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Environment and development, naturals together at UN Environment Assembly

On the occasion of this week’s United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), WWF calls on environment ministers to push for environmental concerns to be central to the new global development agenda. 

Global conservation organization WWF is also advocating concerted international pressure to cut wildlife crime.

The inaugural United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), taking place 23-27 June in Nairobi, Kenya, is the first time all countries will gather to discuss environmental issues since the Rio+20 summit in Brazil in 2012. 

With the Millennium Development Goals reaching their target date in 2015, a new agenda for global development is currently being created – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The United Nations Environment Assembly is a historic gathering of global environmental leaders and marks a turning point in the priority level of sustainability issues for world governments,” said Marco Lambertini, WWF International Director General, attending UNEA this week. 

“WWF calls on environment ministers to use this opportunity to raise the commitment of their governments to integrate the environment and sustainability in all of the SDGs, currently under negotiation.

“WWF is also strongly urging environment ministers here in Nairobi this week to actively engage all sectors of their governments and civil societies to find and implement bold solutions to tackle illicit wildlife trafficking,” said Lambertini. 

“Much good work has been done, but the approach needs to be relentless, comprehensive, cross-sectoral and global. Both the demand and supply sides must be targeted if we are to stop this scourge. 

“Together we can find effective solutions. Governments have the primary responsibility to halt and reverse this criminal activity which is not just driving the steep decline of endangered and crucial wildlife, but also affects local economies and is becoming an issue of national security.”

UNEA is organized and hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). WWF has supported the upgrade of UNEP to a specialized UN agency since 2006, and welcomes the establishment of the UNEA to help raise the profile of global environmental governance.



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