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Imax Launches "Big Picture" Initiative; Partners With Un Environment Programme To Amplify Action On The Environment

With the launch of its highly anticipated documentary film A Beautiful Planet, which opens April 29, IMAX hopes to showcase the power of film in addressing these issues.

UN Secretary-General's International Women's Day Message, "From the Glass Ceiling to a Carpet of Shards"

As a boy growing up in post-war Korea, I remember asking about a tradition I observed: women going into labour would leave their shoes at the threshold and then look back in fear. "They are wondering if they will ever step into those shoes again," my mother explained.

Wangari Maathai's Legacy Feted across Africa

Nairobi, 3 March 2016 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner joined other high-level speakers at the commemoration of Africa Environment Day-Wangari Maathai Day held at the Lavington Primary school in Nairobi on Thursday.

On World Wildlife Day UN Implores Urgent Action to End Poaching Crisis

New York, 3 March 2016 - As the world marks the third World Wildlife Day under the theme "The future of wildlife is in our hands", the United Nations announced today plans for a Global Coalition campaign to end the illegal trade in wildlife.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on UN agencies, CITES and partners to provide a coordinated response to wildlife crime and spread the message that there should be zero tolerance for poaching.

G20 Financial Leaders Commit to Exploring Green Finance Options

Shanghai, 27 February 2016 - Finance ministers and central banks governors of the G20 major economies committed today to exploring ways of greening the US$90 trillion of investments required over the next 15 years to achieve global sustainable development and climate objectives.

Under the Chinese Presidency, G20 launched the Green Finance Study Group, co-chaired by China and the UK, to mobilize private capital for green investments.

Pollinators Vital to Our Food Supply Under Threat

Kuala Lumpur - 26 February, 2016 - A growing number of pollinator species worldwide are being driven toward extinction by diverse pressures, many of them human-made, threatening millions of livelihoods and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of food supplies, according to the first global assessment of pollinators. 

Countries Agree on Actions to Protect Sharks

San José, Costa Rica, 19 February 2016 - Close to 40 governments agreed this week to enhance protection for additional migratory shark and ray species and to a set of new conservation priorities.

At the Second Meeting of the Signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks (Sharks MOU), which ended in Costa Rica's capital Friday, 39 countries and the European Union agreed to grant protection to an additional 22 species of sharks and rays.

Governments Set Stage for Action on Environmental Aspects of Humanitarian Crises and Risks to Human Health

Nairobi, 19 February 2016 - Governments and other key actors today set the stage for key decisions on the implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including addressing the environmental aspects of global humanitarian crises and human health risks.

From Asthma to Zika: UNEP tackles links between health and environment

Skin cancer. Lung cancer. Asthma. Lead poisoning. Mercury poisoning. Malaria. Ebola. Zika. The list of health conditions that can be linked to environmental pollution and degradation is long and growing.

Speaking to a packed room of international delegates on Wednesday morning, UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner stressed that the links between health and environment are fundamental, and that international action can have a profound impact.

Minute of Silence in Memory of Boutros Boutros-Ghali at UNEP Gathering

Nairobi, 17 February 2016 - Delegates to the Open Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today paid tribute to the former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali by observing a minute of silence, as proposed by the Egyptian delegation.

The UN Security Council announced Mr. Boutros-Ghali's death on Tuesday.



Abu Dhabi, 1 April 2015 - Over 650 delegates from government, UN bodies, the non-governmental sector, private sector, academia and civil society will gather in Abu Dhabi between 6 and 8 October for the Eye on Earth Summit 2015, to bridge the information gap policy makers face in designing plans for sustainable development.

Frankfurt / Nairobi, 31 March, 2015 - Global investments in renewable energy rebounded strongly last year, registering a solid 17% increase after two years of declines and brushing aside the challenge from sharply lower crude oil prices.

Major expansion of solar installations in China and Japan and record investments in offshore wind projects in Europe helped propel global 2014 investments to $270 billion, a 17% surge from the 2013 figure of $232 billion.

Nairobi/New Delhi/Paris, 20 March 2015 - The planet is facing a 40 per cent shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless we dramatically improve the management of this precious resource. This is the unavoidable conclusion reached in the 2015 United Nations World Water Development Report, "Water for a Sustainable World" launched today in time for World Water Day which will be celebrated on 22 March 2015.

Sendai, Japan, 14 March 2015 - Top insurers from around the world have called on governments, Saturday, to step up global efforts to build resilience against natural disasters, highlighting that average economic losses from disasters in the last decade amounted to around US $190 billion annually, while average insured losses were at about US $60 billion.

Nairobi, 13 March 2015 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched the 24th edition of the annual children's painting contest under the theme "We have the power" to highlight renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions globally.

Targeting young people between the ages of 9 and 14, the competition aims to raise awareness on energy consumption and energy savings.

Cancun, 9 March 2015 – Pastoralism—extensive livestock production in the rangelands—provides enormous benefits to humanity and should be supported as a key element of the global transition to a green economy, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Geneva, Nairobi, New York, Vienna, 3 March 2015 – The Second World Wildlife Day, themed “It’s time to get serious about wildlife crime” is being observed around the world, Tuesday.

Nairobi, 25 February 2015 – A transition to modern district energy systems could contribute to 60 per cent of required energy sector emissions reductions by 2050, and reduce primary energy consumption by up to 50 per cent, according to a new report launched today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency (C2E2), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and UN-Habitat. 

Manila, 26 February 2015 - UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner is joining a French delegation to the Philippines, led by President François Hollande, to highlight the fight against climate change and convene a forum intended to encourage faster and more determined action on the global challenge of climate change, ahead of the UNFCCC Climate Change talks in Paris, later this year.

Dubai, 25 February 2015 - High-level representatives from government and the private sector, international experts, academics, and practitioners from around the globe have gathered in Dubai to build momentum for a shift to sustainable lifestyles, particularly in the Arab region.


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.