October 18, 2011

Report from UNEP’s Rio+20 Civil Society Consultations

Filed under: INECE Secretariat, UN System — inece @ 10:34 am

The UNEP Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) meeting, “Rio+20 Civil Society Consultations,” took place on 13-14 October 2011. This meeting offered an opportunity for civil society to provide input to the 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, which will focus on the main themes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) taking place 4-6 June 2012.

The meeting brought together individuals from the United States and Canada, as well as all aspects of civil society. INECE’s Managing Director, Mr. Ken Markowitz, spoke briefly to the group about the importance of good governance and how this will be a major focus of the agenda at Rio+20. Mr. Markowitz then introduced Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, who joined the meeting via video conferencing. Justice Benjamin highlighted the two main pillars of the Rio+20 agenda, governance and the green economy. He then focused on the third pillar, emerging issues, which consists of the issue of the regression of environmental policies and legislation and the issue of compliance and enforcement.

Following Justice Benjamin’s speech, the group broke into smaller working groups and discussed how Rio+20 could focus on international and domestic issues as well as the transition to a green economy. The outcomes of this meeting were summarized in a comprehensive list of “key messages,” among which the importance of national governance, accountability, and enforcement were highlighted.

July 21, 2011

UNODC: Sharing intelligence key to fighting environment crimes

Filed under: Environmental Crime, seaports, UN System — inece @ 2:37 pm

From the UNODC Press Release: 

National governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations met to discuss critical issues related to the illicit trade of commodities such as wildlife, timber, fish and waste at the 11th Asian Regional Partners Forum on Combating Environmental Crime (ARPEC), held 13-14 July 2011 in Bangkok. Organized by the Regional Centre of UNODC in East Asia and the Pacific, this ARPEC meeting focused on the critical role of intelligence-sharing and media management in fighting organized environmental crime in Asian countries.

For the full article, see the UNODC web site.

See also, ARPEC’s Environmental Crime poster.

July 19, 2011

UNEP Report Identifies Enforcement As Enabling Condition to Green Economic Growth

Filed under: UN System — Tags: — inece @ 4:06 pm

UNEP’s new Green Economy Report demonstrates that the greening of economies is not generally a drag on growth but rather a new engine of growth; that it is a net generator of decent jobs, and that it is also a vital strategy for the elimination of persistent poverty.

The report finds, among other “enabling conditions,” that:

…a robust regulatory framework at the national level, as well as the effective enforcement of legislation, can be a potent means of driving green investment. Such a framework reduces regulatory and business risks, and increases the confidence of investors and markets. The use of regulations is often necessary to address the most harmful forms of unsustainable behaviour, either by creating minimum standards or prohibiting certain activities entirely. In particular, standards can be effective in promoting markets for sustainable goods and services, and can induce efficiency and stimulate innovation, which can have a positive effect on competitiveness. Standards may, however, pose a challenge to market access for small- and medium-sized enterprises, particularly from developing countries. It is therefore crucial for countries to balance environmental protection through the use of standards and other regulations with safeguarding market access.

The full report, along with a synthesis for policymakers and a summary of conclusions, is available through the UNEP web site at http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/GreenEconomyReport/tabid/29846/Default.aspx.

March 14, 2011

UNITAR to Host Green Diplomacy e-Learning Program

Filed under: Compliance Training, UN System — inece @ 2:50 pm

The Multilateral Diplomacy Programme of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) will host an e-Learning course on Green Diplomacy, beginning Monday, 18 April and concluding on Friday, 27 May 27.

This course will address the challenges and opportunities for elevating environmental considerations into key spheres of multilateral diplomacy. Specifically it will examine the environmental concerns embedded within multilateral negotiations and policy processes related to human rights and humanitarian affairs, peace and security, trade and investment, global economic recovery and development cooperation.

The course will be delivered online and will allow the participant to work at his or her own pace, supported by multimedia, lesson materials, optional and required readings, discussion forums, negotiation simulation exercises, assessment quizzes, and other information.

UNITAR welcomes you to register for this course online at http://www.unitar.org/event/green-diplomacy or to contact Ms. Emily Fraser at ccdiplomacy at unitar.org for further information.

February 28, 2011

UNEP Governing Council Concludes with Support for Green Economy, Environmental Governance Reform

Filed under: Chemicals & Waste, climate, UN System — inece @ 7:18 pm

From the UNEP Press Release:

A major sustainable development conference in Brazil next year offers a key opportunity to accelerate and to scale-up a global transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient Green Economy, a meeting of the world’s environment ministers has signaled.

Potential challenges, including new kinds of trade barriers, need to be managed. But a Green Economy offers a way of realizing sustainable development in the 21st century by “building economies, enhancing social equity and human well-being, while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”.

Ministers called on the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to support countries keen to operationalize such a transition and to play a key and ‘active’ role in putting the challenges, opportunities and strategies towards a Green Economy firmly on the agenda for next year’s landmark meeting.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012, or Rio+20, also needs to address how the world can better manage and govern the environment including by evolving and strengthening the institutions responsible.

The ministers responsible for the environment, who have been meeting this week at UNEP headquarters, expressed concern that the overall efforts of the United Nations and nations in respect to the ‘environmental pillar’ of sustainable development remained weak, underfunded and fractured.

In their summary of discussions, released today at the close, many delegates said countries needed to move beyond pinpointing shortcomings and to focus on a real reform agenda in the run up to Rio+20.

