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Industrial accident in Leverkusen is reminder of continuous need to invest in prevention and preparedness for response

On 27 July 2021 around 9:40 am, a major explosion at the 480 hectare Chempark in Leverkusen, Germany, shocked the local population within a radius of 40km who heard and felt the detonation – and even beyond that, as the toxic plume was still visible in Dortmund, nearly 80 km away. The explosion killed 5 employees and injured 31 workers, with two persons still being missing. Due to the possible release of dioxins many were reminded of the Seveso accident of 1976 in Italy.

Connecting expertise for environmental governance: lessons from 25 years of UNECE Environmental Performance Reviews

By Ms. Olga Algayerova, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNECE, and Ms. Elisabete Quintas da Silva, Head of Department, Sustainable and Efficient Use of Resources Operational Programme, Government of Portugal, and Chair of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy. 

This article was originally published by IISD at:…

Kazakhstan on the way to ratification of the key Air Convention protocols with help from UNECE

Four decades of experience under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention) have demonstrated that ratification and implementation of the Convention and its protocols reduces health and environmental impacts in a more cost-effective way than unilateral action by one country alone.

UNECE and the European Investment Bank strengthen cooperation to support countries’ sustainable development efforts  

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the European Investment Bank, the financial investment arm of the European Union, have signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen joint efforts to promote economic cooperation, cohesion and to support countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

European Union

UN system in Europe and Central Asia strengthens the integration of the environment and climate change in country-level support

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 an independent, impartial and collective assessment and analysis of the country's situation.

UNECE supports countries to implement energy-related recommendations of their Environmental Performance Reviews

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 Agreement. For example, most of the electricity in Albania is produced by hydropower, followed by thermal power, but the country aims to implement more solar and wind projects.

Guinea-Bissau's accession to the United Nations Water Convention further strengthens cross-border cooperation on shared waters

On 16 June, Guinea-Bissau became the 4th African country (45th party) to accede to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), whose secretariat is provided by UNECE. It is also a party to the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (Watercourses Convention), since 2010.  

Estimating emissions from road transport to facilitate sound policy solutions in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia

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.

Safeguarding environmental democracy – outlook for 2025

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 Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) (Geneva, 3 May  and 7 and 8 June 2021). Governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia and other stakeholders gathered to finalize a number of decisions on the future work for the seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the A