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Environment

More “joined-up” approaches to measure and monitor sustainability are needed to sharpen policies in UNECE region 

More robust monitoring and measuring systems are required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a UNECE report on Measuring and Monitoring progress towards SDGs that uses a “nexus” approach to chart a course for more “joined up”

UNECE calls for integrated and sustainable natural resource use through a "nexus" approach

The use of material resources, fuelled by economic and population growth, urbanisation and societal changes, has increased more than ten times since 1900 and is set to double again by 2030. The annual global extraction of materials has increased from 27 to 92 billion tonnes since 1970, while the world's population more than doubled, and global CO2 emissions rose by about 90 per cent.   

Effective and efficient public participation to leave no one behind

To reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus, Governments in the UNECE region introduced social distancing and other measures, which have often included restrictions on the freedoms of assembly and of movement. Consequently, there has been an impact on procedural rights of public participation in decision-making, including in environmental matters. For instance, public hearings have been cancelled, postponed or moved online. Public hearings or inquiries offer an opportunity to respond to questions and provide a venue for dialogue among stakeholders.

Promoting effective access to justice to safeguard circular and green economy and sustainable development

Systemic deficiencies with regard to access to information, decision-making or compliance with environmental law can seriously threaten successful implementation of circular and green economy and sustainable development. Taking a case to court to advance a widely shared public interest remains an essential safeguard for the environment, human health and well-being and sustainable development.

Many more operational arrangements for transboundary water cooperation needed across the world, shows 2021 UN-Water SDG6 progress report

Across the world, 153 countries share rivers, lakes and aquifers. Transboundary basins cover more than half of the Earth’s land surface, account for an estimated 60 per cent of global freshwater flow and are home to more than 40 per cent of the world’s population. Transboundary water cooperation is therefore not only key for water management but also, more generally, for sustainable development, regional integration and peace. 

UNECE launches Online Toolkit and Training for Strengthening Mine Tailings Safety

Industrial accidents at tailings management facilities (TMFs) - which handle and store the fine-grained waste materials remaining after extracting minerals and metals from the earth, often containing toxic and hazardous substances - have resulted in devastating effects on humans and the environment within and across countries in recent years. With the severity of such accidents increasing, especially due to climate change, and the demand for mineral resources set to continue rising, the urgency of prioritizing safety has never been greater. Today, UNECE is therefore launching a new 

Water Convention’s Implementation Committee provides advice to Albania and Montenegro on the transboundary Cijevna/Cem River

Albania and Montenegro have agreed to establish a joint technical working group on “Monitoring & assessment” and to develop and implement an information exchange protocol to operationalize their cooperation on the shared Cijevna/Cem River basin. These are the outcomes of joint consultations with these two countries held by the Implementation Committee under the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) on 5 February 2021. 

UNECE advances its support to mainstream gender into environmental policies

Whilst environmental degradation affects everyone on the planet, it affects the lives of women and men in different ways. Implementing environmental policies with gender considerations in mind can be more effective to understand target groups better, gain greater acceptability of policies and ensure that policy measures are meeting needs of both women and men.   

UNECE is currently promoting the mainstreaming of gender in environmental policies by hosting a series of training sessions for the integration of gender aspects into environmental policies in Serbia.