening starting kit, households complete a gardening training course and can acquire land for smallholder farms.
·        “Khoelife Organic Soap and Oils Co-operative” is a women’s co-operative, marketing organic soaps and oils. Through training and a micro-loan scheme its members are enabled to become independent entrepreneurs. Khoelife Manufacturing, the supplier of the organic soaps and oils, uses traditional labour-intensive methods, certified organic ingredients, and renewable energy in its production processes.
·        “Waste to Food” recycles food waste from retailers and processes it into pre-compost using industrial technology, which is then converted into high-quality compost with an earthworm vermicomposting system operated under a franchise model. By offering an alternative to landfill disposal, Waste to Food decreases carbon emissions, strengthens soil structure, reduces chemical fertiliser input, and increases income generation for local communities.

These 2014 SEED South Africa Awards are largely supported by the European Union, which is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders. Additional support comes from                  .

·        “Botanica Natural Products” has developed a method of extracting beneficial substances from Bulbine frutescens, a traditional medicinal plant, for the cosmetic industry. The plant is cultivated and processed organically in its indigenous location in rural Limpopo, and its commercial use provides employment opportunities in the marginalised area. The local community further benefits through an Access and Benefit Sharing agreement.
·        “greenABLE” has found an innovative solution for recycling empty printer cartridges. The recycled plastic and metals are sold, generating a steady flow of income and employment opportunities for previously unemployed persons with disabilities. Jobs are being created in the enterprise’s recycling facility, or as greenAGENTS who run their own home-based cartridge collection business and sell the collected cartridges back to the enterprise.

These 2014 SEED South Africa Awards Awards are supported by the Government of Flanders, which is active in Southern Africa. 

Further details about the SEED Winners 2014 can be found on the website of the SEED Initiative at http://www.seedinit.org/awards/all/2014.html.

Notes to Editors

2014 SEED International Jury

The 2014 SEED Award Winners were selected by the independent SEED International Jury, which generously dedicated considerable time to selecting the most promising of the applications. The members of the jury are:

·        Bert van Nieuwenhuizen: Chief Technical Advisor Africa Biogas Partnership Programme, SNV Kenya.
·        Catalina Alvarez Morato: Deputy Chief of Party, Colombia Clean Energy Program, Colombia.
·        Crispin Rapinet: Partner, Hogan Lovells, United Kingdom.
·        David Sher: Investment Director, Low Carbon Enterprise Fund, United Kingdom.
·        Douglas Kativu: Head of Global Reporting Initiative Focal Point South Africa.
·        Edward Mungai: CEO, Climate Innovation Center, Kenya.
·        François Bonnici: Director, Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, South Africa.
·        Gisele Yitamben: President, Association for the Support of Women Entrepreneurs, Cameroon.
·        Helmy Abouleish: Managing Director, SEKEM Holding, Egypt.
·        Ilyas Azzioui: Incubator Manager, National Center for Scientific and Technical Research, Morocco.
·        Jane Kisakye: Independent Senior Advisor on Environment Conservation and Community Development, Uganda.
·        Jeff Felten: Managing Director Tanzania, Camco Clean Energy, Tanzania.
·        Kieu Oanh Pham: Director, Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP), Vietnam.
·        Kofi Nketsie-Tabiri: Founder and Managing Director, Xpress Gas, Ghana.
·        Leticia Greyling: Senior Lecturer, Rhodes Business School, South Africa.
·        Lucy Aviles: Independent Senior Advisor on Rural Development, Gender Mainstreaming and Social Impact Assessment, Bolivia / Germany.
·        Patricio Sande: President, Scientific Research Association of Mozambique.
·        Paul Laird: Corporate Partnerships Manager, Earthwatch, United Kingdom.
·        Phillip Bohwasi: Executive Director, Zimbabwe Opportunities Industrialization Center, Zimbabwe.
·        Rebecca Harrison: CEO, African Management Initiative, South Africa.
·        Saphira Patel: Manager Operations and Evaluation, DBSA, South Africa.
·        Sarah Timpson: Senior Adviser on Community-based Initiatives, UNDP, United States.
·        Saul Levin: Head of Research and Policy Strategy, TIPS, South Africa.
·        Scott Overdyke: Senior Program & Planning Manager, Root Capital, USA.
·        Seema Arora: Executive Director, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, India.
·        Shrashtant Patara: Senior Vice President, Development Alternatives, India.
·        Sosten Chiota: Regional Program Director, LEAD Southern Africa, Malawi.
·        Tanya Lobel: Director, Actis, United Kingdom.
·        Thais Corral: SEED Winner 2008; Director, Adapta Sertão, Brazil.
·        Valerie Green: Director Climate and Energy Unit, National Business Initiative, South Africa.
About the SEED Initiative

The SEED Initiative was founded in 2002 by UNEP, UNDP and IUCN to contribute towards the Millennium Development Goals and the commitments made at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.

