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UNECE to review the environmental performance of Mauritania

Due to the increasing popularity of the UNECE Environmental Performance Review (EPR) Programme, the Government of Mauritania has asked the UNECE secretariat to review the country’s environmental performance. On 10–11 August 2022, the EPR Programme Manager met in Nouakchott with Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development officials to discuss the substantive content and organization of an EPR of the country.

Nigeria’s planned accession to UN Water Convention could be a tipping point for cross-border water cooperation, contributing to security, climate adaptation and sustainable development in Lake Chad and Niger basins

Nigeria has taken a significant step towards ensuring the sustainable management of its cross-border waters with a milestone commitment to join and implement a United Nations treaty known as the Water Convention.   

This commitment, guided by a road map, will be the key outcome of the National Workshop taking place this week in Abuja (27-29 July) on the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes. 

UNECE supports Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in taking stock of progress on strategic environmental assessment and transboundary environmental impact assessment

UNECE delivers a wide range of technical assistance and capacity building activities to support the countries of the Caucasus and Eastern Europe to enhance strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and transboundary environmental impact assessment (EIA). An effective system for environmental assessments prevents and mitigates damage to the environment and health from economic growth. After the COVID-19 pandemic, which challenged healthcare systems and economies world-wide, economic recovery efforts make systematic and effective environmental assessment more necessary than ever.  

Aarhus Parties reaffirmed their commitment to protect the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment

Last week, Parties to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) gathered alongside representatives of civil society, international organizations, academia, private organizations and other key stakeholders to take stock of progress and promote environmental democracy, taking a number of commitments at the third extraordinary session of the Meeting of the Parties (ExMoP3) and

Shared management of cross-border rivers, lakes and groundwater is crucial to avert looming water crises, stress UN and countries after 30-year success of Water Convention

More than 3 billion people depend on water that crosses national borders. As climate impacts – from drought to flooding – are felt more and more acutely worldwide, and with rising demands, pollution and tensions threatening increasingly scarce water resources, cooperation on shared waters offers a vital tool to promote sustainable development, climate change adaptation, peace and stability.

World’s first Special Rapporteur on environmental defenders elected under the Aarhus Convention

The Meeting of the Parties to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) has elected, by consensus, Mr. Michel Forst as the world’s first Special Rapporteur on environmental defenders. 

The Special Rapporteur’s role – which is operational with immediate effect – is to take measures to protect any person experiencing or at imminent threat of penalization, persecution, or harassment for seeking to exercise their rights under the Aarhus Convention. 

Pan-European countries come together under the Protocol on Water and Health to promote the affordability of drinking water and sanitation services

Making drinking water and sanitation services affordable for all is key to guaranteeing the human rights to drinking water and sanitation. In the human rights framework, water and sanitation services are unaffordable when paying for them would compromise the ability to pay for other essential needs that are guaranteed by human rights such as food, housing, education and health care. Affordability of drinking water and sanitation services is a concern across the pan-European region.

Namibia posits benefits of Water Convention accession to manage its shared water resources

Namibia shares all its perennial rivers with neighboring countries and is both a mid-stream and downstream country. Transboundary water cooperation is therefore crucial for Namibia’s water security and sustainable socio-economic development. In today’s interconnected world, water availability is directly related to peace and security.

UNECE fosters new partnerships for the protection of marine and coastal ecosystems through environmental assessments

Regional seas and coastal ecosystems, located either entirely or partly within the UNECE region, face growing environmental pressures caused by climate change, the increasing pollution loads, tourism, fishing, mining of minerals, and energy production (such as offshore wind power plants). These pressures risk to adversely impact the coastal and marine ecosystems and reduce the services and goods they provide to the population within and beyond the region - such as fish, recreation or protection against increasingly variable weather events.