04 Apr 2016

Organization: Geneva Environment Network

The second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) will take place at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, under the overarching theme of Delivering on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, from 23-27 May 2016. The Assembly, which represents the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, will culminate in resolutions and a global call to action to address the critical environmental challenges facing the world today.

The UN Environment Assembly was established after the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 (Rio+20) when it was resolved that UNEP should be strengthened and upgraded and have a new governing body. The Assembly enjoys the greatest participation of such a forum worldwide, with universal membership of all of the 193 UN Member States. UNEA-2, the second meeting of the governing body, provides the opportunity to build on UNEA-1’s success in advancing the global environmental agenda, which produced 17 resolutions, 1 decision, 6 publications and 2 symposia, with the help of its 1,200 participants.

The wide participation of all stakeholders in UNEA2 is an utmost priority for UNEP and the success of UNEA2. It is crucial for effective agenda-setting to include the voices of the world’s environmental and sustainable development advocates on the ground in high-level decision-making.

UNEA-2 will feature a number of high-level events on areas of expertise of International Geneva. A special event to prepare Geneva-based stakeholders to UNEA-2 was organized by the Geneva Environment Network, UNEP Regional Office for Europe and UN-NGLS, on Monday 4 April, at the International Environment House II (Donwload the summary of this session).


Coffee & Tea

Welcome and Introduction to UNEA-2
Jan DUSIK, Director, Regional Office for Europe, UNEP

Delivering on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda

UNEA-2 is taking place under the overarching theme, “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” At high-level plenary meeting to provide direction on the implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda, environment ministers and other high-level representatives will outline how the environmental community will work to achieve the SDGs. They will also define the role that UNEP will play in supporting nations and peoples to achieve these goals.

Jan DUSIK, Director, Regional Office for Europe, UNEP
Mark HALLE, European Representative, IISD

Healthy Environment, Healthy People

The Healthy Environment, Healthy People report, to be launched at the Assembly, will address the nexus between environmental health and public health in light of the 2030 Agenda. A Ministerial Policy-Review Session will gather at UNEA under the overarching theme Healthy Environment, Healthy People. At this session, ministers and other high-level officials will identify concrete partnerships, policies and tools that can help to achieve the SDGs in critical areas such as air quality, healthy ecosystems, chemicals and waste.

Pierre QUIBLIER, Programme Officer, Chemicals and Waste Branch, UNEP (moderator & presentation of the report)
Annette PRÜSS-USTÜN, Scientist, Public Health and the Environment Department, WHO
Bettina BORISCH, Head, Geneva Office, World Federation of Public Health Associations

Mobilizing Ressources for Sustainable Investments

UNEP has completed in October 2015 a comprehensive, two-year Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System. The actors in this space – many of them in Geneva – are numerous and each holds an essential piece of the puzzle. A Symposium for Mobilizing Resources for Sustainable Investments at UNEA-2 will include an overview of the main findings of the Inquiry report. Perhaps the single greatest challenge in the necessary transition to sustainable development lies in harnessing the financial system to the needs of a productive, inclusive and environmentally-responsible economy. This will require reforms to the policies, rules and practices that govern financial and capital markets. This “quiet revolution” is already underway and gaining momentum.

Hamish JENKINS, Head, Geneva Office, UN-NGLS (moderator)
Iain HENDERSON, Project Manager, G20 Green Finance Study Group, UNEP Inquiry
Stephanie BLANKENBURG, Head, Debt & Development Finance Branch, UNCTAD
Katharina SERAFIMOVA, Head, Financial sector engagement, WWF International

Environment and displacement: Roots causes and implications

The Symposium Displacement and the environment: Root causes and implications, at UNEA-2, will address one of the major humanitarian issues of our time: the unprecedented numbers of refugees and forced migrants around the world currently. The symposium will seek to understand how environmental degradation is driving human displacement and forced migration, and what climate change and growing resource scarcity might mean for such flows in future. It will also look at the environmental implications of massive displacement in terms of rapid urbanization and poorly managed refugee camps and the necessary coordinated humanitarian response.

Henrik SLOTTE, Head Post-Conflict and Disasters Management Branch, UNEP (moderator)
Dina IONESCO, Head, Migration, Environment and Climate Change Division, IOM
Michelle YONETANI, Senior Strategic Advisor, Disasters and climate change, IDMC

Closing Remarks
Felix WERTLI, Head, Global Affairs Section, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment


See full report dowloadable at the bottom of the page in pdf format.

More information and documents

Environment & SDGs

Healthy Environment, Health Planet

Financing Sustainable Development

Environment & displacements