Environment/Wild Life

UNEA sixth session to begin on 26 February in Nairobi with call to protect environment

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The five days United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) will begin on 26 February in Nairobi, Kenya where global leaders will discuss triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.

“UNEA-6 will place particular focus on how stronger multilateralism can help us to do this,” said UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen earlier this month. “It will drive united, inclusive and multilateral action that addresses every strand of the triple planetary crisis as one indivisible challenge.”

The theme of year’s session, the sixth since the Assembly’s launch in 2014 of is Effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution which will be attended by Heads of State and more than 5,000 representatives from government, civil society and the private sector who are expected to tackle some of the planet’s most-pressing environmental challenges.

The Assembly comes at what Andersen called a “critical” time for the planet. Climate change is intensifying, 1 million species are heading towards extinction, and pollution remains one of the world’s leading causes of premature death.

The triple planetary crisis is entrenching poverty and widening the divide between rich and poor which will be discussed at the UNEA-6. Also it is expected to shift focus on the Sustainable Development Goals where leaders could renew calls for developing a global blueprint for protecting the planet and promoting prosperity. Just 15 per cent of the goals, which come due in 2030, are on track.

“UNEA-6 won’t solve the world’s problems overnight,” said Andersen. “What it will do is unite nations under the banner of environmental action, focus minds and energies on key solutions and guide the work of UNEP in this critical period for people and planet.”

Government leaders are expected to debate 19 draft resolutions. Those include calls for countries to improve air quality, address climate change, limit chemical pollution, counter desertification and end biodiversity loss. UNEA resolutions are not legally binding but are considered an important first step on the path to global environmental accords and national policymaking.

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