Inger Andersen, speaking at a media briefing today, highlighted that the upcoming sixth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), also known as UNEA-6, will emphasise the importance of stronger multilateralism in addressing environmental challenges.

“So, we have the commitments. We know the solutions. There is more than enough finance in the world to get the job done if redirected to the right places.

"The job now is to go further and faster in efforts to end the triple planetary crisis,” UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said.

She emphasised that UNEA-6 aims to drive united, inclusive, and multilateral action to tackle all aspects of the triple planetary crisis as a single, interconnected challenge.

“In addition to the core resolutions, we will have a Youth Environment Assembly, convened by youth, for youth. We will have leadership dialogues on finance, science, data and digitalization, and on multilateralism."

"We will have a day dedicated to bringing together the many multilateral environmental agreements that global governments have signed up to, to create united and amplified action," she added.

Inger Andersen clarified that while UNEA-6 won't provide instant solutions to global problems, it will serve as a unifying platform for nations to collectively address environmental challenges.

UNEA-6 aims to focus attention and efforts on key solutions to the triple planetary crisis, guiding the work of UNEP during this critical period for both people and the planet.

As the foremost decision-making body on environmental matters, UNEA-6 will convene ministers, intergovernmental organizations, the wider UN system, civil society groups, the scientific community, and the private sector to shape global environmental policy.

This year's event, scheduled from February 26th to March 1st in Nairobi, anticipates the participation of over 70 ministers and approximately 3,000 delegates. “We currently have 20 draft resolutions and two draft decisions submitted for countries to discuss.”

Inger Andersen emphasized that the world faces an essential environmental agenda, which she referred to as a "must-do list" for addressing what UNEP identifies as the triple planetary crisis: climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste. She highlighted that these crises have a disproportionate impact on the African continent.

“The impacts are here and growing. Last year was the hottest on record, bringing more intense storms, droughts and wildfires. Species are under massive pressure, forests are falling and soils are turning infertile. Millions of people are dying each year from exposure to pollution and chemicals.”

He indicated that there is a global response to the crisis, noting that last year's climate talks marked a significant milestone with the signalling of the end of fossil fuels. Additionally, he mentioned that the Loss and Damage fund has become operational, with pledges surpassing US$700 million. 

“We saw a new Global Framework on Chemicals and the first full year of operation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. We’re in the final stages of negotiations on a global instrument on plastic pollution – a key outcome of UNEA-5. There are dozens of other global and regional multilateral environmental agreements, many of them hosted by UNEP.”

Soipan Tuya, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry of Kenya, emphasised Kenya's strong commitment to achieving a 30% tree cover by 2032.

This ambitious goal includes planting 15 billion trees, with 30% of them being fruit and fodder species to enhance the country's food and nutritional security, as well as household incomes.

To further support this initiative, Soipan announced that all the over 6,000 delegates expected to attend UNEA-6 in Nairobi will be requested to participate in tree-planting activities at designated sites. The specific locations for these tree-planting efforts will be communicated to the delegates.

“It is also important to note that as host President and Chairperson of the Committee of the African Union Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), His Excellency President Dr William Ruto will deliver UNEA-6 National and Welcoming Statement on 29th February 2024 at the high-level segment that will be attended by several other visiting Heads of State and Government, and dignitaries."

"On the same day in the evening, and in line with the established UNEA tradition, I will host a reception for all delegates during which we will showcase Kenya’s world-celebrated hospitality.” 

Throughout the entirety of UNEA-6, attendees will have the opportunity to experience a showcase highlighting Kenya's vibrant cultural heritage, its potential for climate action, and its diverse tourist attractions.

This showcase will be available for visiting delegates at the venue, offering them a glimpse into the unique and multifaceted aspects of Kenya's identity and contributions to environmental sustainability.

UNEA-6, will, without doubt, be an intense week of many related activities including bilateral meetings and hundreds of side events,” Soipan Yuya said.

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