SEED identifies, profiles and supports innovative, locally-driven start-up enterprises that integrate social, environmental and economic benefits into their business models at the outset. Based in developing countries, these enterprises work in partnership with stakeholders to improve livelihoods, tackle poverty and marginalisation, and manage natural resources sustainably.

SEED also develops learning resources for the broad community of social and environmental entrepreneurs, informs policy- and decision-makers, and aims to inspire innovative, entrepreneurial approaches to sustainable development.

Partners of the SEED Initiative, in addition to the Founding Partners, are the governments of Flanders, Germany, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America; the European Union; Conservation International; Hogan Lovells; UNIDO and UN Women; and SEED’s corporate partner, Hisense.

SEED is hosted by Adelphi Research, based in Germany.

For more information, please visit www.seedinit.org or contact:

Amélie Heuër, Programme Manager, amelie.heuer@seedinit.org

UNEP News Desk, unepnewsdesk@unep.org, +254 725 939 620

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UNEP:  With Almost 30% of their Population Threatened by Sea Level Rise, Small Island Developing States Need ‘Blue-Gree​n Economy’ Innovation​s to Adapt to Climate Change

EMBARGOED Until 2 September 2014, 00:00 h GMT

With Almost 30% of their Population Threatened by Sea Level Rise, Small Island Developing States Need ‘Blue-Green Economy’ Innovations to Adapt to Climate Change

Island Nations at a Crucial Turning Point, Says New UNEP Report

APIA, Samoa, 2 September 2014 – Facing rising sea levels, increasingly frequent natural disasters, major waste and pollution challenges and weakening family structures, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) around the globe require a fresh round of innovative solutions, ranging from economic diversification to island-based technological and cultural innovation to regional and global policy initiatives, according to a new Global Environment Outlook report released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today.

According to the GEO SIDS Outlook, which engaged a broad range of SIDS scientists, experts and policymakers, SIDS have reached a turning point from which a number of future scenarios are possible, ranging from business as usual – where islands are left farther behind – to a future marked by significant gains in sustainable development.

The report explores the state of SIDS in today’s world, from extreme sea level rise in islands like Tuvalu and Funafuti – which have recorded levels up to three times the global average – to the natural disasters that disproportionately affect SIDS. Under the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario for a global average temperature increase of approximately 4°C, it notes, sea level rise could be as much as one metre by 2100, severely affecting the estimated 30 per cent of the population of SIDS who live in areas less than five metres above sea level.

The report also puts forth a number of proposed elements of a SIDS policy framework for sustainability within the larger global framework of the post-2015 agenda and the future Sustainable Development Goals.

In particular, it recommends action as part of a “blue-green economy” outlook – one which offers the prospect of environmentally sound, socially inclusive growth with a lower level of indebtedness, transparent financial systems, food security and enhanced disaster preparedness.

“Small Island Developing States presently face a number of major challenges and hardships,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.  “Many suffer from isolation and high costs associated with long distances from global markets, and lag behind in the adoption of new technologies and innovation. Growing populations concentrated in urban areas are putting stress on island resources and the health effects of unsafe water, poor sanitation and increasingly unhealthy diets. Meanwhile, climate change threatens biodiversity, livelihoods and even the very existence of some island nations.”

“As the world enters the post-2015 era, significant changes both in global policy and on islands themselves were identified by the GEO expert teams from SIDS. Improvements in line with the blue-green economy would include, among other things, economic diversification, economic approaches to improve the management of biodiversity, resource efficiency, and sustainable consumption and production,” he added.

Along with the blue-green economy outlook, the report recommends an ensemble of three other island-centric elements: “technology leapfrogging”, priority to island community and culture and reconnecting with nature.

Blue-Green Economy

According to the report, a blue-green economic strategy – one which targets resource efficiency and clean technology, is carbon neutral and socially inclusive – will provide a clean and healthy environment and help conserve resources. By focusing on balanced development and the linkages between small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, water, tourism, renewable energy and waste, some of the most critical challenges facing SIDS can be addressed.

Transitional policy instruments will be needed to establish the conditions for a blue-green economy. An enabling agenda, focused on increasing public investment and spending, development of market-based instruments, encouragement of private sector involvement, integrated planning and management of island resources based on social equality and poverty eradication, revision of the legislative and regulatory framework and enhancement of institutional capacity, could be considered.

