Africa: Unep 2013 Annual Report Spotlights Action On Key Environmental Issues

Mar 30th, 2014 | By | Category: Development and Climate Change, Health and Climate Change, News

Activities for the year ranged from climate change adaptation to a new global convention on mercury and beyond.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2013 tackled a range of critical and emerging issues on the global environmental agenda, according to the organization’s 2013 Annual Report, which was released today.

The report focuses on UNEP’s achievements in key focus areas: climate change; disasters and conflicts; ecosystem management; environmental governance; harmful substances and hazardous waste; resource efficiency; and sustainable consumption and production.

On harmful substances and hazardous waste, the report spotlights the historic adoption of the Minamata Convention on Mercury – a global, legally binding agreement to reduce mercury emissions and the first new global convention on environment and health for close to a decade – which was widely viewed as a major step forward in the global phase-out of the deadly heavy metal.

It also addresses UNEP’s work in reducing the lead content of fuels and paint, and tackling ozone-depleting substances such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide.

In the area of climate change, the report highlights the findings of its Emissions Gap Report 2013 – which details the gap between current global emissions and the reduction needed to remain on track to meet the 2 degree Celsius global warming target – and its Africa Adaptation Gap Report, which describes the costs of adaptation measures on the African continent under various global warming scenarios.

It also focuses on the 2013 opening of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and the adoption of a Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries ‘Rulebook’, as well as the organization’s work on adaptation, energy and resilience.

The report describes UNEP’s work in the area of ecosystem management, in particular with regard to natural capital, payments for ecosystem services and the marine environment.

In this regard, efforts by UNEP and partners to incorporate the value of nature – natural capital, as it is known – into economic and developmental policies are also spotlighted. Over the course of the year, the UNEP-hosted Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), with 115 member states, established an ambitious five-year work programme and agreed to develop a set of fast-track assessments.

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