UNECE, UNEP and UNESCO, as co-leads, together with 15 other UN agencies, funds and programmes active in Europe and Central Asia, have joined forces to address environmental and climate change challenges. They have established a regional interagency Issue-based Coalition on Environment and Climate Change, launched on 20 March 2020, at a Regional UN System Meeting chaired by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.
The Coalition addresses activities dedicated to strengthening environmental and climate change governance, improving environmental management and climate change mitigation and adaptation, and promoting sustainable management of natural resources. As Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of UNECE, explains: “Inevitably, the Coalition has also stepped forward to support Country Teams in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic and their advice to Governments on a green recovery, building back better”.
The Coalition’s website provides a repository for COVID-19-related resources on environment and climate change, mainly produced by its members. Besides subregional meetings with resident coordinators, the Coalition’s activities include a series of webinars, beginning with one on water and climate change – by UNESCO, UNECE, UN-Water and the UN Development Coordination Office, as well as the Coalition – to be followed by one on transboundary water cooperation – to involve UNDP, UNECE, UNESCO, the World Meteorological Organization and resident coordinators.
The Coalition aims to ramp up its practical support to UN staff working at the national level, with capacity development events and guidance on the environmental dimension of UN cooperation with programme countries.
The Coalition is one of seven Issue-based Coalitions working within the UN system to support resident coordinators and UN Country Teams in the 17 programme countries in the region. The Coalitions provide a regional platform for UN agencies to promote coordinated support to all member States in Europe and Central Asia in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and support UN Country Teams in the region on specific issues. The coalitions are guided by the Regional UN System Meetings.