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UN Environment launches Young Champions of the Earth Competition

22 April 2017 – Today, on International Mother Earth Day, the United Nations Environment Programme will launch Young Champions of the Earth, a new initiative to spot young, talented people between the ages of 18 and 30 and support their inspiring ideas to save the environment.


Earth Day: Environmental literacy more important than ever

It’s been 47 years since the first Earth Day on April 22nd 1970 marked the birth of widespread environmental awareness, back in the flowery heyday of social and environmental activism.


Artistic Community Joins Green Forests Work on Earth Day to Plant 2 Millionth Tree on Reclaimed Coal Mine

WHAT: Earth Day Tree Planting on a Reclaimed Surface Mine
WHEN: Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 10:30am
WHERE: Breathitt County, Kentucky: Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management Area 


More Bang for the Buck: Record New Renewable Power Capacity Added at Lower Cost

Wind, solar and other renewables added 138GW to global power capacity in 2016,     up 8% from the 127.5GW added in 2015.


World Health Day: Pollution endangers both environmental and human health

When Rachel Carson wrote those words in 1962, she may never have guessed that 55 years later pollutants would be one of the world’s major killers.


Connect with nature and you won’t let go, says Sir David Attenborough

The theme to the 2017 edition of UN Environment’s biggest awareness-raising event of the year on 5 June is ‘connecting people with nature’, and the legendary broadcaster reminds us that we are very much a part of it.

“Every mouthful of food, every breath of air is owed to nature. We depend on it,” Attenborough notes in the interview.

People can build a connection to nature from the countryside and cities alike and from a very early age, says Sir David. “There isn’t a child that doesn't get filled with wonder by nature, even from a very early age,” he believes.


Protected areas – safeguarding nature now and into the future

Protected areas like national parks, nature reserves and marine sanctuaries will be at the centre of attention during this year’s World Environment Day. Canada, the official host for the 2017 celebrations, is offering citizens free access to their 46 national parks for a year to encourage them to ‘connect with nature.’

Read more


Which is your favorite protected area?

Hike to the rim of the Grand Canyon in the United States in time for sunset. Watch thousands of wildebeest migrate through the Serengeti and Maasai Mara of Tanzania and Kenya. Swim amid a rainbow of fish on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Take a picture and post it on Twitter using the #WithNature hashtag and tell us why you love or want to visit that special place. We'll share some of them here and on the UN Environment, North America's Twitter account. 


#CleanSeas: more than 800 people pledge to stop using cosmetics containing microbeads

Under UN Environment’s new #CleanSeas campaign, more than 800 people have already pledged to replace their personal care and cosmetic products that contain microbeads with ocean-friendly alternatives.


Blue Forests: Finding Coastal and Marine Solutions to meet the Paris Agreement

What are blue forests?

"Blue forests" are coastal and marine ecosystems, including mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and tidal salt marshes. They play an important role in protecting marine biodiversity and supporting the livelihoods of coastal and island communities by providing habitats for fisheries, filtering water, guarding shorelines and creating opportunities for tourism and recreation.


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Rona_News

UN Biodiversity Conference results in significant commitments for action on biodiversity

December 18, 2016 - Governments agreed on actions that will accelerate implementation of global biodiversity targets, and enhance the linkage of the biodiversity agenda with other global agendas including the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and others.


Indigenous Peoples: The unsung heroes of conservation

There are approximately 370 million indigenous peoples in the world. They own, occupy or use up to 22 percent of the global land area, which is home to 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity. Often overlooked by governments, their role in safeguarding territories from environmental degradation has largely gone unnoticed and undocumented until now. Read more. 


New Regional Representative Elected for North America

December 16, 2016 - Christian Ledwell of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), has been elected as one of the two Regional Major Groups and Stakeholder Representative to UN Environment, North America. In addition, Scott Bohachyk, of UNA Canada, and Deirdre Laframboise of Canadian Climate Forum, were nominated to serve as alternates.


