Preparations for the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA4) kicked off on March 4 with the Fourth Open-Ended Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR) negotiating over 30 resolutions which will be presented to the assembly for adoption. The theme of UNEA4 is ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges & Sustainable Consumption and Production.’ The three focus areas are: environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss; life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management; and innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.
The assembly will run from 11 to 15 March at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The assembly’s #solvedifferent social media campaign focuses on an informative and emotive approach to communicating the environmental cost of key consumption and production models. For more information on the assembly, visit the UNEA4 website here.
UNEA is certainly growing in many aspects with this year’s assembly being the longest running yet with a record 30 resolutions, the largest representation of global major groups and stakeholders and an array of activities including the Sustainable Innovation Expo which will run parallel to the assembly. State and non-state actors will be showcasing their innovative solutions to environmental challenges in the Green Tent, and the presidents of Kenya and France are jointly hosting the third edition of the One Planet Summit which is designed as a full day of High-Level conversations and coalition building for Climate and Environmental action in Africa. Another major highlight this year is the release of the Sixth Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6), which is the first global environmental assessment in 7 years, and is expected to feature an extended section on food production with a discussion on the effect of current diets on the environment.
Emerging is on site at the assembly and is providing support to its largest UNEA delegation yet comprising of representatives of the Global Business Alliance for the Environment (GBA4E), the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN), Global Dairy Platform (GDP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The delegations are actively participating at UNEA and will have representatives speaking in various panels as well as hosting a farmers’ side event in the green tent by Farming First who are part of IAFN. This year’s key event by our delegates is a High-Level Dinner (HLD) which will be hosted by the GBA4E on March 12. The HLD will bring together senior leadership from the private sector, UN organizations, leaders from UN Environment, and other groups to discuss the role of business in developing innovative and sustainable business solutions that can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This active participation by our delegation is a reaffirming of the industries’ commitment to being part of the solution to environmental challenges. The complexity and scale of environmental challenges calls for collective action and partnerships remain key.