A blue-green economy outlook requires the development of economic tools to improve the management of biodiversity, using indigenous and local knowledge in decision-making and monitoring. Such tools as the UN System of Environmental and Economic Accounting, natural capital accounting, payment for ecosystem services and carbon trading schemes would contribute to establishing the “right” market prices for natural resources.

Other elements of a blue-green economy outlook include the increased awareness of resource efficiency and innovative eco-product design – those that “design-out” waste – as well as fostering sustainable consumption and production patterns and integrated waste management strategies.

Technology Leapfrogging

According to the report, SIDS should envisage rapid technological innovation, especially in information and communication technologies, that will help overcome island isolation, create new ways of maintaining social and cultural ties across the island diaspora and help evolve new economic activities.

Some of the hallmarks of technological leapfrogging in the context of SIDS include information and communication technology (ICT) enablement for the benefit of society, phasing out of inefficient technologies and increasing the penetration of renewable sources of energy and materials, as well as the use of traditional knowledge to create scale-appropriate technologies.

Digital technologies have enormous potential to benefit everyday life in SIDS and to tackle disaster risk management and a variety of social challenges. A digital agenda, focused on ICT capabilities to support social cohesion and connectivity, will help improve access to information, reduce energy consumption, support citizen’s lives, revolutionize health services and deliver better public services.

SIDS will continue to face many challenges when dealing with climate change. For example, in the western Pacific – where the rates of sea level rise on islands such as Tuvalu and Funafuti have been recorded up to 3 times the global average of 2.8-3.6 mm/year – islands are susceptible to extreme sea level events such as storm surges and tidal waves.

In order to deal with such challenges, a very high level of skill and education will be required. Therefore, policies should encourage “brain circulation”, or the return of skilled people who have emigrated away from the island. In addition, traditional knowledge and activities such as fishing can be combined with other sectors to create new business opportunities.

Priority to Island Community and Culture

There is great potential among SIDS to encourage a healthy island culture combining traditional and modern elements, evolving with the times while maintaining roots in island heritage. Each island community and culture should select what it wants from globalization within island limits, without being passive consumers.

Giving priority to island community and culture involves the promotion of participatory community and indigenous conservation and management; communities that are resilient; widespread collective action and partnership and the development of an island-centric demand side in the global marketplace; and education that has sustainability at its core.

Among participatory and community approaches described in the report is that of building community resilience as a key element in successful climate change adaptation and risk management.

This involves four critical strategies: building coping capacities to withstand and counteract shocks; strengthening existing and developing new early warning systems; strengthening disaster risk reduction capacity in SIDS, for example,  through ecosystem-based adaptation such as restoring beaches and mangroves; and actively engaging the international community in reducing the anthropogenic causes of the increased frequency of extreme events, including global warming and environmental degradation.

Reconnecting with Nature

Connections with nature have long been important to island peoples. In a blue-green economy outlook scenario, traditional knowledge of the environment would be combined with modern science to increase the integration and harvestable capacity of island ecosystems to restore biodiversity. Coral reef growth could be maintained by careful management and supported by citizen science and monitoring.

A number of SIDS have emphasized improving management and expansion of protected areas (PAs) as a strategy for dealing with biodiversity loss. Between 1990 and 2009, however, only a handful of SIDS showed an increase of over 4 per cent in protected areas. A related strategy is the promotion and implementation of community or indigenous conservation and management areas, which respect and incorporate local and indigenous knowledge.

Similarly, empowering local communities and devolving power to them for managing and restoring forested areas has proven effective in places like Palau and Vanuatu.

The report recommends investments in organic agricultural policies and agritourism – which connects sustainable agriculture with tourism – as ways to increase food self-sufficiency, and notes that many SIDS are already successfully investing money in improving and developing water and wastewater treatment infrastructure.

It also stresses that, as part of a blue-green economy outlook, SIDS should place themselves at the forefront of sound coastal zone management policies.

Other recommendations

The report also issues a number of other recommendations related to a blue-green economy outlook. These include:

·        Macro-economy, technology and globalization

The report recommends developing market mechanisms and fiscal policies to remove environmentally harmful subsidies and ensure payment for ecosystem services and environmental goods.

·        Achieving environmental sustainability at the island level

Among other elements, this includes such actions as developing comprehensive fisheries and aquaculture management strategies, comprehensive forest management strategies and comprehensive waste prevention and management strategies – all based on holistic and integrated approaches to sustainable use, local conservation solutions and supportive international initiatives.

·        International enabling environment for SIDS

Also crucial will be ensuring that there is a coordinated SIDS voice on the environment at international and regional intergovernmental fora, and that the international community supports SIDS in their efforts to develop and implement such activities as the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production.

Sustainable sources of international finance are needed for responsibilities beyond what islands can reasonably cover themselves.

