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In the past years, Central Asia has been facing major climate-change related challenges – drought, floods, desertification, sandstorms, extreme cold and heat spells – and many more. Not only have these affected rural areas, but cities have been suffering, too. Accentuated by increased traffic
The buildings and construction sector accounted for 36% of final energy use and 39% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, building materials including steel, cement and glass emitted over 2.2 Gigatonnes of
Climate change is progressing faster than trees can adapt. Challenges and uncertainties to the state of the world’s forests and their future are growing.   This summer, Europe saw record-breaking temperatures and a series of heatwaves that intensified drought conditions. With more than 760
Four years ago, the countries in the Caucasus and Central Asian region pledged to restore more than 3 million hectares of degraded forests by 2030 under the global Bonn Challenge. To support them in turning their pledges into reality, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and
Single-use cutlery pollutes our oceans and takes thousands of years to decompose in landfills and trash heaps. Plastic forks and knives may photo-degrade with exposure to the sun, but they become microplastics that continue to pollute our environment. In addition to reducing our overall material
UNECE was engaged at the main global forum to assess and discuss progress in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) – the seventh session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022) held in Bali and online, 25-27 May 2022, fully embracing its theme: “
Cities, which are already responsible for around 75% of global CO2 emissions, are also at the forefront of fighting climate change and simultaneously are particularly vulnerable to its impacts. Urban trees and forests have been highlighted as a solution that can help to achieve the SDGs and make
Fashion and packaging have one thing in common: both rely heavily on plastics. Oil and gas companies look to plastics as a key area of growth. Global plastic production doubled since 2000, to reach an astonishing 460 million metric tonnes – per year. This means that more plastics have been produced
Tackling climate change and plastic pollution requires decisive measures at all levels, from international policy coordination to innovation in industry and changes to unsustainable practices in our everyday lives. As one example, the rise of online shopping and food delivery services allows us to
The Caucasus and Central Asia accounts for over 30 million hectares of forests and wooded lands, an area approximately the size of Italy Forest landscape restoration in this area is critical for supporting livelihoods and local economies, preventing soil erosion and desertification, enhancing
COP26 was a positive step forward in the fight against climate change, but as the UN Secretary General pointed out in his comments: “it is not enough. We must accelerate climate action to keep alive the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.” The compromise deal reflects the
A coordinated, evidenced-based policy framework is critical for governments and stakeholders to tackle the complex challenges that face the forest sector in Europe and beyond. With transparent data, objective analysis and holistic policy recommendations, the sector will have increased capacity to 
UNECE is making a call to the World of Sports, including sports events’ organizers, committees, athletes, sportswear brands, producers and consumers to help advance circularity and sustainability in sports clothing.   The Forests4Fashion Sports Challenge aims to encourage the reuse of sportswear
Policymakers looking for innovative solutions to global problems are increasingly recognizing that the answers have been around for a long time even before the earth got populated by humans. Trees can help achieve pressing global objectives for sustainable development, biodiversity conservation,
With the UN Food Systems Summit taking place next week under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (23 September 2021), we must recognize that the food systems we have built over recent decades are unsustainable. The food choices we make every day as consumers and producers of food are having a
August is wildfire season in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Many areas in the UNECE region, including North America, Siberia, and Mediterranean countries have experienced unusually hot and dry weather this year, and with that some of the biggest wildfires on record. Areas burned in Turkey
The month of August is wildfire season in many regions. News headlines are dominated by stories of helicopters and fire brigades fighting the fire, and indeed, heroically saving lives and property.  While wildfires are a natural part of many environments and essential to clear out dead underbrush
At the informal virtual policy dialogue on fashion in Moldova hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on 19 May 2021, members of the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion and stakeholders of the Moldovan fashion industry came together to discuss the potential of this
Snowy trees, long winters, freezing temperatures – this is the common perception one has of the boreal forest. Yet the boreal forest, which circles the northern hemisphere and forms a ring around the north pole, is the world’s largest and perhaps most overlooked land biome. It covers 27 per cent of
Forests host an estimated 80 percent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. The diverse species which inhabit vast forest landscapes play a key role in keeping forest ecosystems healthy and productive. Globally, biodiversity loss is taking its toll on the world’s forests: when
For centuries, world’s forests have been cleared and removed for agricultural or other land uses, often resulting in degraded lands found in almost every country today. As global population increases and climate change threatens ecosystems worldwide, there is an urgent need for more sustainable
Forests are high on the political agenda of Kazakhstan. The country has been developing a strategic document for the country’s forest sector, in collaboration with the Joint UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section and international consultants, namely the draft of the “Master Plan for the
Countries in Eastern and South-East Europe need to develop viable solutions and goals for forest landscape restoration, as well as learn how to tap into the necessary financing. These topics were discussed during the workshop “Forest Landscape Restoration and the Bonn Challenge in Eastern and
Four thousand kilometers away from the UNECE headquarters in Geneva used to lie the Aral Sea. It was the fourth biggest lake in the world, in fact the lake was bigger than Switzerland. But if we travelled there today, we would only find a desert as the lake has dried out. The Caucasus and Central
You want to order online but hate the non-recyclable packaging material used in e-commerce in addition to cardboard? You are a restaurant owner and want to cut down on the dozens of Styrofoam boxes that your fish is delivered in every day? You are thinking of building a house but worry about the