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By ROE News on 8/19/2016 6:03 AM
New data shows that six ‘smart’ LED benches installed by a joint UN collaboration at the 2015 edition of the Sarajevo Film Festival have born fruit in style.

Over the past year, 87.84 kilowatt-hours (kWh)of energy was produced by the benches’ solar panels, including 65.14 kWh used to recharge mobile phones 17,520 times for a C02 emission saving of 44kg, it emerged during the festival’s Enviro Day on Wednesday.  

The multifunctional seats were installed at the 2015 edition of Enviro Day by the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Development Programmes in the Bosnian capital and make the country only the second in the world to benefit from this type of technology.

Together with classmates, 20-year-old Croatian...
By ROE News on 8/17/2016 6:57 AM
The second annual Enviro Day held today sees the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Sarajevo Film Festival join forces to raise awareness of the importance of clean air in Bosnia and Herzegovina – home to some of Europe's most polluted cities.

Poor air quality is responsible for 44,000 years of life being lost in Bosnia and Herzegovina every year, according to the European Environment Agency. It costs the country $7,228 million, or 21.5 per cent of national GDP annually, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

"Air pollution is an invisible killer and a hidden limiting factor to the GDP growth of Bosnia and Herzegovina," said UNEP Regional Director for Europe Jan Dusik.

"Yet solutions stemming from district heating, public transport systems and energy efficiency in general are easily available and can boost the local economy while improving the quality of life of Bosnians. This partnership with the Sarajevo Film...
By ROE News on 8/11/2016 6:15 AM
Countries are equipping themselves to fight oil spills together in world’s largest inland body of water

Geneva, Switzerland 11 August 2016 – Ahead of Caspian Day, littoral states are gathering to mark the first entry into force of a legally-binding Protocol under the Tehran Convention, enabling them to prepare for, react to and cooperate on oil spills together.

A meeting of all five Caspian countries is being held today and tomorrow in Aktau, Kazakhstan - the city the Protocol was signed in – to review plans for it to take effect and explore ways of enhancing stakeholder participation in the Convention. The meeting is being attended by a wide range of participants, including representatives from the oil sector.

“For over a century the Caspian Sea has been associated with its oil industry.” This has created “a legacy of heavy environmental contamination,” UNEP Regional Director Jan Dusik reminded in a video message...
By ROE News on 8/10/2016 12:23 AM
Sarajevo, 10 August 2016 –Air pollution costs Bosnia and Herzegovina US$ 7,228 million, or 21.5% of national GDP, each year. Monitoring stations opened by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) show that air quality is currently at safe overall levels, yet last year heavy smog caused schools in Sarajevo to close early for the winter break. At least 44,000 years of life are estimated to be lost in Bosnia and Herzegovina each year due to particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide or ozone pollution.

During the Enviro Day at the Sarajevo Film Festival, experts from UN Environment, the World Health Organization and Federal Hydrometeorological Institute will present the latest scientific knowledge on Sarajevo's air quality and on ways to improve it. Experts will also perform a live demonstration of the instruments used to monitor pollution in the city's air.

17 August 2016, 14:00-15:30 Festival Square, Panel discussion followed by media statements

Opening...
By ROE News on 8/9/2016 8:39 AM
9 August marks the annual World Indigenous Peoples day, commemorating one of the Major Groups and Stakeholders UNEP carries out its work with and for. 

The close relationship Indigenous Peoples have with ecosystems and dependence on them has made many extremely vulnerable to environmental change and damage, including that due to mining and climate change.

The 2016 edition of the day is devoted to Indigenous Peoples' right to education - reflecting Sustainable Development Goal 4.

The goal, which all UN member states signed up to in September 2015, includes a target that by 2030, gender disparities in education will be eliminated and equal access to all levels of education and vocational training be ensured for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples and children in vulnerable situations.

“I call on Governments everywhere.. to improve access to education for indigenous peoples and to reflect...
By ROE News on 8/3/2016 4:37 AM
Two universities have been shortlisted for the prestigious Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES) Green Gown Award for the European region.

The Ca’Foscari University of Venice in Italy and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden are finalists thanks to initiatives shown in the field of student engagement – this year’s theme to the European edition of the prize.

Judges must now decide which university has achieved the greatest impact through a partnership between staff and students. A winner will be announced at the GUPES Green Gown Awards Ceremony at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston on 13th September 2016.

The student engagement theme reflects that students and staff must work together to achieve goals using ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up grass roots’ methods to achieve maximum understanding and engagement across an institution. This in turn aids student progress and allows for opportunities...
By ROE News on 7/25/2016 8:13 AM
Parties to the Montreal Protocol have come closer to a deal to further control potent global warming-inducing chemicals in a move that would provide a powerful push to help achieve the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Thanks to the Protocol, countries have already eradicated chlorofluorocarbons and are on track to eradicate hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs) – climate-harming chemicals found in refrigeration, air conditioning and foams. HFCs are often used as a replacement for CFCs and have a global warming effect up to thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide.

At their meetings held in Vienna on 15-23 July, the 197 parties to the Montreal Protocol considered potential freeze dates for HFCs and schedules for reducing their production and consumption in both developed and developing countries, and forwarded them for further...
By ROE News on 7/19/2016 6:23 AM
The pan-European regional assessment under UNEP’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) has been presented to the Portuguese Minister of Environment and other government officials.

Following its launch last month, outreach work has continued with a presentation of the report’s process and key findings at an open event organized by the General Secretariat of Portugal’s Environment Ministry in Lisbon, Portugal on 28 June 2016.

The report identifies air pollution and climate change as now being the two major threats to human health in the pan-European region and was presented in the Portuguese capital following World Environment Day – UNEP’s biggest event for awareness raising on the environment.

The Secretary General of Environment Alexandra Carvalho opened the session, which was attended by around 40 people at the General Secretariat of Portugal’s Environment Ministry, including government staff and representatives of the...
By ROE News on 7/13/2016 2:13 AM
As the Solar Impulse plane completes its journey around the globe without fuel, watch one of its pilots and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Bertrand Piccard deliver an inspiring live video message to environment ministers here.  

Mr Piccard was speaking to ministers at the eighth Environment for Europe Conference taking place in Batumi, Georgia on 7-9 June. There, over 100 pledges for a Green Economy on topics such as food waste and energy efficiency were made by countries and organisations “Be ambitious and use the solutions we have today,” he stressed, calling for the legal framework to be put in place "to change the world" and slash global emissions.  

“Normally at conferences we would not speak of pledges, we would only repeat problems. Yet now we have the opportunity to speak of solutions - and this is exactly what we need,” said Piccard,...
By ROE News on 7/4/2016 7:29 AM
A television campaign commissioned by UNEP showing how organic food is the natural choice for people and the environment has been crowned a winner at the Deauville Green Awards.

The series of ads feature a doe, badger and rabbit choosing organic over conventional food and was prized with the Golden Green award under the competition’s Responsible consumption and eco-labels category. They were produced by the Geneva-based Pointprod company.

The Deauville Green Awards is an international festival involving films, documentaries and ads on sustainable development and ecology assessed by an international jury of communication and environment specialists. The fifth edition of the event took place in the Normandy town on 16-17 June.

Choosing to eat organic means opting for a healthier and more varied diet,...

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