·        Reviewing national policies, actions and initiatives contained in reports submitted to the Third International UN Conference on Small Island Developing States

A preliminary review of national submissions made to the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States will give an overview of where SIDS have made significant progress, with the possibility of replication in other countries.

Notes to Editors:

To download the full report, visit: http://uneplive.org/media/docs/region/59/GEO_SIDS_final.pdf

For data and knowledge on SIDS issues, visit: www.uneplive.org/region/index/59#

For more information, contact:

Melissa Gorelick, UNEP Information Officer, +254 20 762 3088/ +254 71 621 4041 melissa.gorelick@unep.org

UNEP News Desk, unepnewsdesk@unep.org

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UNEP’s magazine, “Our Planet”, focuses on SIDS Conference

Dear Colleagues,
The latest edition of UNEP’s magazine, “Our Planet”, focuses on the Samoa Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS); see
 
In addition to an introductory article by UNEP’s Executive Director Achim Steiner, contributions have been made by:
 
– Emanuel Mori, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, on “Restoring a Safe Climate: Why HFCs should be phased down”
 
– Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, on “From Potential to Realization: Using renewable energy in SIDS—the case of Barbados”
 
– John Ashe, President of the 68th General Assembly session, on “Seizing the Moment: SIDS must use 2014’s opportunities to identify concrete actions to safeguard their future”
 
– Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and SIDS Conference Secretary-General, on “Island Voices, Global Choices: How will Samoan partnerships drive SIDS to sustainability?”
 
– Marlene Moses. AOSIS Chair, on “Star Opportunity: Can SIDS grab the chance they have?”
 
– Ronald Jumeau, Seychelles Ambassador for Climate Change and SIDS Issues, on “No Island is Alone: SIDS—Are they barometers of the world?”
 
– Liz Thompson, Former Barbados Minister of Energy and Environment, Special Advisor to the GA President, on “Financing Change: Why SIDS need a REDD+”
 
– Mariama Williams, Senior Programme Officer for the South Centre, on “From Apia to Paris: SIDS face great—but resolvable—challenges in both mitigating and adapting to climate change”
 
– David Sheppard, Director-General of the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), on “We Can Do It: Island nations are taking the action needed to fight against climate change”
 
Vasantha Chase, Director, Chase Consulting Ltd, Saint Lucia, and Norma Fevrier, Programme Officer with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), on Disastrous Consequences: Social cohesion and citizen security are important tools in adapting to climate change”
 
***********************************
Jim Sniffen
Programme Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
sniffenj at un.org/jsniffen88 at gmail.com

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UNEP News: Momentum Building for a Greener and More Inclusive Economy

       Momentum Building for a Greener and More Inclusive Economy

A quarter of the world’s countries are now pursuing green economy plans.

Three new reports to support Governments in building greener and more inclusive economies unveiled at the Green Economy Coalition annual meeting.

LONDON, 1 September 2014 - Green economy policies are spreading worldwide at an increasing pace, with more than 65 countries now actively pursuing green economy policies and 48 of them taking steps to develop national green economy plans.

These figures were presented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the Green Economy Coalition’s first public annual meeting, which is assessing the status of green economy around the world and particularly progress towards financial reform.

“The green economy is a viable approach for countries interested in pursuing inclusive and sustainable growth strategies,” said Sheng Fulai, Head of Research and Partnerships for UNEP’s Economics and Trade Branch. “The new Green Economy Toolkit for Policymakers is intended to better equip countries as they advance in their plans to achieve sustainable development.”

“The change is happening, but for it to spread more quickly and more deeply, it must better respond to people’s hopes and fears. The green economy must benefit all of society,” said Oliver Greenfield, Convenor of the Green Economy Coalition.

The annual Green Economy Coalition meeting (1-2 September 2014) brings together leaders from civil society, media, policy and business for a public dialogue around the green economy. Over 200 participants are attending the event, including featured speaker Sir David King, Special Representative for Climate Change, UK Foreign Office; Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capital Solutions; and Melissa Leach, Director of the Institute of Development Studies.

“Governments will have to take the lead and set out a clear pathway for business and finance to follow,” said Sir David King. “A transition to a green economy is needed to tackle the enormous environmental challenges we face, and to take advantage of new economic opportunities.”

During the Coalition meeting, UNEP also released three new reports to guide countries interested in advancing their national green economy transitions. The Green Economy Toolkit for Policymakers provides countries with practical guidance on how to formulate and assess policies, measure progress and model future effects of the transition.

The new toolkit was produced under the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), which aims to assist Governments in their efforts to develop and implement green economy policies and strategies. The Green Economy Coalition has been instrumental in its support of PAGE, hosting dialogues and conducting national and regional-level outreach and catalysing a global movement for change.