As countries rush to protect their seas, endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh calls to preserve the Antarctic

December 13, 2016 - Since April, the world has added an unprecedented 3.6 million square kilometres - an area larger than India - to the amount of ocean and sea covered by marine protected areas (MPAs), taking the global total coverage beyond 5 per cent for the first time in history.


Environmental crime threatening peace and security, finds new INTERPOL-UN Environment report

December 8, 2016 – More than 80 per cent of countries consider environmental crime a national priority, with the majority saying new and more sophisticated criminal activities increasingly threaten peace and security.

INTERPOL and UN Environment surveyed close to 70 countries for their new joint report, ‘Environment, Peace and Security – A Convergence of Threats’, released today at the Law, Justice and Development Week 2016 hosted by the World Bank in Washington DC.


Scientists shine a spotlight on the overlooked menace of nitrogen

December 5, 2016 - A new, USD $60 million global initiative launched at the International Nitrogen Initiative Conference in Melbourne, Australia, aims to spearhead integrated management of the nitrogen cycle for clean water and air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and better soil and biodiversity protection.


Six environmental leaders receive Champions of the Earth award - UN's top environmental prize

December 2, 2016 - Six inspirational environmental leaders representing government, research and grassroots action received today the United Nations' highest environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth award, during a global conference on biological diversity in Cancún, Mexico.


Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Gender, Violence and the Environment

When we turn on the tap, there is water. When we turn on the cook stove, there is fire. Such conveniences should not be taken for granted. For people living in rural areas providing water and energy for their basic needs is a daily struggle. Typically these chores falls primarily on women and girls, and the cost is high. Read full story. 


Enter #NotWasting video contest for your chance to win a trip to the first North American Workshop on Food Waste Reduction and Recovery in Toronto, Canada

November 23, 2016 - Is there an innovative way you’re #NotWasting food? Whether you are a consumer who buys food wisely and uses all leftovers, a grocery store that avoids rotting overstock, or a municipality that prevents food waste from ending up in landfills, we want to see your ideas for salvaging food before it becomes waste.


New Analysis Shows Scale of International Commitment to Tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade: Over $1.3 Billion Since 2010

November 17, 2016 - The Global Wildlife Program has released the first-ever review of international donor funding for combatting illegal wildlife trade in Africa and Asia, which shows that over $1.3 billion was committed by 24 international donors since 2010, or approximately $190 million per year.


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Rona_News

Ottawa, Canada, 27 January 2016- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner visited Ottawa this week to deliver remarks at the memorial of Maurice Strong, Canadian diplomat and first Executive Director of UNEP, who passed away late last year. During his short visit, the Executive Director took the opportunity to meet briefly with Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion at the Canadian Parliament.


Davos, 21 January 2016 - A coalition of 30 international leaders launched their Champions 12.3 initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos today to inspire ambitious action on reducing global food loss and waste.


London, 14 January - The UK is well-known as a major financial centre, but it is also a global hub in the fast-growing green finance arena, according to a new report released today by the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial system.


Geneva, 11 January 2016 - Close to 500 delegates from across the globe gathered in Geneva, Monday, to tackle crucial wildlife conservation and management issues that threaten the survival of a myriad of wild plants and animals.


Following the success of a new global climate agreement at COP21 in Paris, attention is now focusing on practical measures to mobilise the trillions necessary to deliver the transition to a low-carbon, green economy.


Nairobi, 14 December 2015 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today launched the Environment and Trade Hub, an initiative which will assist countries to use sustainable trade as a vehicle for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Nairobi, 14 December 2015 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today launched the Environment and Trade Hub, an initiative which will assist countries to use sustainable trade as a vehicle for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNEP Executive Director Mr. Steiner said, “UNEP is already working directly with many governments and other stakeholders to implement an inclusive green economy in countries across all continents.


Paris, 11 December 2015 - By promoting policies in favour of ecosystem-based adaptation in mountain regions, countries could build resilience and reduce the vulnerability of communities living in these high-altitude areas as well as that of millions of others living downstream, concluded a series of Mountain Adaptation Outlooks launched today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).


