From 23-27 June 2014, the first-ever meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) will convene at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.  The UNEA will be a historic moment, as it is the first assembly with universal membership to bring environmental issues to the forefront in a subsidiary assembly of the UN General Assembly. 

Replacing UNEP’s previous Governing Council, the assembly will convene every two years to give all of the 193 United Nations Member States, Observer States and other stakeholders the ability to participate in discussions and decision-making on issues that affect the state of the environment and global sustainability. 

This year, the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals will be the key themes for the High Level segment, together with the issue of illegal trade in wildlife. The UNEA programme includes, amongst others, two symposia focusing on the Environmental Rule of Law and on Financing a Green Economy, all of which will be preceded by a global major groups and stakeholders forum.

Ahead of the first UNEA, nearly 300 delegates representing 97 countries participated in the first meeting of UNEP's Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR)  from 24-28 March 2014 with a focus on UNEP's critical inputs to the Post-2015 development agenda. The OECPR contributed to the preparation of the UNEA agenda and provided advice on policy matters. More Information.  

Forum of LAC Environment Ministers advances sustainable development in the region
The 19th Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean convened in Los Cabos, Mexico, from 12 to 14 March 2014. This Forum is considered as the most representative and important political gathering on environmental policies and responses with broad consensus at the regional level.

The high-level political dialogue that brought together representatives from 27 countries and international experts, approved an ambitious set of decisions to advance sustainable development in the region and to offer support to Peru and Ecuador as hosts of two upcoming crucial UN Conferences (the COP11 to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals in Quito in November 2014 and the Climate Change COP 20 in Lima in December 2014). 

The complete declaration and other documents of the 19th Forum are available here
The Forum was preceded by a meeting of EUROCLIMA, the regional cooperation programme on climate change between the European Union and Latin America, in which UNEP is participation through its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC). 

Ban Ki-moon presses EU to agree on a climate package before the Climate Summit of 23 September 2014

The UN Secretary-General, speaking at a Friends of Europe event in Brussels on 3 April 2014, called on EU leaders to set an example and agree on an ambitious 2030 target before the Climate Change Summit of 23 September 2014 in New York. This would send positive signals of commitments  ahead of the Climate Change COP in Lima in December 2014, in view of shaping a “robust, universal, legal climate agreement” by the end of 2015.
His appeal came just after the release of a Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 31 March 2014, which he said confirms that the effects of human-caused climate change are already widespread and consequential, affecting agriculture, human health, ecosystems on land and in the oceans, water supplies, and some industries. Read More

UNEP Deputy Executive Director meets with top African officials to review SDGs 

Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, met with top African leaders in Addis Ababa in February 2014, on the margins of the 22nd African Union Summit. The opportunity was taken to reiterate UNEP's stance on the importance of the environmental pillar as a key component of the Post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more here.

World Environment Day 2014 'Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level'
World Environment Day, celebrated each year on 5 June, will this year be themed around Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the broader context of climate change. The call is to raise our voice in solidarity with small island states. See what you can do!

Achim Steiner to serve two more years as UNEP Executive Director

The UN General Assembly has re-elected Achim Steiner for two more years as as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) starting 15 June 2014.   

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UN-led Global Partnership for Action on Green Economy  

The first Global Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Conference, a joint initiative by founding partners UNEP, ILO, UNIDO and UNITAR, was held from 4-5 March 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The PAGE Programme is a follow-up of the Rio+20 conference, which recognized the importance of green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

“PAGE has been tasked to become the major vehicle to facilitate this change and keep countries connected through continued knowledge sharing and mutual support. This conference has marked the beginning of building the green economy bridge between countries and the international community,” according to the Chair’s Summary of the PAGE Conference. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is also set to join PAGE. 

The outcomes from this Conference are expected to contribute to the discussion of the post-2015 development agenda in international fora such as the UNEA in June 2014. Read more here.