The Toolkit includes the following three reports:

Guidance Manual for Green Economy Policy Assessment advises Governments on how to set targets, identify policy reform needs, estimate the amount of investment and assess policy impacts. Examples and case studies illustrate how fiscal policy, trade policy and regulatory measures have been used in a wide range of countries. In South Africa, for instance, a 2013 assessment study found that green economy investments could create 169,000 new jobs, restore land and increase water availability with the right enabling conditions to advance their national green economy plans.

Guidance Manual for Green Economy Indicators outlines how indicators can be used to measure progress towards a more resource-efficient and inclusive economy. The report argues that targets and priorities need to be country specific, and provides guidance on how to identify and use indicators well suited to the national context. The report also calls for prioritising green economy in the agenda-setting stage and for building green economy strategies on existing policy priorities.

Using Models for Green Economy Policymaking concerns macroeconomic planning for both short and long term, and provides countries with a range of modelling tools for formulating and evaluating the impacts of green economy policies. The report emphasizes that modelling for green economy policies requires broad stakeholder involvement and estimation of impacts across sectors. It argues that impacts must be assessed on the short, medium and long term, and that both direct and indirect effects of action and inaction must be considered.

Note to editors:

Since the UNEP Green Economy Initiative was established in 2008, it has assisted more than 30 countries in their pursuit of greener and more inclusive economies. Following the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, the green economy has been increasingly promoted by Governments as an important tool for achieving social, economic and environmental sustainable development’ seewww.unep.org/greeneconomy

The Green Economy Coalition is made up of over 40 organizations including businesses, research institutes, trade unions and NGOs. It is the world’s largest multi-stakeholder network working on green economy; see www.greeneconomycoalition.org

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Gorelick, Information Officer, UNEP, Tel. :+254 20 762 3088 / Email: Melissa.Gorelick@unep.org

Emily Benson, Programme Manager, GEC, Tel./ Email: Emily.benson@greeneconomycoalition.org

- See more at: http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2796&ArticleID=10966&l=en#sthash.XL5RgAQu.dpuf

 
Jim Sniffen
Programme Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
sniffenj at un.org/jsniffen88 at gmail.com
 

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UNEP Targets Innovative Learning to Reduce Disaster Risk Worldwide

UNEP Targets Innovative Learning to Reduce Disaster Risk Worldwide

More than 1,000 risk and disaster experts, practitioners and government officials from over 100 countries convene in Davos this week to tackle the growing challenge of disaster risk. 
DAVOS, Switzerland, 26 August 2014 

- In the past decade, natural disasters have cost over 1.2 million lives and economic losses have continued to skyrocket. Projections indicate that damages from disasters will climb up to US$400 billion per year and with climate change expected to worsen these impacts, identifying innovative solutions and responses has become an urgent priority.

This week at the 5th Annual International Disaster Risk Conference (IDRC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) unveiled its latest effort to build resilience to this global challenge. UNEP is launching the first-ever Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) focusing on how to minimize disaster risk through “natural” or ecosystem-based solutions.

Ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and reefs often provide valuable protection against natural hazards like avalanches and flooding. They also supply vital services such as food, fuel and shelter following a disaster event. Yet limited awareness of the services offered by ecosystems and false perceptions on their effectiveness as a tool for disaster risk reduction is preventing concrete action.

“In order to bring disaster losses under control, we need more skills, scale and speed in our disaster risk reduction efforts. This MOOC improves access at a global scale by enabling people to learn directly from experts and practitioners how to apply ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and adaptation in their own communities,” said Dr. Muralee Thummarukudy, Senior Manager for Disaster Risk Reduction at UNEP.

This MOOC will also broaden awareness on the different tools available beyond concrete or engineered solutions by demonstrating how climate change, disasters and the environment are linked. It exposes participants to a range of tools for eco-disaster risk reduction and adaptation. With over 20 hours of video lectures, guest lectures from world leaders and real-life case studies, the MOOC targets policy-makers and decision-makers, practitioners, experts and the wider public.

Today, UNEP and the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR) are also hosting an interactive panel discussion on “Bridging disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation through ecosystems management.” The panel aims to demonstrate through field projects how ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and adaptation are building resilience in communities worldwide.

Notes to Editors:

The MOOC is the result of a collaboration between UNEP and the Centre for Natural Resources and Development, a consortium of 11 universities from around the world that is coordinated by the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (CUAS), Germany.

