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30.6.2018 Land degradation

Land degradation: New EU measures for water reuse can help alleviate water scarcity and drought


Source:, 2018-06-07

This year, on the World Day to Combat Desertification and drought, the European Commission turns the spotlight on the value of land, and looks at how to tackle the multiple threats it faces globally and in Europe. New EU measures for safe water reuse for agricultural irrigation are one way to do it.

The amount of land currently available for cultivation continues to shrink at global level, with over half of the land used for agriculture worldwide moderately or severely affected by soil degradation. Twelve million hectares of soil are lost each year specifically to land degradation and drought, through a combination of unsustainable agricultural practices and climate change.

In the EU, approximately 22% of soil is affected by erosion. In Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, 8% of the territory currently shows very high or high sensitivity of desertification. Looking ahead, large parts of Southern Europe are likely to become desertified by 2050 if strong action is not taken, including to make soils much more resilient.

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30.6.2018 UNFC to help drive smart investm

UNFC to help drive smart investments into mineral and energy projects


Source:, 2018-06-08

Improving transboundary water cooperation across the world requires constant dialogue and discussions between countries to exchange good practices, lessons learned and progress achieved. In this regard, on 28-30 May, the second joint meeting of the Working Group on Monitoring and Assessment and the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management was held under the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention). This meeting brought together more than 130 participants from 74 countries. It aimed to discuss progress in transboundary cooperation, results and lessons learned from the first reporting exercise under the Water Convention and on SDG indicator 6.5.2, and to prepare for the upcoming Eighth Session of the Meeting of the Parties.

The meeting included a special celebration on the occasion of Chads accession to the Water Convention organized by the Permanent Mission of Chad and UNECE, which was chaired by the ambassador of Chad, H.E. Mr. Malloum Bamanga Abbas, and attended by several ambassadors. The Secretary-General of Chads Ministry of Environment, Water and Fisheries, Mr. Moussa Mahamat Alifa, described how accession to the Convention had helped to reinforce national water governance, and shared experiences and lessons learned with the other countries present. The Executive Secretary of UNECE, Ms Olga Algayerova, welcomed Chads accession and encouraged other countries from outside the UNECE region to follow. In the ensuing discussions, several countries including Senegal and Iraq shared developments on their advancement in the accession process. Togo, Ghana, Cte dIvoire, Guinea and others also expressed interest.



30.6.2018 UNFC to help drive smart investm

UNFC to help drive smart investments into mineral and energy projects


Source:, 2018-06-14

It is recognized that raw materials and energy are the backbones for sustainable development. In a world facing multiple social, climatic and environmental challenges, managing the supply of mineral and energy resources is becoming more and more complex. In this context, investors increasingly are interested in channeling funds for both profit and longer-term societal benefits.

A two-day International Scientific-Practical Conference on Harmonization of Approaches in the Assessment of Mineral Reserves and Resources, co-organized by UNECE in Moscow, 30-31 May 2018, convened over 250 experts from Europe, Asia and Africa to explore a new global approach to attracting investment in mining and petroleum projects. There was consensus that the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is an appropriate point of departure for a new international initiative to assess projects on their social, environmental and economic benefits and support innovative financing mechanisms.

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30.6.2018 What are businesses doing to tur

What are businesses doing to turn off the plastic tap?


Source:, 2018-06-28

Faced with the undeniable consequences of a toxic tide of plastic, people around the world are rejecting single-use plastics and pledging to live more sustainably. Governments are acting too: More than 50 countries have signed up to the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign, making this the largest global compact for fighting marine litter.

Businesses cannot afford to ignore the public outcry and many industries are drawing up plans to phase out single-use plastics, use more recycled plastic in their packaging and work on more effective recycling.

The pressure is not just coming from consumers. Bloomberg reported in June that a group of 25 investors, managing more than $1 trillion in assets, were demanding that Nestl, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Unilever reduce their use of plastic packaging. The demand, backed by the non-profit As You Sow, asked the companies to disclose annual plastic packaging use, set reduction goals, facilitate recycling and transition to recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging as much as possible.

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