According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) 2013 Annual Report, resource efficiency was one of the key focus areas for the organisation in 2013. In particular, green economy initiatives were developed, including the Partnership for Action on the Green Economy (PAGE), the UNEP Finance Initiative, and the Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative. Read more…
UNEP covered a range of critical and emerging issues on the global environmental agenda during 2013. The report focuses on UNEP’s achievements in key areas, which include climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, harmful substances and hazardous waste, resource efficiency, and sustainable consumption and production.
The report highlights UNEP’s progress under its Resource Efficiency sub-programme, which aims to ensure that natural resources are exploited in a more environmentally sustainable way, decoupling them from economic growth and increasing their benefit to society. Under the PAGE initiative, other UN agencies have pledged to assist 30 countries over the next seven years to build strategies that generate jobs, promote clean technologies, and reduce environmental risks and poverty. In South Africa, UNEP’s green economy modelling and advisory services have contributed to improved management of natural resources and investing in the environment, possibly creating 170,000 new jobs.
Other achievements related to resource efficiency include the historic adoption of the Minamata Convention on Mercury – a global and legally binding agreement to reduce mercury emissions – which was regarded as a major step forward in globally phasing out the deadly heavy metal. UNEP’s work in the area of ecosystem management is also highlighted – in particular, natural capital, payments for ecosystem services and the marine environment.
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