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By Ms. Olga Algayerova, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNECE, and Ms. Elisabete Quintas da Silva, Head of Department, Sustainable and Efficient Use of Resources Operational Programme, Government of Portugal, and Chair of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy.  This…
Integrated management of water, energy and land resources, while protecting ecosystems, remains a substantial challenge in the Western Balkans. The Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus approach offers solutions that can reconcile potentially conflicting interests as they compete for the same…
The extraction of raw materials worldwide has more than doubled since 1990 and could double again by 2060 in the absence of corrective policies. According to the UN International Resources Panel, resource extraction and processing account for 90% of global biodiversity loss and water stress impacts…
The Government of Ukraine is currently implementing a broad policy agenda aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and pursuing a resilient, inclusive and sustainable post-COVID recovery. UNECE, together with UNDP, UNICEF and WHO, is supporting these efforts through a Joint…
While consumer demand for sustainable goods is an important driver for change, regulation and policy change are essential if the world is to side-step a climate catastrophe and bend traditional linear economic models towards a circular economy and sustainable future. Until recently it wasn’t clear…
The 56 countries of the UNECE region, spanning from North America to Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia, are major users and producers of natural resources. Efficiency in the domestic use of resources continues to increase in the region, but the overall material footprint, which…
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…
Olga Algayerova Women’s Day Blog On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, I would like to pay tribute to all women leaders, and all women and men, girls and boys, who are empowering women and girls to build a better future for all! The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is…
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Trade facilitation has acquired even greater importance for the land-locked countries of Central Asia, as it helps remove burdensome formalities for their trade and transport operations. Simplifying and digitalizing procedures helps diminish physical contacts along…
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on cities and the wellbeing of communities.  Cities and urban areas are at the frontline in the fight against the COVID-19 public health crisis and its socio-economic consequences. They also hold significant potential for recovering better by adopting…
Uzbekistan has shown remarkable growth in its transition from a centrally planned to a market based economy, with annual growth rates between 5 and 9 per cent since 2004.…
A circular economy is a paradigm which can contribute to reducing the economic, environmental and social costs of resource use, while at the same time strengthening economic competitiveness, reducing poverty, and providing better quality of life, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for…
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…
As globalization increases the diversity of innovative ways of doing business around the world, economies become ever more interdependent. Multinational enterprise groups, or MNEs, have operations in several countries, so counting up their economic impacts entails looking across borders to gather…
Waste has turned into one of humanity’s predominant challenges. The generation of hazardous waste increased from an estimated 259 metric tonnes in 2007 to 394 metric tonnes in 2015; the most…
Effective public access to environmental information is critical for promoting a green and circular economy, increased biosafety and community resilience. The need to further such access using modern digital technologies has been increasingly voiced across countries in the light of the coronavirus…
Consumers are increasingly interested in making more environmentally and ethically aware choices when it comes to the clothes and shoes they wear, according to a series of recent studies. But the sector is awash with complex language and misleading labelling that makes it difficult for consumers to…
The current patterns of raw material consumption are unstainable and are becoming an existential threat to the planet.  The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) offers a solution to support a total…
Technologies can play a key role in the transition from a linear towards circular economy. Circular strategies represent key investments to shape trade and logistics that are more resilient, resource-efficient and cost-effective, supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the risk…
The economic downturn due to COVID-19 will hit the countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) – Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – hard and exacerbate existing vulnerabilities. As a region highly reliant on…
Countries in the pan-European region will continue to benefit from the recommendations of environmental performance reviews (EPRs) beyond 2022, following the adoption of the fourth cycle of EPRs by UNECE’s Committee on Environmental Policy at its 26th session, held on 9 and 10 November.   In his…
The risk that advances in digital technology benefit those who are already online and could contribute to greater inequality within and among countries needs to be addressed by effective policies, leaving no one behind.    The United Nations system is engaged to help address these challenges.…
The European Green Deal is a new growth strategy aiming to transform the European Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy. The European Green Deal has a number of overarching objectives, including for the European Union to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050; promotion of a…
Innovation is central to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and to drive sustainable development. Making up over 10% of Gross Domestic Product globally, public procurement carries the potential to stimulate broad experimentation with new ideas and technologies to attain economic, social…