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Countries in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe are stepping up efforts for their sustainable energy transition with ambitious plans and policies, aiming to significantly cut CO2 emissions and advance implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris
Each UN country team develops with the host Government a strategic plan to support national development priorities and strategies. The result is the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF). The preparation of the UNSDCF begins with a Common Country Analysis (CCA), which provides
Setting the major directions to strengthen effective public participation and access to information and justice by 2025 was the focus of the twenty-fifth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to
Transport continues to be a significant source of air pollution, especially in cities in the UNECE region. Air pollutants, such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), harm human health and the environment. Although air pollution from transport has decreased in the last decade
Policy solutions for pressing problems like air pollution require sound data. Emission inventories can help in determining the major sources of air pollution in a given country. As a result of integrated air pollution management strategies developed under the UNECE Convention on Long-range
Over the past 100 years, humans have massively altered flows of nitrogen on our planet. While this has increased food production, it has led to and multiple threats to our health and risks irreversible and abrupt environmental change if decisive action is not taken. Driven by intensive animal
Integrated management of water, energy and land resources, while protecting ecosystems, remains a substantial challenge in the Western Balkans. The Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus approach offers solutions that can reconcile potentially conflicting interests as they compete for the same
Contrary to what most people think, transport is not the major source of particle pollution in the air. In fact, in Serbia and many other countries, domestic heating is the most important source of harmful particle pollution (PM2.5 and PM 10). In Serbia, pollution is a result of heating, which is
Black carbon (BC) is an air pollutant with significant impacts on our health and climate. Resulting from incomplete combustion processes, it is part of fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) and estimated to have a warming impact on climate that is 460–1,500 times greater than that of carbon dioxide (
Decarbonizing transport and mobility remains a critical policy challenge, for which we must seize the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as a unique opportunity to accelerate progress. Decarbonization is one example of an issue where transport, health, and environment all meet – an intersection
Water, health, climate change and disaster risk reduction are interlinked and interdependent. For example, with climate change, floods and droughts increase in both intensity and frequency.  Floods can damage water and sanitation infrastructure, disrupt essential public service provision, undermine
When scientists in the 1960s investigated the causes of the die-back of forests, the so-called ‘Waldsterben’, and acidification of lakes with associated fish loss, they found that air pollution, often emitted thousands of kilometres away, was the culprit. This research formed the basis for the
Progress in reducing emissions of key air pollutants has been uneven across the UNECE region over the past few decades. To create a level playing field across the region, the Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone (Gothenburg Protocol), a unique instrument to reduce
One year after the first COVID-19 lockdown in many parts of the UNECE region, scientists and experts are studying the effects of lockdown measures on air quality. A study from Germany showed that while levels of nitrogen oxides (NO2) measured at urban stations decreased during the lockdown in
To reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus, Governments in the UNECE region introduced social distancing and other measures, which have often included restrictions on the freedoms of assembly and of movement. Consequently, there has been an impact on procedural rights of public participation
Systemic deficiencies with regard to access to information, decision-making or compliance with environmental law can seriously threaten successful implementation of circular and green economy and sustainable development. Taking a case to court to advance a widely shared public interest remains an
Whilst environmental degradation affects everyone on the planet, it affects the lives of women and men in different ways. Implementing environmental policies with gender considerations in mind can be more effective to understand target groups better, gain greater acceptability of policies and
Water scarcity and pollution is increasing worldwide, as a result of the rising economic demands for water, population growth and rapid urbanisation, exacerbated by ecosystem losses and climate change. Water-related risks can negatively affect sustainable development, human health and well-being, 
Directive (EU) 2020/2184 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on the quality of water intended for human consumption (recast) was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on 16 December 2020 and entered into force on 12 January 2021. The
Sound emission inventories are the first step for designing effective clean air policies as they provide information about the main sources and the most acute air pollution problems in a country. Under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution(Air Convention), UNECE has therefore
While transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers, accounting for 60 per cent of global freshwater flows, are of crucial importance for the sustainable development and political stability of riparian States, the financial means for their management, development and protection are insufficient in most
After months of the COVID-19 crisis challenging healthcare systems and undermining economies, governments worldwide are looking for ways to jump-start the economic recovery. Without factoring in environmental concerns, recovery packages risk undermining the foundations for sustainable development, 
Effective public access to environmental information is critical for promoting a green and circular economy, increased biosafety and community resilience. The need to further such access using modern digital technologies has been increasingly voiced across countries in the light of the coronavirus
Knowing where exactly air pollutant emissions are coming from in a given country is important to make viable policy decisions. As a result of integrated air pollution management strategies developed under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention), air quality
A vision for transboundary cooperation around the Senegal-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin (SMAB) has been developed by representatives of the States that share this aquifer system, namely The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal.  This work was carried out in the second meeting of the Regional