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Thousands of UN peacekeepers to receive training on environmental management

21 Septiembre 2012 – Thousands of United Nations peacekeepers around the world will soon be able to improve their natural resources management through a training programme launched today by the world body’s environmental agency.

“The ‘blue helmets’ carry out demanding work, in difficult situations, where clean water, forests and other key resources are often already under pressure. This training programme is a critical step towards making peacekeeping operations more sustainable and effective,"Dijo el Director Ejecutivo del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA) Achim Steiner,, dijo en una COMUNICADO DE PRENSA.

“Such greening measures can serve to reduce conflict, and to make an important contribution to global efforts to improve resource efficiency and meet the challenges of climate change,", Añadió.

According to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (Paz), there are close to 120,000 people serving as UN peacekeepers – in military, police and civilian capacities – in 16 DPKO-led peace operations around the world.

The course, which is expected to be delivered to thousands of military, police and civilian peacekeepers over the next year through an online learning platform, follows the Greening los cascos azules report produced by UNEP earlier this year, which analyzed how peacekeeping missions around the world affect, y se ven afectados por, los recursos naturales y el medio ambiente más amplio.

The study found that while UN peacekeeping operations play a key role in the recovery and stability of countries emerging from conflict, they have a large environmental footprint and can place considerable demands on local resources in fragile environments. The report makes a set of recommendations as to how sustainability measures can be improved in all missions.

A number of peacekeeping missions have already adopted environmental policies and undertaken a range of measures to improve resource efficiency, El PNUMA señaló en un comunicado de prensa.

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (FPNUL) has introduced several environmental practices, ranging from the use of electric cars at the mission’s headquarters in the southern town of Naqoura, to energy-efficient power generation and the establishment of a community-led recycling plant.

At the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), switching off equipment or adjusting room temperature settings have resulted in a 15 per cent reduction of energy consumption. Según el PNUMA, a simple measure like this one could save $95.7 million annually if it was implemented across all missions.

The new training programme, which was compiled with the technical assistance of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), aims to disseminate these good practices to all missions and to encourage investments in new technologies, practices and behaviours that can reduce the overall environmental footprint of peacekeeping.

The launch of the programme also marks the 20th anniversary of the International Day of Peace, which is being commemorated this year under the theme “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.”

El artículo fuente de: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42951&Cr=environment&Cr1=

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Ozone layer on track to recover over next five decades, Ban says on International Day

16 Septiembre 2012 Â- Secretario general Ban Ki-moon has hailed the efforts of the international community in protecting the atmosphere, noting that with the global phase-out of 98 per cent of ozone-depleting gases, the ozone layer is now on track to recover over the next five decades.

“I urge Governments and all partners to apply the same spirit to the other great environment and development challenges of our times. Juntos, we can achieve the future we want,"El señor. Ban said in his mensaje on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, observed annually on 16 Septiembre.

The date commemorates the date of the signing, en 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which aims to protect the ozone layer by taking measures to control total global production and consumption of substances that deplete it, with the ultimate objective of their elimination.

The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Protocol, and Mr. Ban congratulated all who have made the treaty such an “outstanding example” of international cooperation.

The Protocol, dijo, “is not merely a success in meeting its immediate objectives, it offers substantive lessons and inspiration in addressing other global challenges and turning them into opportunities for common progress.”

Millions of cases of skin cancer and eye cataracts, as well as the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation on the environment, have already been avoided, El lo notó. The Protocol has also catalyzed considerable innovation in the chemical and equipment manufacturing industry, resulting in more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration systems.

He said action under the Protocol has also had significant climate benefits. Many of these substances have been phased out, such as chlorofluorocarbons once used in products such as hairsprays, which are significant greenhouse gases.

“Nonetheless, the challenges are not over,"Dijo el Sr.. Prohibición de las. “Governments must maintain their commitment to finish the job and avert additional problems. The use of hydrofluorocarbons – ozone-friendly chemicals that are also powerful greenhouse gases – is growing rapidly to replace ozone-depleting substances.

“The Montreal Protocol has demonstrated that fundamental principles – such as science-based policy making, the precautionary approach, common but differentiated responsibilities and equity within and between generations – can benefit all nations.”

El artículo fuente de: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42902&Cr=ozone&Cr1=

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At UN-backed conference, African countries adopt sustainable development measures

14 Septiembre 2012 – Environment ministers and representatives from over 40 African countries today adopted a set of programmes to boost sustainable development on the continent, agreeing to fully engage with the implementation of the outcome document of the United Nations Río 20 Conference which was adopted in June.

For three days, government officials at the 14th regular session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Arusha, Tanzania tackled some of the challenges that threaten the future of the region such as land degradation, cambio climático, deforestation, low agricultural productivity and poverty.

The Conference marked the first time that African environment ministers met since the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Río 20) en Brasil en junio, in which more than 100 los jefes de Estado y de Gobierno, junto con miles de parlamentarios, alcaldes, Funcionarios de la ONU, chief executive officers and civil society leaders sought to shape new policies to promote prosperity, reducir la pobreza y avanzar en la equidad social y protección del medio ambiente.

At AMCEN, Ministers adopted documents which will promote an inclusive green economy as well as strengthen the UN Environment Programme (PNUMA).

The ministers requested additional measures beyond the Rio 20 agreement, including upgrading regional UNEP offices and establishing five sub-regional offices in Africa, as well as establishing a universal membership body known as the Environment Assembly, with a ministerial segment called the Ministerial Conference on Environment.

The Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa, Mounkaila Goumandakoye, said UNEP would support all the decisions adopted by the ministers.

“In addition to the provision of secretariat services, our support will focus on scientific and technical advisory services as we increase assistance to African countries in the implementation of the Rio 20 outcomes, taking into account the threat that climate change continues to pose,", Dijo.

“Our collaboration with AMCEN will also focus on programmatic support in the design and implementation of programmes, in line with the regional flagship programmes identified at this session, that respond to the needs and priorities of countries in the areas of sound environmental management,", Añadió.

Other agreements included a commitment to engage in the promotion of sustainable development, the initiation of an African Green Economy partnership to eradicate poverty and create decent jobs, and an agreement to halt soil degradation in the Sahel region.

El artículo fuente de: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42897&Cr=sustainable+development&Cr1=

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