About the United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization, which was founded in 1945 after the Second World War, committed to providing the means to help resolve international conflicts and formulate policies on matters affecting human beings all over the world (Wikipedia). The organization is committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights (Wikipedia). ‘Ensuring environmental sustainability’, climate change being one of the major factors, is one of the millennium development goals of the UN. The United Nations Environment ...view middle of the document...
Climate change is a major, overriding environmental issue of our time, and is the single greatest challenge facing environmental regulators. It is a growing crisis with economic, health and safety, food production, security and other dimensions (Agenda 21 – United States).
For example, shifting weather pattern may threaten food production in a particular place because of increased unpredictability of precipitation, may cause sea levels to rise which may contaminate coastal freshwater reserves and may even increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, lastly a warming atmosphere would aid in the spread of pests and diseases (UNEP Climate Change Introduction).
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner have been quoted saying, “climate change is the defining challenge of our generation, it is no longer relevant to discuss whether or not our climate is changing, but rather how fast the changes occur.” The UNEP climate change strategies include: adapting by building resilience to a changing climate, facilitating a transition towards low carbon societies, improving understanding of climate change science and by spreading the word about climate change among the members of society (UNEP climate change programme).
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation
UNEP has adapted by building resilience to climate change in Bolivia, Paraguay and Colombia, by reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, REDD+, through a collaborative programme with other organizations such as UNDP (UNEP climate change programme). This reduction has resulted in conservation of forest biodiversity, water regulation, soil conservation, timer, forest foods and other products. REDD+ can also lead to direct social benefits, such as jobs, livelihoods, land tenure clarification, carbon payments, enhanced participation in decision-making and improved governance, some of these factors have begun to form in the countries mentioned above (Multiple benefits of REDD).
Facilitating a Transition towards Low Carbon Societies
UNEP has promoted the worldwide adoption of sustainable building and construction practices in South and North America through the Green Buildings Initiative. A green building is defined as a structure that employs multiple strategies including: energy efficiency, responsible use of materials and resources, and water conservation, in order to make the negative environmental impacts of buildings less severe. The building sector of his world contributes the most to GHG emissions (Agenda 21 – United States). According to a global analysis of the...