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From the Sandoz chemical spill of 1986 in Schweizerhalle, Switzerland, to the rupture of a dam storing mine tailings containing cyanide in Baia Mare, Romania, 2000; and last year in Beirut, the explosion of ammonium nitrate stored in warehouse near residential areas, what these chemical and…
UNECE is leading a large and diverse group of international experts carrying out the 55th Environmental Performance Review (EPR) since the establishment of the UNECE EPR Programme, 25 years ago. Azerbaijan has requested UNECE to review its environmental performance for a third time. To provide the…
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…
This year, the UNECE region has seen devastating impacts of climate change and multiple natural disasters, such as the floods in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Disasters caused by natural hazards, on the rise due to climate change, can also trigger technological accidents. On today’s…
A 5-day event in Geneva will provide a platform for some 400 representatives of Governments, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders to meet in a hybrid format and discuss achievements and challenges in the promotion of transparency, public participation in decision-making…
Approximately 40% of the world’s population live in transboundary river and lake basins, accounting for an estimated 60% of global freshwater flow. These shared water resources support the livelihoods of more than 3 billion people. In a world increasingly impacted by the effects of climate change,…
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…
UNECE is deepening its support to help countries of the region capitalize on innovation to recover from the pandemic and realize the ambitious vision of the 2030 Agenda.  The UNECE Innovation for Sustainable Development Review (I4SDR) of Uzbekistan, which is currently underway, will set out…
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…
Countries in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe are stepping up efforts for their sustainable energy transition with ambitious plans and policies, aiming to significantly cut CO2 emissions and advance implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris…
Setting the major directions to strengthen effective public participation and access to information and justice by 2025 was the focus of the twenty-fifth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to…
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…
Water, health, climate change and disaster risk reduction are interlinked and interdependent. For example, with climate change, floods and droughts increase in both intensity and frequency.  Floods can damage water and sanitation infrastructure, disrupt essential public service provision, undermine…
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…
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…
Water scarcity and pollution is increasing worldwide, as a result of the rising economic demands for water, population growth and rapid urbanisation, exacerbated by ecosystem losses and climate change. Water-related risks can negatively affect sustainable development, human health and well-being, …
Directive (EU) 2020/2184 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on the quality of water intended for human consumption (recast) was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on 16 December 2020 and entered into force on 12 January 2021. The…
While transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers, accounting for 60 per cent of global freshwater flows, are of crucial importance for the sustainable development and political stability of riparian States, the financial means for their management, development and protection are insufficient in 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…
A vision for transboundary cooperation around the Senegal-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin (SMAB) has been developed by representatives of the States that share this aquifer system, namely The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal.  This work was carried out in the second meeting of the Regional…
Morocco has requested UNECE to review its environmental performance for a second time. To provide the groundwork for the review, a team of UNECE and international experts will participate in a country hybrid mission from December 2020 to February 2021, first meeting national experts by virtual…
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…
While the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the extent to which water, sanitation and hygiene are key to human health through frequent handwashing, in the UNECE region over 16 million people still lack access to drinking water and more than 31 million are currently living without basic sanitation…
To avoid damage to the environment, public health and the economy, adopting targets to reduce emissions and introducing measures to enforce them is essential. Providing a framework to facilitate these measures, UNECE assists countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in…