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By ROE News on 8/28/2015 6:52 AM
August 28, 2015 – Central Asian countries have been equipped with knowledge and basic negotiation skills ahead of upcoming international talks on desertification thanks to a workshop organised by UNEP and other partners in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The twelfth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will be held in Ankara, Turkey in October.

This week’s two-day training seminar was organised for UNCCD National Focal Points and their assistants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which are Parties to the Convention and form the sub-region of Central Asia.

The workshop - organized by the UNEP Regional Office and UNCCD secretariat - focused on the main issues on the COP12 agenda and the sub-regional position to be presented at the talks. Input was provided by FAO, GIZ and UNEP to a discussion on how sub-regional cooperation...
By ROE News on 8/18/2015 4:50 AM
August 18, 2015 - Following a partnership between UNEP, the Sarajevo Film Festival and other organisations, a day dedicated to nature has sought to catalyze a change in attitudes to the environment through film, debate and an array of green actions.

A thought-provoking documentary was screened, new technology promoted and green development put into practice at the most important cultural event in the region.

The festival’s ‘EnviroDay’ on 17 August kicked off with a media event promoting six solar-powered LED benches, providing detailed information on air quality and noise and can also charge smartphone devices and provide Wifi internet access.

The benches – donated by the Swedish Embassy – were installed in three locations in central Sarajevo and place Bosnia and Herzegovina among the very few countries to have this energy-efficient technology. 

Also on EnviroDay, the documentary...
By ROE News on 7/22/2015 7:31 AM
July 22, 2015 - Integrating public finance, intelligent policies and enabling regulatory frameworks will spur on private sector 'green' investments, EU environment ministers have heard from UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner during their Informal Council meeting in Luxembourg.



A full version of Mr Steiner's speech can be read below.

Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I feel very honored by the invitation of the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU to address, just four months before the world will be looking to Paris for a new climate deal, the informal meeting of the European Union Environment Ministers, in which you will be shaping the European Union’s response to some outstanding questions to this defining issue of our time, as the UN Secretary General called the climate challenge. And while Luxembourg is rightly referred to as the “Green Heart...
By ROE News on 7/22/2015 1:51 AM


July 22, 2015 - The UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner has shared his thoughts on implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the 28 EU Ministers of the Environment in a speech delivered at their Informal Council meeting in Luxembourg. His full intervention can be read below.

Introduction

Honorable ministers, colleagues and friends: let me express my deepest appreciation to the Luxembourgian Presidency for inviting me to share some of thoughts from UNEP on the Post 2015 process and the SDGs.

Leadership

And let me also thank the EU for its strong global leadership on sustainable development and climate change. With respect to the Rio+20 conference, the MDGs and the Post-2015 framework, in international negotiations and through developing and implementing concrete policies, the EU has shown a commitment to sustainability that EU member states should...
By ROE News on 7/14/2015 5:52 AM
July 14, 2015 - UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner met today with the Honourable Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation of Belgium on the margins of the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The two discussed UNEP and Belgium’s coordination in areas of mutual interest, including sustainable development and the green economy. UNEP and Belgium have both advocated for the universality and integration in the sustainable development agenda, and have worked effectively together using this approach.

Executive Director Steiner briefed the Deputy Prime Minister on the role in sustainable development of UNEP’s Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, which aims to identify options that help align the financial system with the needs of a green economy. Additionally, in a discussion about renewables, Mr Steiner provided an overview on the Africa 2020 Renewables Initiative, which aims to boost the production of renewable energies...
By ROE News on 7/10/2015 7:22 AM
July 10, 2015 - Following a series of high-level and stakeholder meetings, the Russian city of Stavropol is to work with UNEP to develop as a green economy and act as an example for the entire region.   

As a first step, a partnership will now be established between UNEP and Stavropol State Agrarian University (SSAU), which this week hosted the first International Ecological Forum.

The event was held on 8-9 July and took place upon the initiative of the Russian Ecological Foundation TECHECO, with support of the local government, parliament, business community and universities.

The Forum, which focused on ‘Green Economy, challenges and opportunities for a modern state,’ saw the Deputy Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe Sylvie Motard and Vladimir Moshkalo, head of UNEP’s Moscow office, present UNEP’s work towards green economies and identify possible ways and areas of cooperation. The 350 participants also shared experiences and plans for green economy development. 

Bilaterals...
By ROE News on 6/30/2015 5:37 AM




Baku, Azerbaijan, 30 June 2015 – With UNEP’s support, a demonstration project for replacing inefficient public street lights provides example of how historic reserve of Icherisheher could go on to take major step towards its climate target

Some of the 600 LED lights that are replacing public street lights in Icherisheher were presented to the public in Azerbaijan’s capital city today, launching a demonstration project coordinated by UNEP showing how the reserve could take a big step towards achieving its 2020 climate goal.

The move to replace inefficient street lights with LED ones comes under one of the ambitious climate action plans that UNEP is coordinating as part of the European Commission’s ‘Covenant of Mayors (COMO) Going East’ programme. Icherisheher has been a signatory to COMO since 2012.

Outdoor lighting accounts for 70% of total...
By ROE News on 6/19/2015 7:04 AM
A new UNEP report launched in Chisináu, Moldova this week can provide a platform for the exchange of regulatory best practices on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) for the entire region.

Recommendations are also made in the paper for furthering work in specific fields and how to best organise bodies in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine that deal with SCP.

The study, titled ‘Sustainable consumption and production policies and initiatives in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus,’ was presented to policymakers from Eastern Europe and the Caucasus this week by Rie Tsutsumi, Programme Officer for the UNEP Regional Office for UNEP.

Moves towards a green economy

One of the challenges faced by countries wishing to transition to a green economy are the knowledge gaps on economic, social and environmental challenges and the policies or regulations that can be designed to tackle them. 

Yet thanks to the new report, some of this knowledge can...
By ROE News on 6/18/2015 11:34 PM


Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 18 June 2015 - UNEP is to step up its support to Central Asian countries on a range of sustainable development topics following a meeting of ministers and high-level country representatives from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Eight decisions for furthering cooperation on sustainable development among Central Asian countries were taken at a Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of Central Asia (ICSD) meeting taking place on 16-18 June in Turkmenistan.  UNEP has consequently pledged support on mountains, waste management, moves to a green economy in light of the upcoming Batumi conference, and legislative and institutional support, among other areas.

Immediately prior to the meeting, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon completed a visit of all five Central Asian countries during which...
By ROE News on 6/18/2015 7:49 AM


Chisinau, Moldova, 18 June 2015 - When farmer earnings are included, economic gains from organic agriculture could immediately trump those from conventional farming provided that crop yields are not more than 20% lower, a new UNEP report reveals.

The report was launched by UNEP in the margins of a Special Session on Organic Agriculture that is part of the 4th ‘Greening Economies in the Eastern Neighbourhood’ (EaP) Green Steering Committee Meeting in Chisinau.

Costs and benefits to different green economy scenarios are laid out in the study, entitled Green Economy Scoping Study for the Republic of Moldova and commissioned in the frame of the EaP Green Programme, funded by the EU, in order to help the country meet its National Development Strategy, known as ‘Moldova 2020’.

Moldovan farmers can expect to profit from expanding organic agriculture in the medium and long-term thanks to premium market prices that are...

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