DELC

Division of Environmental Law and Conventions

Message from the Director

Now, more than ever before, we are more conscious of the task at hand to protect our environment. The increasing challenges to countries’ water and food security; the consequences of unsound chemicals management and movement of hazardous wastes; the impacts of climate change on human and in some cases-national security shows the close links between the environmental, economic and social spheres.Now, more than ever before, we are more conscious of the task at hand to protect our environment.

The increasing challenges to countries’ water and food security; the consequences of unsound chemicals management and movement of hazardous wastes; the impacts of climate change on human and in some cases-national security shows the close links between the environmental, economic and social spheres.

The very foundation that maintains life on this planet is being destroyed. The world must act immediately to stop the rapid degradation of the environment in order to ensure continued life on earth. The Ministerial Consultations on international environmental governance in 2009 considered the green economy in the context of responding to multiple crises. The President’s Summary noted that ‘‘the move towards a green economy raises the possibility of strengthening the current international environmental governance architecture or transforming it to respond to multiple challenges or opportunities.’’

The Consultative Group in its Nairobi and Helsinki meetings discussed concrete institutional reforms on how to improve the International Environmental Governance system within the context of governance for sustainable development and in doing so contribute to a more effective sustainable development system. Nine options of reforms to address deficiencies in the environmental science-policy interface, the setting of a global environmental agenda and policy, the coherence of the system of international legal agreements, the fragmentation of the environmental financing architecture, and the responsiveness of support to governments at the national level were identified. 

In order to address these challenges, the activities of DELC will be marked by new and strengthened activities in the following areas:

  • Creating a strong, credible and accessible science base and policy interface.

  • Developing a global authoritative and responsive voice for environmental sustainability. 

  • Achieving effectiveness, efficiency and coherence within the United Nations system.

  • Integrating environmental aspects into national and regional development plans and strategies to foster sustainable development.

  • Ensuring a responsive and cohesive approach to meeting country needs.

Tackling the growing number of complex emerging environmental issues requires innovative tools and approaches, as well as concerted efforts among stakeholders. DELC will continue to serve as the catalyst as it relates to environmental law and MEAs with the overall aim of achieving the internationally agreed sustainable development objectives. In order to obtain meaningful outcomes, we must move beyond discussion and take action by embracing the need for change to meet the needs of sustainable development governance. Rio+20 is an opportunity to rethink how we could improve governance of the environment in order to enhance the governance of sustainable development.

Director, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions

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