The second session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has concluded with the adoption of 25 resolutions.
Some major areas of focus of the meeting included, inter alia: implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement; illegal trade in wildlife; and marine litter and debris.
UNEA-2 convened under the theme, 'Delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.'
28 May 2015: The second session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has concluded with the adoption of 24 resolutions as well as decisions about UNEA-3. Some major areas of focus of the meeting included, inter alia: implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement; illegal trade in wildlife; and marine litter and debris. UNEA-2 convened under the theme, ‘Delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’
During the High-Level Segment of the meeting, which took place from 26-27 May, Ministers endorsed the draft Global Thematic Report on ‘Healthy Environment, Healthy People,’ but did not agree on a ministerial outcome document.
On illegal trade in wildlife, the resolution that was adopted contains preambular language, inter alia, recognizing the important role that the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife can play in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and in addressing illegal trade and trafficking in wildlife through the development of sustainable and alternative livelihoods for affected communities. The preamble also notes with concern that illegal trade and trafficking in wildlife and its products and other forms of environmental crime are increasingly committed by transnational organized criminal groups. The resolution urges cooperation with the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) and calls on Member States to make illicit trafficking in protected species of wild fauna and flora involving organized criminal groups a serious crime.
In a resolution on supporting the Paris Agreement, UNEA requests the UNEP Executive Director to contribute to the implementation of pre-2020 global efforts to address climate change by, inter alia: strengthening efforts in education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information and cooperation; reinforcing and stepping-up UNEP’s participation in partnership programmes and initiatives; and strengthening collaboration between UNEP and other relevant stakeholders on work on adaptation, mitigation and the transition to a sustainable future in a manner that reinforces synergies, avoids duplication, and maximizes efficiency and effectiveness.
On marine litter and debris, the final resolution notes the increased knowledge regarding the levels, sources, negative effects of, and possible measures to reduce marine plastic litter and microplastics in the marine environment, and recognizes the importance of cooperation between UNEP and the relevant conventions and international instruments. The resolution calls on governments at all levels to further develop partnerships with industry and civil society and the establishment of public-private partnerships, and to organize and participate in annual campaigns for awareness-raising, prevention and environmentally sound clean-up of marine litter. It further calls on product manufacturers and others to consider the lifecycle environmental impacts of products containing microbeads and compostable polymers, and on UNEP to assess the effectiveness of relevant international, regional and sub-regional governance strategies and approaches to combat marine plastic litter and microplastics.
The resolution on the ‘Roles of UNEP and UNEA in delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’ commits UNEA to contributing to the effective implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda in an integrated manner; and to convey the main messages of its sessions to the HLPF to support the Forum’s follow up and review function. It also emphasizes that UNEP, within its mandate, has an important role in the follow up and review of the progress in implementing the environmental dimension of sustainable development, including the provision of policy relevant information, through assessment processes, all of which should support the overall follow up and review by the HLPF of the 2030 Agenda. The resolution also, inter alia: encourages continuation of UNEP’s work on indicators to support monitoring the delivery of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda; and requests the Executive Director to prepare a report for consideration for UNEA-3 on UNEP’s contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with a view to forwarding the report to the HLPF for its consideration.
UNEA-2 met from 23-27 May 2016, in Nairobi, Kenya, and was attended by over 2,500 delegates, including 123 ministerial-level participants, from 174 countries, as well as 230 representatives of business and 400 representatives from accredited Major Groups & Stakeholders. The meeting was preceded by the Science-Policy Forum and the 16th session of the Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF-16). [UNEP Closing Press Release] [IISD RS Summary of UNEA-2] [IISD RS Stories on UNEA-2]