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21 issues for the 21st century: Result of the UNEP Foresight Process on Emerging Environmental Issues.
Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP, 2012.  p.The purpose of the UNEP Foresight Process is to produce, every two years, a careful and authoritative ranking of the most important emerging issues related to the global environment. UNEP aims to inform the UN and wider international community about these issues on a timely basis, as well as provide input to its own work programme and that of other UN agencies, thereby fulfilling the stipulation of its mandate: “keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action”. This report is the outcome of that process and presents the identified issues titled: 21 Issues for the 21st Century. These issues cut across all major global environmental themes including food production and food security; cities and land use; biodiversity, fresh water and marine; climate change and energy, technology and waste issues. (Excerpt)
Towards a green economy: Pathways to sustainable development and poverty eradication. A synthesis for policy makers.
Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP, 2011.  p.We argue in UNEP's forthcoming Green Economy Report, and in this extracted Synthesis for Policy Makers, that the rewards of greening the world's economies are tangible and considerable, that the means are at hand for both governments and the private sector, and that the time to engage the challenge is now. In this report, we explored through a macroeconomic model the impacts of investments in greening the economy as against investments in "business as usual" -- measuring results not only in terms of traditional GDP but also impacts on employment, resource intensity, emissions and ecological impact. We estimated, based on several studies, that the annual financing demand to green the global economy was in the range of US$ 1.05-2.59 trillion. To place this demand in perspective, it is less than one-tenth of the total global investment per year (as measured by global Gross Capital Formation). Taking an annual level of US$ 1.3 trillion (i.e. 2% of global GDP) as a target reallocation from "brown" investment to "green" investment, our macroeconomic model suggests that over time, investing in a green economy enhances long-run economic performance and can increase total global wealth. Significantly, it does so while enhancing stocks of renewable resources, reducing environmental risks, and rebuilding our capacity to generate future prosperity. Our report, Towards a Green Economy, focuses on 10 key economic sectors because we see these sectors as driving the defining trends of the transition to a green economy, including increasing human well-being and social equity, and reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Across many of these sectors, we have found that greening the economy can generate consistent and positive outcomes for increased wealth, growth in economic output, decent employment, and reduced poverty. (Excerpts)
New York, New York, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, .  p.This Toolkit is meant for national youth organizations and/or representatives working with youth. It can be used as a tool to: Assess your country's progress in reaching the WPAY goals; Prioritize your organization's work, based on your findings; Initiate actions at the national level. This Toolkit should be used as a starting point for determining what your government, and civil society, has done to better the lives of young people, since 1995. In addition to providing methods for evaluating this progress, the Toolkit also contains concrete tools to further your youth work. As such, we hope that you will find it both informative and useful, and a good resource for your organization. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2006 Dec 9; 368(9552):2081-2094.William Harvey was born in Folkestone on April 1, 1578. He was educated at the King's School, Canterbury, Gonville, and Caius College, Cambridge, and the University of Padua, graduating as doctor of arts and medicine in 1602. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1607 and was appointed to the Lumleian lectureship in 1615. In the cycles of his Lumleian lectures over the next 13 years, Harvey developed and refined his ideas about the circulation of the blood. He published his conclusions in 1628 in Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus, which marks the beginning of clinical science. In it, Harvey considered the structure of the heart, arteries, and veins with their valves. By carefully devised experiments and supported by the demonstration of the unidirectional flow of the blood in the superficial veins of his own forearm, he established that the blood circulated, and did not ebb and flow as had been believed for more than 1000 years. (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 2002 Jun-Aug; 39(2): p..The fourth session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System took place in Dakar, Senegal from 6 to 10 August 2001. Organized by the United Nations and the Senegalese National Youth Council, the Forum addressed the challenges young people face today and sought ways to enable them to communicate their concerns and hopes. It adopted the Dakar Youth Empowerment Strategy, which contains recommendations and tools to broaden young people's involvement in their societies. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his message, emphasized the fight against AIDS and unemployment. He observed that every minute, five persons between the ages of 10 and 24 are infected with HIV. He also pointed out that about 70 million young people were unemployed around the world and called upon Governments and international organizations for support. "Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation", the Secretary-General said. "Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. ... Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies." (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 2005 Mar-May; 42(1): p..Natural disasters devastate many parts of the world, whether they were high-intensity hurricanes battering the Pacific islands or gigantic ocean waves killing thousands in its wake. From strengthening coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance, including special economic aid to individual countries or regions, to correcting global trade imbalances and promoting information technology for development, the Second Committee worked hard on these issues during the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly. With 2005 marking the start of the ten-year countdown to 2015, the target date for the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that aim, among others, at halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education, the Committee worked towards aligning its objectives with the framework of the MDGs. (excerpt)
From silent spring to vocal vanguard - women's role in the global environmental movement - includes related articles.
