News

UN Climate Change Conference (COP24), held in Katowice, Poland from December 2-14, 2018

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It’s nearing midnight, when our guide, Andry, darts into the undergrowth. In the velvet dark of the forest, lit only by the sharp stabs of our torches and the gentle glow of the waning moon filtering through the canopy, it’s hard to see what the excitement is all about until he crouches down, pointing. “Chameleon,” he says, barely louder than a whisper.

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Almost 150 countries, 94 of them Parties to the Minamata Convention of Mercury, are meeting in Geneva this week to strengthen their efforts to reduce and eliminate the adverse effects of mercury as a new report reveals that global mercury emissions into the atmosphere rose by around 20% between 2010 and 2015. Mercury is a serious pollution threat and very dangerous to human health and the environment.

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The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP2) opens today in Geneva, Switzerland. The Minamata Convention, the newest multilateral environmental agreement, was adopted in 2013 in Kumamoto, Japan and entered into force in August, 2017. The Convention commits to protect human health and the environment from the toxic effects of mercury.

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UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have kicked off a project under the GEF-financed, World Bank-led Global Wildlife Program that aims to curb maritime wildlife trafficking, targeting key routes and transit points between Africa and Asia.

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Government ministers from across Africa and experts from around the world are gathering this week in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity. The meeting on November 13, which focuses on biodiversity conservation, land and ecosystem restoration in Africa, marks the opening of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference 2018

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The majority of the Arab States possess all the requisite elements to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. There’s a young, educated workforce, plenty of natural resources, a notable increase in investments in renewable energy, and a much-needed uptick in efforts to support equality. Climate change, conflict and other related factors threaten to derail this progress and ruin any chances of a Pax Arabica.

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The GEF Biennial International Waters Conference (IWC) opens today in Marrakech under the high patronage of His Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

The conference will bring together some 300 participants from around the world — including representatives of beneficiary countries, non-governmental organizations, transboundary management institutions, UN Agencies, the private sector, and the GEF—to discuss crucial issues about how to sustain international cooperation regarding the conservation and sustainable use of freshwater and marine resources. 

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A new concept, “fish carbon”, recognizes the potential of marine life to address the climate change challenge and prevent global biodiversity loss. 

Oceans, and all marine life that lives under and above the water, play a central role in stabilizing the Earth’s climate. They provide a vital source of food to a vast number of land and water species and regulate the amount of CO2 that stays in the atmosphere by absorbing 30 per cent of global emissions.

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Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates have committed to joining a major global initiative to redesign the global “take-make-dispose” economy into a more circular one.

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