Further details on UNEP’s disaster risk reduction programme are available athttp://www.unep.org/disastersandconflicts/Introduction/DisasterRiskReduction/tabid/104159/Default.aspx

The Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR) is a global alliance of UN agencies, NGOs and specialist institutes; see www.pedrr.org

The International Disaster Risk Conference is a major biennial forum on disaster risk; see http://www.idrc.info

For more information, please contact:

UNEP Newsdesk, Nairobi, Kenya: unepnewsdesk@unep.org

Cassidy Travis, Communications Advisor, UNEP Post-Conflict & Disaster Management Branch: +41 22 917 8839 orCassidy.travis@unep.org

 Jim Sniffen Programme Officer UN Environment Programme New York tel: +1-212-963-8094 sniffenj at un.org/jsniffen88 at gmail.com www.unep.org 

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UNEP-MAP Call for experts_MS​SD REVIEW / REVISION DE LA SMDD

Dear Colleagues,

Please note that as the Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-MAP) is in the process of the revision of its Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) and is looking for experts in the field of sustainable development, with the deadline for the call of applications by 1 September to assist this revision.

Please find the terms of reference, details of application at:

http://planbleu.org/en/content/call-tender-thematic-experts-support-review-mediterranean-strategy-sustainable-development
http://planbleu.org/en/content/call-tender-senior-advisor-senior-sustainable-development-expert-support-review
 
Thank you for your interest.

Gyorgyi Gurban

Ecosystem Approach Project Manager

United Nations Environment Programme

Barcelona Convention Secretariat

Coordinating Unit for the Mediterranean Action Plan

Vassileos Konstantinou 48, Athens 11635, Greece

T: +30 210 7273105  /  F: +30 210 7253196   /  www.unepmap.org

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UNEP: Investment in Climate Change Adaptation can Help Promote Livelihood​s of 65% of Africans, Finds New Report


Investment in Climate Change Adaptation can Help Promote Livelihoods of 65% of Africans, Finds New Report

NAIROBI, 12 August 2014 –   Investment in climate change adaptation can help ensure that the impacts of climate change – including a projected 20–50 per cent decline in water availability – do not reverse decades of development progress in Africa, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).Keeping Track of Adaptation Actions in Africa (KTAA) – Targeted Fiscal Stimulus Actions Making a Difference - is the first graphical report that presents practical examples of successful low-cost adaptation solutions from around sub-Saharan Africa in one concise handbook.The report includes examples of successful adaptation projects that have provided the impetus for large-scale government investments and policy action. According to the report, by 2050 Africa’s population will have doubled. The continent will then be home to 2 billion people, the majority of which will still largely depend on agriculture for their livelihoods“With 94 per cent of agriculture dependent on rainfall, the future impacts of climate change — including increased droughts, flooding and sea-level rise — may reduce crop yields in some parts of Africa by 15–20 per cent,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.“Such a scenario, if unaddressed, could have grave implications for Africa’s most vulnerable States.”“Using projects implemented in various countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the KTAA report clearly demonstrates how investment in adaptation actions can provide, not just low-cost solutions to climate change challenges, but can actually stimulate local economies through more efficient use of natural capital, job creation and increased household incomes.” “By integrating climate change adaptation strategies in national development policies Governments can provide transitional pathways to green growth and protect and improve the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Africans,” he added.The practical publication responds to the 2013 Africa Adaptation Gap Report which was endorsed by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), and which identified the potentially crippling costs of climate change for Africa. 

“Incipient threats posed by climate change, particularly in terms of potentially overturning decades of development efforts in Africa, suggest that future development efforts should incorporate greater resilience to climate change impacts,” said the President of AMCEN and Minister of State for the Environment, United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Dr. Binilith Mahenge.

“The KTAA report is an action guide that showcases ways to do this in various sectors and African countries should use this as the guiding document for investments in adaptation to climate change.”

The first part of the report provides snapshots of the current and predicted future impacts of climate change on livelihoods, agriculture and human and ecosystem health in Africa, detailing impacts by region, country and even city.

The second half of the report describes how countries through low-cost climate adaptation actions can improve the health and functioning of ecosystems; build community capacity to sustainably manage eco-systems; improve agricultural productivity; and innovatively store water.

For example, an aquatic ecosystems project in one local community in Togo led to an increase in access to water for human use, agriculture and livestock of 488 per cent.
Other key report take-aways of UNEP climate change adaptation projects:

Ecosystem Management Project – Seychelles

·        Result - Seychelles introduced national legislation that changed school building codes to enable rainwater catchment systems. About 400 teachers and the students of seven schools in the Seychelles were educated in ecosystem management principles and schools saved US$250 each on water-related expenses.

