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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…
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…
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…
One year after the first COVID-19 lockdown in many parts of the UNECE region, scientists and experts are studying the effects of lockdown measures on air quality. A study from Germany showed…
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, …
After months of the COVID-19 crisis challenging healthcare systems and undermining economies, governments worldwide are looking for ways to jump-start the economic recovery. Without factoring in environmental concerns, recovery packages risk undermining the foundations for sustainable development, …
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…
Policy solutions to abate air pollutant emissions need to be targeted to the main emission sources in a given country. To know where exactly the emissions are coming from is therefore the first step in designing a viable air quality management system. The UNECE …
Ratification of the Gothenburg Protocol, a unique instrument to reduce emissions of key air pollutants under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention), by as many countries as possible,…
40 percent of the world’s population lives in one of the 275 transboundary river basins. Transboundary waters account for 60 percent of the world’s freshwater flows. Cooperation for the management of shared water resources is therefore crucial for economic development, peace and environmental…
Environmental degradation has gendered impacts which need to be properly assessed and monitored to understand and adopt gender-responsive strategies and policies. While designing these, it is essential that measures targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment are adequately formulated and…
With the amendments to the Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-Level Ozone (Gothenburg Protocol) under the…
Mounting scientific evidence of the health impact of air pollution – which kills some 7 million people annually –, together with high media coverage of heavy local air pollution episodes, is contributing to increased recognition of the need to act for clean air worldwide.The first celebration of…
People around the world are breathing dirty air, making it the fifth leading risk factor for mortality globally. Air pollution is a complex issue in all countries, as it requires cooperation, innovation, good governance, behavioural change, public demand, and strong technical capacity across…
Between 2017 and 2018, emissions of key air pollutants that are harmful to human health and the environment have gone down in the European Union, according to the annual emission inventory report
Forest ecosystems are affected by many different stressors, such as climate change and air pollution. Drought periods, like the one in 2018, strongly reduce tree growth and increase tree mortality in the UNECE region. At the same time, air pollution affects forests from the leaf to the ecosystem…
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…
We all need clean air to live. It is one of the things that we don’t think much about, we breathe in and breathe out automatically and take the air around us for granted. But dirty air takes a heavy toll on human health and the environment, leading to 7 million premature deaths annually,…
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of an integrated approach to water management and the crucial role played by transboundary water cooperation in supporting recovery and prevention. Timely and sufficient availability of water of adequate quality is a prerequisite for the provision…
When the amendments to the Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone (Gothenburg Protocol) under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention) were adopted in 2012, flexibilities were introduced to facilitate ratification by new Parties.…
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted access to water and sanitation as the first line of defence, enabling people to frequently wash their hands in line with good hygiene practices. Governments must take all efforts to ensure equitable access, especially for vulnerable groups (people living in…
While the world is attempting to address major environmental problems of our times, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and deforestation, nitrogen pollution remains a major unresolved challenge, but has, so far, received very little attention from decision-makers. Everyone knows about…