26.05.2016

Jochen Flasbarth at UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi

Women in Nepal

Women in Chitre, Dhawalagiri, Western Region, Nepal. Picture: Tine Rossing

The second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23 to 27 May.  It is the first in a series of UN conferences focusing on implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which was adopted in September 2015. The German delegation will be headed by Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at the German Environment Ministry (BMUB).

The UNEA meets every two years. It deals with the most urgent environmental problems and sets priorities for global environmental policy. The main topic at this year’s session is the question of how to implement those SDGs that are particularly relevant to the environment and the climate. Other issues include sustainable consumption and production patterns, protection of the world’s marine environment, and financing for sustainable innovation. The environment and health, chemicals management, water management, species conservation and the green economy are also on the agenda.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) advises numerous developing countries on these issues and is supported in this by the German Environment Ministry. The Ministry is a funding partner in the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) set up by UNEP, supporting it through its International Climate Initiative (IKI). PAGE provides country-specific strategic advice on policies towards achieving a low-carbon green economy. Germany’s contribution currently totals 1.1 million euros (2014-2017).

Overall, BMUB has supported 24 UNEP projects in developing countries and emerging economies since 2008, providing funding of almost 82 million euros. The projects deal with the most varied aspects of environmental protection. For example, activities to protect intact ecosystems in mountain communities in Nepal, Uganda and Peru were funded, including work to protect water catchments or reforest degraded lands.

Another IKI project that UNEP intends to carry out in the future will provide support at a high political level to develop a basis for refining and implementing ambitious climate policies in Africa. The partners are the member states of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) and the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN). Plans include strategy dialogues and concrete climate action designed to enable these countries to implement the climate agreement adopted in Paris. Collaboration on sustainable tourism will also be continued because in many countries where tourism plays a major role in the economy environmental and climate considerations are not given adequate attention.