Forest Ecosystems Project – Rwanda and Uganda
·        Result – In Rwanda 2,500 farmers were trained in land husbandry and 4,850 people were employed and paid via saving and credit cooperatives. 
·        Result - 432 hectares (ha) of graded terraces were established; 73.72 km of waterways, 59.77 km of cut-off drains and a 105 ha drainage system were put in place. 789 ha of forest was planted.
·        Result - The US$100,000 project served as the impetus for the grander Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture investment of US$25 million.
·        Result – In Uganda an investment of US$13.26 per person per year generated significant gains in ecosystem protection, livelihood improvement and the planting of over 31,000 trees. 
Agricultural Ecosystems Project – Zambia

·        Result - The number of participating households with one or more surplus farm products for sale, rose from 25.9 per cent to 69 per cent. While 61 per cent of the households reported that sales of surplus farm products were contributing 50 per cent or more of their income.

Notes to Editors
Download Keeping Track of Adaptation Actions in Africa (KTAA) – Targeted Fiscal Stimulus Actions Making a Difference at:
http://bit.ly/1vwK36LDownload the AMCEN 2013 Gaborone Declaration at: http://www.unep.org/roa/amcen/Amcen_Events/5th_ss/Docs/K1353541%20-%20Gaborone%20Declaration%20by%20the%205th%20Special%20session%20of%20AMCEN%20-%20Final%2022102013%20EN.pdf

For more information, please contact: Shereen Zorba, Head of News and Media, UNEP +254 788 526000unepnewsdesk@unep.org

Niamh Brannigan, Information Officer, UNEP +254 7177 33348 (mobile), unepnewsdesk@unep.org

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Statement on the 3rd Anniversar​y of UNEP Report on Shell Oil Spill in Ogoniland

Dear everyone,


Please see the attached solidarity message of the People’s Goals      solidarity message on the 3rd Anniversary of the UNEP Report on      Shell oil spill in Ogoniland, Nigeria.
Sincerely,       Ivan Phell Enrile

Continue the Struggle for Environmental        Justice

People’s Goals Solidarity Message to the      People of Ogoni      on the 3rd Anniversary of UNEP Report

The Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable      Development      (People’s Goals) expresses its solidarity with the people of      Ogoniland, Nigeria      as they mark the third year anniversary of the United Nations      Environmental      Programme (UNEP) report compelling Royal Dutch Shell to indemnify      the victims      of its environmental and human rights abuses. The continued      impunity against      the Ogoni people as shown by the lack of any serious response from      Shell and      the Nigerian authorities underscores the need to carry on our      fight for      environmental justice in Nigeria and the world over.

For almost half a century, since Shell began      its operations      in the area, the people of Ogoniland have suffered from toxic oil      spills and      pollution.

Wells that are the sources of drinking water in      Ogoni contain      levels of carcinogenic toxins up to 900 times more than World      Health      Organisation guidelines.

Cases of cancer and infant deformity, as well      as lung and      skin conditions are on the rise.

Farmers are unable to grow crops, as oil      contamination reaches      five meters below the land surface. In a region where over 70 per      cent of the      population rely on land for their livelihood, the situation could      only be      described as catastrophic.

When the Ogoni people began to organize and      mobilize to      protest this injustice, they were met with violent repression by      the government      and Shell Oil. Mass organizations and their leaders were targeted      in several      large-scale military operations.

In 1998, the United Nations Special Rapporteur      to Nigeria recommended      the establishment of an independent agency to determine the scale      of      environmental damage caused by Shell’s oil exploration and other      operations in      Ogoniland. Not until after 8 long years was this recommendation      acted on by      authorities when the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo invited      UNEP to carry      out an investigation.

On August 4th 2011, after four years of      carrying out the      unprecedented study of the impacts of oil exploration on the      ecosystems,      fishing grounds and farmlands of the Ogoni people, the UNEP      released its report      confirming Shell’s culpability in the degradation of the      environment and life      in Ogoniland. The UNEP estimated the cleanup would take up to 30      years and required      Shell to put up $1 billion to get the work started.

Three years later, Shell has yet to clean up      its mess.

We call on the government of Nigeria and duly      responsible UN      authorities to take action and make Royal Dutch Shell to pay for      its criminal negligence      and indemnify the victims of its environmental injustice and human      rights      violations in Ogoniland.

We call on governments and the United Nations      to ensure that      the next global development agenda ensures the protection of the      environment      from corporate plunder and exploitation.

We demand the institution of a legally binding      international      regulatory framework for monitoring and holding corporations like      Royal Dutch      Shell accountable for violating human rights and environmental      destruction.      Critically, we stress the need for community access to justice,      right to      protest, reparation and restoration of damaged environment and      livelihoods, and      criminal liability for corporate offenders.

Justice for the people of Ogoni!

Indemnification for the victims of Shell’s environment  and human rights abuses in Ogoni!

