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Ipieca insights from the 5th UN Environment Assembly

Ipieca attended the Fifth Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA5), which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, 28 February-4 March. UNEA is the highest-level UN decision-making body on the environment. In the lead-up to UNEA5, Ipieca participated in the ‘Business for nature-based solutions’ high-level dialogue hosted by the Global Business Alliance for the Environment.

UNEA5 key takeaways

The theme of this year’s event was ‘Strengthening actions for nature to achieve the SDGs’ and focused on how the world can tackle three major global crises: climate change; biodiversity loss; and pollution.

Fourteen resolutions were adopted. The role of collaboration with all actors, including the private sector, as well as the role of science, research, sustainable technologies and innovations are recognized in most of the resolutions.

The resolutions included a landmark plastics treaty. The ‘End plastic pollution: towards an international legally binding instrument’ resolution will set up an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to draft a global agreement to address plastics pollution.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said the agreement is the ‘most important international multilateral environmental deal since the Paris climate accord’. Heads of state, ministers of environment and other representatives from 175 nations endorsed this landmark agreement that addresses the full life cycle of plastic from source to sea.

The resolutions also included ‘Nature-based solutions (NbS) for supporting sustainable development’, aimed to aid the scale-up of NbS on land and at sea through UNEP compiling examples of NbS best practices and supporting a common understanding between members states for NbS implementation.

A resolution on ‘Enhancing circular economy as a contribution to achieving sustainable consumption and production’ was also adopted, which encourages member states to integrate circular economy approaches into their national and regional strategies and action plans, and asks UNEP to foster collaboration for research, capacity building and sharing of best practices for sustainable consumption and production.

Business high-level dialogue

The dialogue explored business initiatives using NbS to achieve the SDGs, and was attended by 100 representatives from member states, UN, UNEP and the private sector.

Ipieca shared its work on biodiversity and ecosystem services and demonstrated the actions Ipieca and the industry are taking for nature, including working alongside the Cross-sector Biodiversity Initiative to promote and share knowledge on biodiversity management.

The event highlighted that business is committed to strengthening actions for nature to achieve the SDGs through collaborative action, sharing best practices and research and development investments to enhance adoption of innovations and sustainable technologies.

UNEA6

Ipieca will monitor the preparatory meetings in the lead up to UNEA6 in 2024 and will continue to communicate emerging issues and key outcomes from UNEA meetings with members and the industry.


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