For more information, see  the full list of decisions, the Chair’s summary, and other related documents at http://www.unep.org/gc/gc26/; IISD’s coverage of the event at http://www.iisd.ca/unepgc/26unepgc/; and the UNEP Green Economy  site at http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy.

February 11, 2011

Basel Secretariat: Consultancy Announcement and Call for Applications by 28 February 2011

Filed under: Environmental Crime, UN System — inece @ 4:37 pm

The Secretariat of the Basel Convention (SBC) announced a consultancy announcement for the development of a draft instruction manual for the legal profession on the prosecution of illegal traffic.

The SBC  invites interested candidates to submit their candidature by 28 February 2011.

For the Terms of References, see http://www.basel.int/convention/communications/2011-02-11.pdf.

February 7, 2011

World Leaders Call for Sustainable Forest Management at Launch of UN Year of Forests

Filed under: biodiversity, Forests, UN System — inece @ 7:52 pm

From the UN Media Release:

Environmental experts and world leaders called today for the sustainable management of forests in the interest of human development as the United Nations Forum on Forests began its High-level Ministerial Segment by launching the International Year of Forests, 2011, which was followed by discussions on people-centred forestry and financing for forest communities.

“We have a chance to agree on how best to realize the full potential of forests — for sustainable development, economic stability, the fight against poverty and our efforts to ensure future prosperity for all,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he opened the proceedings via video message.  By proclaiming the Year, the General Assembly had created an important platform from which to educate the global community about the great value of forests, while continuing to link all global efforts in sustainable forest management following on the climate agreements reached in Cancun, Mexico, in late 2010 and leading up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

Key to sustainable forest management is ensuring compliance with national law to protect forest resources, including predictable and appropriate enforcement responses to violations. For information on INECE’s work on promoting compliance and enforcement for forest protection, see http://www.inece.org/forumslogging.html.

Additional resources: For the full media release, see http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2011/envdev1188.doc.htm. To watch the webcast of the launch ceremony of the International Year of Forests, please visit UN Webcast. See also, the web page for the UN Forum on Forests, http://www.un.org/esa/forests/.

December 17, 2010

UNEP Launches New Course on Course on Compliance with Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Filed under: Compliance Training, UN System — inece @ 3:09 pm

UNEP and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law have launched a new, university-level course on compliance with multilateral environmental agreements. The course syllabus, curriculum content (including sample PowerPoint presentations) with supporting references and materials, and a Manual for lecturers, instructors, and professors is available online at www.unep.org/DEC/Lecturemanual.asp.

This course on Compliance with and Enforcement of MEAs provides students with guidance on the practical aspects of negotiating, implementing, and enforcing environmental law at the international and national levels. As such, the course and its materials are designed to complement existing courses on environmental law and international environmental law.

The primary target audience for the course is law students, as well as students of international relations, environmental management and other disciplines linked to the study of the environment. After completion of the Compliance coursework, the students will have a better understanding of international environmental law in general as well as of the main challenges for effective compliance and enforcement of the MEAs.

The course supports UNEP’s Manual on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreement, available online at http://www.unep.org/dec/onlinemanual/.

For more information, see UNEP’s press release on the launch of the course.

November 15, 2010

Joint WCO/UNEP Operation Nets Large Haul of Ozone Depleting Substances

Filed under: Africa, Asia, Chemicals & Waste, climate, Environmental Crime, Europe, seaports, UN System — Tags: — inece @ 9:27 pm

Click the logos above for the Project Sky-hole Patching Information Brochure (pdf)

A joint global Customs enforcement operation initiated by the World Customs Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and code-named “Sky-hole Patching II” led to the confiscation of more than 7,500 cylinders of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), and other ozone depleting substances.

Totalling over 108 tonnes of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and 668 pieces of equipment containing ODS, each of these man-made chemicals is linked to the rapid depletion of the ozone layer and all have been either banned or subject to strict controls under the terms of the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.

“This global operation by Customs in partnership with the WCO and UNEP which hauled in spectacular quantities of illegal ODS clearly demonstrates the success of this tripartite alliance against this dangerous trade and the organized criminal gangs who profit from it,” said Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO. “We cannot allow goods that threaten the health and safety of world citizens, which contribute to global warming and inevitably to negative climate change, and which damage the environment – perhaps more far-reaching than what is estimated – to circulate the globe without taking serious action,” Mikuriya added. “I can only commend all those who took part in this project and urge Customs and their partners to continue their enforcement efforts to secure our borders from all forms of illegal and illicit trade,” concluded the Secretary General.


September 21, 2010

Environmental Governance Tops Countries’ Concern for Meeting Rio Convention Commitments, International Network Is Helping Bridge Gap

Washington, DC, September 21, 2010 – Environmental governance, including implementation and compliance with national laws, is a significant challenge facing countries trying to meet their commitments under the Rio Conventions, according to a new study released last week by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The National Capacity Self-Assessments Synthesis Report called for countries to identify their priority environmental issues such as combating deforestation, promoting sustainable land management, minimizing their vulnerabilities to the impact of climate change, or controlling biodiversity loss, and their challenges in responding to these priority issues.

Countries prioritized “environmental governance” as a key concern to achieving and sustaining global environmental outcomes, in addition to the other top needs: 1) public awareness and environmental education; 2) information management and exchange; 3) strengthening organizational mandates and structures; and 4) economic instruments and sustainable financing mechanisms.


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