UN Chronicle. 1997 Fall; 34(3): p..Since 1962, when American author Rachel Carson alerted the world to the dangers of pesticide poisoning in her ground-breaking book "Silent Spring", women have played a vital role in the global environmental movement. In 1988, the World Commission on Environment and Development, headed by Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, published its report, "Our Common Future", linking the environmental crisis to unsustainable development and financial practices that were worsening the North-South gap, with women making up a majority of the world's poor and illiterate. The United Nations Development Programme has defined sustainable development as development that not only generates economic growth, but distributes its benefits equitably, that regenerates the environment rather than destroying it, and that empowers people rather than marginalizing them. It is development that gives priority to the poor, enlarging their choices and opportunities and providing for their participation in decisions that affect their lives. (excerpt)
A process of negotiation - creation of a Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference on Environment and Development.
UN Chronicle. 1997 Summer; 34(2): p..In this companion piece to his "Essay", Professor Koh looks back to the debates, deliberations and discussions that culminated in the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. In order to prepare for the Earth Summit, the United Nations decided to set up a Preparatory Committee (PrepCom). Its organizational session was held in New York from 5 to 16 March 1990. It had five objectives: to elect its chairman; to decide on the size of the Bureau and the distribution of the number agreed upon among the five regional groups; to decide how many working groups to establish and which regional groups would provide candidates for their chairmenship; to adopt a provisional agenda for the Earth Summit; and to adopt its rules of procedure. Any reasonable person would think that you would need only one or two days, not two weeks, to agree on five such seemingly simple tasks. This was not the case, the two weeks were barely enough to complete our tasks. Of the five, the only simple one was electing me. All the other candidates wisely withdrew when they realized the pain and suffering which the chairman would have to endure for the next two years and three months! The first thing I did on assuming the chair was to propose that we should refrain from polluting the air in our meeting rooms by prohibiting smoking at all our meetings. Before the nicotine addicts could rally their forces, I asked if there was any objection. Seeing none, I banged the gavel and pronounced that there was a consensus in favour of my proposal. The then UN Secretary-General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, watched in surprise because no UN chairman had succeeded in defeating the tobacco lobby at the United Nations before. (excerpt)
Commission gives high priority to monitoring global trends - UN Population Commission meeting, Mar 28-31, 1994 - includes information on preparation of action program to be recommended at the Sep 5-13, 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt.
UN Chronicle. 1994 Jun; 31(2): p..The effect of population growth on the environment, the role and status of women, and the demographic implications of development Policies were among major topics discussed by the Population Commission at its twenty-seventh session (28-31 March, New York). "The most important lesson we have learned is that population growth and other demographic trends can only be affected by investing in people and by promoting equality between women and men", Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and Secretary-General of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, told the 26-member body. In the single text approved during the session, for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, the Commission asked that high priority be given to monitoring world population trends and policies, and to strengthening multilateral technical cooperation to address population concerns. (excerpt)
Natural resources committee calls for global water plan - UN Committee on Natural Resources second session, Feb 22-Mar 4, 1994 addresses water management and sustenance if mineral resources.
