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As guests of the planet, we human beings can thrive only if our host environment is thriving. We are strongly connected to it, more than we probably understand and more than we probably dare to admit. Conversely, the ways humans treat the environment has clear negative effects on our health and…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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 Convention on Long-range…
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, specifically by those in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (…
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 UNECE Air Convention now in force for almost a year, preparatory work is underway for the review of the effectiveness of its measures.The amended Protocol establishes…
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…
The new regional interagency Issue-based Coalition on Environment and Climate Change has just issued summary recommendations for pandemic socioeconomic assessments and post-pandemic recovery strategies. The recommendations are intended to provide guidance to UN Country Teams in assessing the…
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 under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention). The 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…
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…
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.…
Data published by the European Environment Agency and other research institutes have shown a sharp decline in air pollutant concentrations in many European cities where lockdown measures have been implemented. This specifically holds true for levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and the decrease is…