Paris, 10 December 2015 – Angola, which is seeking to conserve its biodiversity-rich wildlife and rebuild its elephant population, is to host the 2016 World Environment Day (WED) celebrations, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Angolan government announced today at the COP21 Climate Conference.


Paris, 10 December 2015 – Recognizing the link between climate change and human rights is an important step towards protecting the fundamental rights of communities across the planet, according to a new United Nations report presented at the Paris climate meeting today.


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2014 News

Fast-Tracking Elimination of Production of Remaining Ozone-Depleting Substances Could Speed Up Ozone Layer Recovery by 11 Years

Nairobi, 19 December 2014 - The recovery of the ozone layer - the shield that protects life on Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet rays - would come sooner if we were to fast-track the elimination of the production of the ozone-depleting substance (ODS) hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and manage other ODSs that remain in equipment, building walls and chemical stockpiles, according to the full release of a report by nearly 300 scientists from 36 countries.


New Report Makes Strong Business Case for Using Safer Chemicals in Products and Supply Chains

Geneva, 15 December 2014 - Chemicals are all around us, present in the products we use every day.The demand for increased transparency on chemicals up and down the supply chain is growing - we need to understand how and with what chemicals we are interacting. Consumers, retailers and brands all want to know more, driving companies to disclose information about the hazardous chemicals in their products and to make safer choices.


World on Track to New Universal Climate Agreement with Lima Call for Climate Action

Lima, 14 December 2014 - A new 2015 agreement on climate change, that will harness action by all nations, took a further important step forward in Lima following two weeks of negotiations by over 190 countries.

Nations concluded by elaborating the elements of the new agreement, scheduled to be agreed in Paris in late 2015, while also agreeing the ground rules on how all countries can submit contributions to the new agreement during the first quarter of next year.


UNEP Launches Wastewater Video in the Series Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey

Washington, D.C., 9 December 2014 - The United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA), UNEP Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) and nationally-syndicated cartoonist Jim Toomey announced today the release of the video "Wastewater: A widespread threat and missed resource," which portrays the impacts of wastewater on coastal communities and ecosystems, and the benefits of improving its management. This new video is part of a series of innovative ocean awareness videos titled Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey.


Full Economic Potential of Carbon-Rich Mangroves Remains Untapped

Lima, December 9, 2014 - The economic and social benefits of mangroves - which are estimated to run into the hundreds of billions worldwide - remain largely untapped due to a lack of carbon finance mechanisms, appropriate policy interventions, and rapid mangrove deforestation, according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report launched today at the 20th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change.


Montreal Protocol Celebrates Landmark Achievement with Universal Ratification of All Amendments 

Nairobi, 08 December 2014 - Global efforts to protect the ozone layer have reached a major milestone after all of the Amendments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer received universal ratification by 197 Parties. 


UN Says Global Carbon Neutrality Should be Reached by Second Half of Century, Demonstrates Pathways to Stay Under 2°C Limit

Washington D.C., 19 November 2014 - In order to limit global temperature rise to 2°C and head off the worst impacts of climate change, global carbon neutrality should be attained by mid-to-late century. This would also keep in check the maximum amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that can be emitted into the atmosphere while staying within safe temperature limits beyond 2020, says a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).


UNEP and the Organization of American States Renew Joint-Efforts to Enhance Environmental Rule of law 

Washington D.C., 19 November 2014 - The UN South-South Cooperation Expo on enhancing cooperation for sustainable development served as the stage for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNEP and the Organization of American States (OAS) designed to foster increased cooperation between the two organizations on the development and implementation of environmental rule of law for the promotion of sustainable development. 


UN Top Environment Award Announces 2014 Laureates

Nairobi/Washington D.C., 19 November 2014 - The Innovators and policymakers whose service to the environment is saving lives, improving livelihoods and bettering environmental governance and conservation were announced as recipients of the United Nation's highest environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth Award.