Fight for environmental justice!

Demand development justice!

August 4 Statement UNEP Report on Ogoni Shell Oil Spill

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Convention on Biological Diversity [CBD]:  Results of the Open Working Group on Sustainabl​e Developmen​t Goals

From: Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity
To: CBD National Focal Points and relevant organizations
Subject: Results of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
Thematic area: Biodiversity for Development
Ref.: SCBD/MPO/AF/DA/83759
NOTIFICATION
No. 2014-096
Madam/Sir,
On 19 July 2014, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly agreed by acclamation to forward a proposal containing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the General Assembly.  Biological diversity and ecosystems featured prominently in the text of 17 goals and 169 targets.
There is much more work ahead, but Parties, stakeholders and others involved in this process should all be very proud to have contributed to this great accomplishment, which will have a significant impact in our efforts to mainstream biodiversity into development and poverty eradication.
This outcome will form an important part of the Secretary General’s “synthesis report” on SDGs and the Post-2015 agenda, which will lay out the final steps for completing the Post-2015 package in 2015, bringing together different processes that have been ongoing:  one on SDGs, one on the Post-2015. agenda, and one that includes the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, supported by the Working Group on Financing for Sustainable Development.
From the perspective of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the implementation of its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the outcome is extremely positive.  Biodiversity and ecosystems are included throughout the goals and targets.  There are two goals directly related to biodiversity:  Goal 14 on oceans and coasts, and Goal 15 on terrestrial biodiversity.  Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production is also very relevant to the Strategic Plan.
Language relevant to biodiversity and ecosystems and/or natural resources is also included in many other goals, including Goal 2 on food security, Goal 6 on water and sanitation, and Goal 11 on cities and human settlements.  Other goals which include “sustainability” considerations are also of relevance, as is Goal 17 on means of implementation.
In addition to these goals, the language in the chapeau underscores that conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits are at the heart of the sustainable development process and are top overarching priorities. Paragraph 3 states: “Poverty eradication, changing unsustainable and promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are the overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development.”
These results are directly relevant to the theme of COP 12 and its High-level Segment – “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”, and point out the growing recognition outside of the traditional biodiversity community, of the essential role of biodiversity to achieving sustainable development.  The close parallel of the language in these goals to the text of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the setting of the date of 2020 for achievement of many of the SDG targets demonstrate an integration of the work of the CBD in the broader development agenda.
It is clear that when Parties to the CBD meet in Pyeongchang, COP 12 and the High-level Segment will provide opportunities to further reinforce and integrate the agenda of the CBD with that of the SDGs Post-2015 development agenda.  It is expected that a number of COP 12 decisions, related to oceans, forests, biodiversity for development and others, as well as the many parallel meetings and side events will have the potential to contribute to advancing and implementing the goals and targets proposed under the SDG process.  The Pyeongchang Roadmap, an anticipated result from COP 12, will also be important to ensuring that the biodiversity and the Post-2015 development agendas are more closely linked.
The efforts that have taken place to date in and around the Open Working Group processes have also demonstrated the professionalism and coordination among United Nations bodies.  The work by those organizations which deal directly with the CBD agenda have been tireless and consensual. The FAO, UNEP, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFF, the World Bank, the biodiversity-related conventions such as CITES, CMS, Ramsar, WHC, UNCCD and UNFCCC, among others, were key to the crafting of background documents, and their participation in the sessions of the Open Working Group provided important technical expertise to the delegations.
Furthermore, the overall process through which these outcomes have been generated, ably led by the co-chairs, Ambassador Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary and Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya, has been one of transparency, and open dialogue.  This bodes well for the challenges of implementation which lie ahead.
We all need to ensure that biodiversity remains strongly in the final outcomes of the negotiations for the Post-2015 development agenda.  We further need to ensure that the indicators for these goals and targets, as well as their implementation are meaningful and effective.
In light of the above, I invite all Parties and interested stakeholders to review the results of the work of the Open Working Group to be found at:http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/focussdgs.html
I would also like to invite Parties to explore opportunities to take into consideration the goals and targets adopted by the Open Working Group in the planning and implementation of their revised NBSAPs. As you begin your preparations for COP 12, let us further this momentum for implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
Finally, I am pleased to announce that the theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity 2015 will be: “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.”  Parties and stakeholders are kindly invited to begin the planning for their events and celebrations now, and to communicate these to the Secretariat.
The text of this notification is also available on the CBD website at: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2014/ntf-2014-096-SDGs-en.pdf
Please accept, Madam/Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias
Executive Secretary
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
United Nations Environment Programme
413 Saint-Jacques Street, Suite 800
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H2Y 1N9

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