UN Chronicle. 1994 Jun; 31(2): p..A worldwide plan to avert an impending global water crisis was called for by the Committee on Natural Resources at its second session (22 February-4 March, New York). The strategy should define specific areas of priority to diminish significantly by the year 2010 the threat to freshwater resources, the 24-member expert body said in asking the UN Commission on Sustainable Development to undertake that task. "Water shortages are becoming a common occurrence in industrialized and developing countries alike", stated a report examined by the Committee. "The world may be reaching a water crisis situation of global proportions." The Committee also asked Governments to establish a dynamic and multisectoral approach to water resources management, including assessing and protecting potential sources of freshwater. As for mineral resources--another major concern--the Committee wanted the Commission to forge a dialogue between the UN system and the international mining industry to develop new approaches to ensure a sustainable supply of mineral resources. Workshops on mineral resource assessment projects were recommended. A report was asked on key advances in state-of-the-art technologies to minimize environmental degradation resulting from mining and related processing. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2005.  p.At the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) in Beijing, China, September 1995, 189 countries adopted the Declaration and Platform for Action, reflecting a new international commitment to the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere. Five years later, in June 2000, Member States reaffirmed their commitments to the twelve critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform at the Beijing +5 session of the General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York, and considered future actions and initiatives for the year 2000 and beyond. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is fulfilling the principles and recommendations of Beijing through its ongoing work, mandated by the Programme of Action endorsed by 179 countries at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994. The Cairo agenda represents an international commitment to principles of reproductive health and rights for women and men, gender equality and male responsibility, and to the autonomy and empowerment of women everywhere. (excerpt)
Habitat Debate. 2005 Mar; 11(1): p..I stand before you and the world humbled by this recognition and uplifted by the honour of being the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate. As the first African woman to receive this prize, I accept it on behalf of the people of Kenya and Africa, and indeed the world. I am especially mindful of women and the girl child. I hope it will encourage them to raise their voices and take more space for leadership. I know the honour also gives a deep sense of pride to our men, both old and young. As a mother, I appreciate the inspiration this brings to the youth and urge them to use it to pursue their dreams. Although this prize comes to me, it acknowledges the work of countless individuals and groups across the globe. This honour is also for my family, friends, partners and supporters throughout the world. I am also grateful to the people of Kenya—who remained stubbornly hopeful that democracy could be realized and their environment managed sustainably. (excerpt)
Forum for Development Studies. 2005; 32(1):275-283.The article takes as its point of departure the programmatic point developed in the introduction to Ahead of the Curve – that the UN’s role in producing ideas should be contextualised, that is be seen as not only the source of ideas, but the carrier of ideas originating in some other source. The author finds several of the contributions that he has been able to read very strong analytically and empirically. But on some issues a few of the contributions could have been addressing the programmatic point more consciously; one example is population policy. The author also argues that the position of the UN, for instance in the public opinion, is a matter that could have been addressed more extensively in order to measure the impact and the legitimacy of the world organization in a situation where major reorganization of it is on the international agenda. (author's)
Millennium Development Goals: slow movement threatens women's health in developing countries [editorial]
Contraception. 2005; 72:247-249.At the United Nations General Assembly session in September 2004, world leaders met to review the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), put forth 5 years ago. These eight goals contain a set of internationally agreed upon targets for reducing poverty, hunger and diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria; achieving universal primary education; decreasing child and maternal mortality; combating environmental degradation; and eliminating discrimination against women. All United Nations member states pledged to achieve these goals by the year 2015. The good news is that some member nations are on track to do so. However, in areas of the world most in need of improvement, advancement toward many of the goals has been slow or unsatisfactory. For example, many regions have seen minimal or no progress in efforts to improve maternal health and combat HIV/AIDS, or promote gender equality. Progress has been uneven at best. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations, 2001.  p. (ST/ESA/SER.A/203)The present report has been prepared in response to Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/55 of 28 July 1995, in which the Council endorsed the terms of reference and the topic-oriented and prioritized multi-year work programme proposed by the Commission on Population and Development at its twenty-eight session. According to the multi-year work programme, which was to serve as a framework for the assessment of the progress achieved in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, a new series of reports on a special set of the themes would be prepared annually. The Commission, in its decisions 1999/1 and 2000/1, decided that the special theme for the year 2001 should be population, environment and development, which is the topic of the present report. (excerpt)
Perspectives in Health. 2004; 9(2):14-21.Number 8 of the Millennium Development Goals calls on the world’s countries to “develop a global partnership for development.” Like the other seven, this is a worthy goal. But Goal 8 is special: It addresses not only what needs to be done to improve quality of life in the developing world, but also how rich countries can help. Boiled down, Goal 8 calls on rich countries to give more aid, cancel more debt, and reduce the trade barriers that shut out crops, clothing, and other exports from poor countries. It is a welcome innovation in the discourse on development, because it recognizes the important ways that rich countries influence the economic and physical environment in which poorer countries operate. Rich countries largely set the rules that govern flows of trade, investment, and migration, and they are the major sources of development aid. At the same time, their environmental policies affect the world, including poor countries, disproportionately. (excerpt)