World Urban Forum 7
From 5-11 April 2014, the World Urban Forum was held in Medellin, Colombia under the leadership of UN-Habitat. The UNEP and UN-Habitat Greener Cities Partnership was launched on this occasion. The objective of the programme is to strengthen synergies between the two agencies and their partners, particularly in the areas of resilient, resource efficient cities; sustainable transport and mobility; and waste and waste water management in environmental and urban policy-making. For more information, see the list of UNEP involvement in the forum, as well as the general programme and the WUF7 website.

Towards Blue Growth in Africa
Parties to the Abidjan Convention, a 16-member body which governs marine issues affecting much of the African continent, met in Cape Town, South Africa from 17-21 March 2014. The meeting aimed to bring the green economy to the "blue world" through the sustainable management of marine resources. Decisions taken at the conference include the development of a working group to study conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, enhancing capacity building, particularly of Small Island Developing States, and the promotion of South-South cooperation to support capacity building and technological exchange. Find out more about the meeting here.

UNEP participation in the Green Week and New Environmentalism Summit in June 2014
This year's Green Week will take place from 3 to 5 June 2014 in Brussels under the theme 'Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency & Waste'. UNEP will be participating by hosting a high level panel focusing on Green Economy, Finance and Sustainable Production and Consumption, as well as by having presence in different panels on cities and the circular economy, on financing resource efficient economies, on Sustainable Development Goals and on the knowledge base for a green economy. The occasion will also be seized to launch the latest assessment report from the International Resource Panel  "Decoupling in practice" with Commissioner Potocnik. Find out more about UNEP's participation in Green Week here.
Ahead of the Green Week, on 3 June, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner will be participating in the New Environmentalism Summit.  More information can be found here

New head of UNEP Liaison Office to the EU in Brussels 
The Working Group II contribution to the 2014 IPCC Climate Change Report considers the vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems, the observed impacts and future risks of climate change, and the potential for and limits to adaptation. You can find the full accepted and unedited report on the IPCC website. See also the Working Group II Factsheet.
This assessment report examines investments under “business-as-usual” (BAU) compared to green economy scenarios in four key sectors that are critical for Kenya's green growth, namely: agriculture, energy, manufacturing and transport. 
This report gives some examples of UN system-wide efforts to achieve climate neutrality which include reductions in travel-related emissions, schemes to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and raising awareness among staff. 
The March issue of the monthly GEAS (Global Environmental Alert Service), focuses on the use of sand and gravel as natural resources, highlighting our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment.
The 2013 Annual Report lays out the highlights of UNEP's work in 2013, a year in which the organization's Governing Council met under Universal Membership for the first time. The report focuses on UNEP's achievements in its focus areas and highlights the key role UNEP plays in providing environmental leadership to the UN system and the international community.
The UNEP Compendium on Human Rights and the Environment identifies and promote good practices relating to the use of human rights obligations as well as commitments to inform, support, and strengthen environmental policy making, especially in the areas of environmental protection and management.
Cities can use a range of principles and approaches to integrate the environment in urban planning and management. This report is intended to encourage and support urban decision-makers in this process.
In recent years, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment has become the standard reference for global figures on renewable energy investment. Access the full 2014 Report as well as the Summary of Key Findings.
The Working Group III contribution assesses the options for mitigating climate change. It transparently lays out risks, uncertainty and ethical foundations of climate change mitigation policies on the global, national and sub-national level, investigates mitigation measures for all major sectors and assesses investment and finance issues.  Full report, Summary for Policymakers, and Factsheet are all available here
This report by the International Resource Panel (IRP) and the UN REDD+ Programme provides a concise summary of the elements necessary for integrating REDD+ into a Green Economy. It provides policy makers with innovative ideas for supporting economic development while maintaining or increasing forest cover. See also the Summary for Policy Makers
Featuring nineteen case studies and analyses of experiences from twenty eight countries and territories in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East, this book creates a framework for understanding how decisions governing water resources in post-conflict settings can facilitate or undermine peacebuilding.

For EU-focused UNEP reports & events join our online group UNEP - Environment for Development.

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