Government ministers from over 100 countries, civil society representatives and high-profile figures from finance to environment will meet in Nairobi from 21- 24 February 2011 for the 26th UNEP Governing Council / Global Ministerial Environment Forum.
Press conferences and media events will focus on the Green Economy, the environmental impact of armed conflict and natural disasters, new research on climate change and other emerging issues.
An advanced media briefing with UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner on the key themes of the Governing Council will be held on Thursday 17 February (details below).
Media Accreditation is now open and journalists should apply online at:
Main launches and media events will include:
What: Press Conference - Launch of UNEP Yearbook and pre-Governing Council media briefing
When: Thursday 17 February, 10:30am - 11.30am
Where: Norfolk Hotel, Harry Thuku Road, Nairobi
The UNEP Year Book provides new scientific insights into emerging environmental issues and analyses recent developments in our changing environment. This year's publication focuses, among other things, on the impact of the fertilizer phosphorous on the environment. Global demand for phosphorous has been rising steadily over the last century and the fertilizer is now a key element in modern agriculture (both organic and non-organic farming). But when phosphorous leaks from fields into rivers and lakes, it triggers algal blooms, which can starve waters of oxygen, kill fish stocks, contaminate drinking water and damage tourism in coastal areas. With a fast-growing global population and more demand than ever for meat and dairy products, the world faces a crucial challenge of continuing the sustainable use of phosphorous in agriculture to ensure food security, while reducing its harmful impacts on the environment and human health. The UNEP Year Book presents several solutions to the problem, including better recycling of waste water.
The launch will also include an advanced media briefing on the key themes of the forthcoming UNEP Governing Council, including the launch of the Green Economy Report on 21 February.
What: Press conference - Launch of Kenya's transition to low-sulphur diesel
When: Friday 18 February, 11:30am - 12.45pm
Where: UN Recreation Centre and Petrol Station, UNEP headquarters, Gigiri
Exposure to air pollutants emitted by vehicles - such as sulphur oxides, soot and smoke particles - can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and an increased risk of lung cancer. In a move that is set to improve air quality and reduce vehicle emissions across East Africa, Kenya will officially launch its transition to low-sulphur diesel. Containing only 5% of the amount of sulphur present in Kenya's previous diesel supply, this cleaner, greener fuel is already available in limited stations and will soon be present in pumps across the country. The transition to low-sulphur diesel is the result of the work of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) - based at UNEP headquarters and supported by government and industry partners. The new low-sulphur standard (the lowest in East Africa when imports began) will also benefit countries to which Kenya exports diesel, such as Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner will join Kenyan government ministers, senior foreign government representatives and fuel industry groups for the launch.
What: Press Conference - Launch of UNEP Green Economy Report
When: Monday 21 February, 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Where: Press Centre, UNEP Headquarters, Nairobi
A new blueprint for sustainable, economic growth, UNEP's ground-breaking Green Economy Report outlines the public policy choices, urgent actions and investments needed for a transition to a global 'Green Economy' - one that is low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially-inclusive.
The report challenges the myth that adopting a Green Economy approach means an inevitable trade-off between environmental sustainability and economic growth. It demonstrates, for example, that investing 2 percent of global GDP across ten key sectors will trigger a new engine of economic growth and provide a net generator of decent jobs. Greater investment in a Green Economy model is also vital for eradicating extreme poverty.
The idea of a Green Economy is no longer confined to the realms of environmental specialists and is fast becoming a key component of mainstream economic discourse. UNEP's Green Economy Report is a critical landmark in the transition to a more efficient and equitable economy that makes better use of natural resources to achieve sustainable growth.
In addition to Nairobi, Green Economy launches will be held in Bangkok, Brussels, Beijing, Mexico City, Sao Paolo and several other cities on 21 February. A live, interactive streaming of the Nairobi launch will be available online. The award ceremony for the inaugural UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award will be held at the end of the press conference, along with the signing of a new agreement between UNEP and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
What: Side Event - 'Fast Action on Climate Change'
When: Wednesday 23 February, 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Where: Press Centre, UNEP Headquarters, Nairobi
Carbon dioxide emissions are not the only contributors to climate change. The effects of non-CO₂ gases such as black carbon (soot) and ozone on climate change and human health is of increasing interest to the scientific community. Both can be harmful air pollutants, disturbing tropical rainfall, exacerbating the melting of snow and ice in the Arctic and Himalayas and reducing crop yields. The side event will provide a preview of UNEP's Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone. The ground-breaking report - due for publication later this year - has convened over 70 authors to provide science-based analysis of emissions, concentrations and the impacts on climate change, human health and ecosystems of black carbon, ozone and methane. Full implementation of the solutions presented in the report could avoid 2.4 million premature deaths and reduce warming in the Arctic by two-thirds compared to current scenarios.
A closing Governing Council press conference will be held on Thursday 24 February at 1.00pm