Science. 2003 Dec 12; 302(5652):1919-1920.Attaining sustainability will require concerted interactive efforts among disciplines, many of which have not yet recognized, and internalized, the relevance of environmental issues to their main intellectual discourse. The inability of key scientific disciplines to engage interactively is an obstacle to the actual attainment of sustainability. For example, in the list of Millennium Development Goals from the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 2002, the seventh of the eight goals, to "ensure environmental sustainability," is presented separately from the parallel goals of reducing fertility and poverty, improving gains in equity, improving material conditions, and enhancing population health. A more integrated and consilient approach to sustainability is urgently needed. (author's)
In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 175-188.This analysis looks at the United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA's) work in the area of population-environment-development linkages. It then analyses the collective effects of 6 billion people, their consumption patterns, and resource use trends, in six different critical resource areas. (excerpt)
Bangkok, Thailand, UNESCO, Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Regional Clearing House on Population Education, 1996. , 154 p. (Abstract-Bibliography Series 13)This book provides a bibliography and abstracts of publications on the linkages between environmental degradation, population growth, and sustainable development in the Asia and Pacific region. The seven sections are titled: Environmental Problems, Population Problems, Sustainable Development, Policy Statements and World Meetings, Linkages, Population and Environmental Programs for Special Interest Groups (such as women and children), and Curriculum Materials. Each section includes a review and synthesis of information on the topic and lengthy and substantive abstracts of the selected referenced materials. The book cites 73 recent publications, including research studies, monographs, technical papers, reports, and journal articles. Cross referencing is made possible by the use of author and subject indexes included in the appendix. This volume is directed to population program planners, managers, and educators. The aim is to provide an overview of how problems of population and sustainable development are inseparably linked and interrelated to problems of poverty, income disparities, and wasteful consumption. Some potential solutions are provided. To date, the information indicates that economic tools must be combined with political change and policy implementation.
POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW. 1996 Sep; 22(3):594-600.This article discusses and reproduces two documents that outline the population goals of the UN. The first document is the UN Population Fund's (UNFPA) new mission statement, which was revised in April 1996 to reflect the strategy contained in the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The mission statement defines the three areas of concern to UNFPA as 1) working toward universal access to sexual and reproductive health by the year 2015, 2) supporting capacity-building in population programming, and 3) promoting awareness of population and development issues and advocating for the mobilization of resources and political will to address these issues. The mission statement affirms the commitment of UNFPA to reproductive rights, gender equity and male responsibility, and the empowerment of women as development goals. Finally, the statement acknowledges the responsibility of UNFPA in overseeing the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and in assisting in the mobilization of resources to meet the ICPD goals. The second document is the "Common Advocacy Statement on Population and Development" adopted to establish a commonly-shared language for the entire UN system and to integrate population into all UN development strategies. This statement defines sectoral linkages between population and poverty eradication, environmental protection, food security, women's empowerment, employment, education, and health. The ICPD Programme of Action's quantitative goals in the areas of education, mortality reduction (covering infant and child mortality, maternal mortality, and life expectancy), and reproductive health (including family planning and sexual health) are annexed to the statement.
Fourth Asian and Pacific Population Conference. The Bali Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development.
POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1994; (37-38):20-36.The Fourth Asian and Pacific Population Conference was held at Denpasar, Indonesia, August 19-27, 1992. The theme of the Conference was Population and Sustainable Development: Goals and Strategies into the Twenty-first Century. Prior to the Conference three preparatory seminars were held: on population, environment and sustainable development (Thailand, 1991); on migration and urbanization (Seoul, 1992); and on planning and implementation of family planning/family health and welfare programs (Beijing, 1992). The Conference, jointly sponsored by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), adopted the Bali Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development, which spells out regional goals and recommendations for population and sustainable development into the 21st century. The preamble recognizes that population plays a decisive role in all human endeavors, especially in safeguarding the environment and the pursuit of sustainable development. Population problems must be addressed on local, national, regional, and global levels. It is urged that all members make a commitment to incorporate population and environmental concerns into efforts to achieve sustainable development. The population goals should include attainment of replacement level fertility of about 2.2 children per woman by the year 2010. In the Asian countries the present average is 3.1 children per woman. The rate of infant mortality should also be reduced to 40 per 1000 live births during this period. A number of recommendations are also made concerning population, environment, and development; urbanization, internal and international migration; family planning and maternal and child health; population and human resources development; women and population; population and poverty alleviation; mortality and morbidity; aging; population data, research and information dissemination; and resource mobilization.
POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW. 1994 Sep; 20(3):683-6.Responding to the concern that the United Nations puts greater emphasis on peace-keeping than on issues of development, the UN secretary-general has issued a draft Agenda for Development, paralleling the 1991 Agenda for Peace. It is intended to revitalize the vision of development and to stimulate intensified discussion of all its aspects. The report noted the decline in competitive development assistance with the ending of the Cold War. It announced that development was in crisis and concluded by saying that progress is not inherent in the human condition; retrogression is conceivable. In 245 paragraphs the report discussed five key dimensions of development (peace, economic growth, the environment, justice, and democracy) and the role of the United Nations in promoting development. The Agenda was discussed at a week-long meeting held at UN headquarters in New York in June 1994. A senior OECD official described it as relying too heavily on the orthodox development therapy of marketization, privatization, and democracy; the Group of 77 criticized it for sidestepping the issue of the UN's relationships with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; and Brazil put forward a competing agenda. Nevertheless, the Agenda did convey a distinctive vision, one that the UN would not have conceived a decade ago. On population the Agenda was extremely reticent, granting that rapid growth would be a potential problem but not discussing antinatalist policy. The principal stress was placed on strengthening civil society as indispensable for social development and public policy. It was reiterated that the United Nations, as a key mechanism for international cooperation, is the best instrument for managing the world situation with a reasonable expectation of success.
[Unpublished] 1989 Oct 26. 11 p. (UNFPA/CM/89/107; UNFPA/CD/89/103; UNFPA/RR/89/103)In October 1989, UNFPA distributed its Policy Guidelines on UNFPA Support for Population and Environment to its representatives, country directors, and headquarters staff. UNFPA cooperates with other UN agencies on population and environment issues, e.g., UNEP, UNDP, UNICEF, World Food Programme, and International Fund for Agricultural Development. UNFPA assistance in the area of population and environment should be limited to research and analysis, e.g., country case studies; information, education, and communication (IEC) projects that create awareness and that sensitize people to the interrelatedness of population and the environment; policy formulation and planning; and training. UNFPA should seek to provide assistance through interagency cooperation and joint programming projects. UNFPA prefers providing assistance to action-oriented research which examines ways population variables interact with environmental variables in developed and developing countries and improves population/environment linkages at the local level. It favors country case studies because they allow us to study linkages in various settings of hugh differences in natural resources and economic prosperity, political constraints, and different stages of environmental degradation. UNFPA recognizes the need for data collection and analyses at the regional and global levels. To increase awareness and sensitization, UNFPA plans to fund seminars or workshops for parliamentarians, policymakers, planners, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, research and technical institutes, and other relevant people at the global, regional, national, or subnational level. These seminars or workshops should aim for development of proposals for practical action-oriented interventions.
Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública / Pan American Journal of Public Health. 2000 Mar; 7(3):137-47.The objective of this study is to provide information and a conceptual framework that will facilitate the work of persons in charge of systematizing institutions devoted to environmental health. The notion of "environment" is examined and a definition is proposed, while a look is also taken at the place held by environmental health within the context of environmental problems and their "green" and "blue" components. A number of definitions are put forth before presenting the official definition of environmental health issued by WHO in Sofia (1993). Subsequently a list is presented of the basic areas that have been assigned to the field of environmental health by different organizations or at various meetings, with the Pan American Health Organization, WHO, and Program 21 among them. From this a rather exhaustive list of areas and subareas is constructed, with the finding that all lists are, in reality, an asystematic grouping of three different components: determining factors (from the physical world), processes (types of interventions), and roles (series of administrative tasks) which can be conceived as a matrix and which allow for the description of individual activities by the environmental health services. Certain rules of operation are proposed which make it possible, through a form of algebra, to construct expressions for describing such activities and their aggregates with some precision. Thus, it becomes possible to employ a common symbolic language which can facilitate intercommunication, teaching, and research in the area of environmental health. (author's)
Washington, D.C., National Council for Science and the Environment, 2001 Apr 11. 10 p. (CRS Issue Brief for Congress)Global warming, a result of human activities affecting the heat-energy exchange balance between earth, atmosphere and space, is said to have far-reaching effects on agriculture, forestry, and ecosystems. Attention has been focused on possible extremes of climate change and need for better understanding of climatic processes. However, the US dependency on fossil fuel makes the emission reduction effort a challenge. In response, the Congress reviewed scientific information on climate change in order to formulate policy responses. This problem is addressed to world leaders since it is a global concern calling for participation in international conferences, passage of legislation, and communication with international organizations. On the other hand, the administration of President George Bush considers the 1997 UN Kyoto Protocol, which is aimed to legally bind the emission reductions. In view of this, a review of the US climate policy was initiated seeking new approach to international cooperation.