Home / International / International -- Opinion Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
World Environment Day Alert from UNDP
Adjust font size:

By Kemal Dervis

Tuesday was World Environment Day - an observance that must be more than a 24-hour, once-a-year event.

We need to take stock of the condition of the natural world, with its singular importance in the lives and livelihoods of all people, at every stage of development. Protecting the environment, our common resource and responsibility, is one of the UN's most important concerns.

Through the mutually reinforcing work of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the UN Environment Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the spectrum of environmental conventions as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other UN entities, the United Nations works to protect the environment, ensure sustainable use of its wealth, and support countries addressing environmental challenges.

For many, this year's World Environment Day with its focus on melting polar ice carries particular significance. Now there is broad international scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity are probably the dominant cause.

We see the immediate effects of climate change not just in the far northern reaches of the planet but also in developing countries. They are the nations least responsible for global warming and least equipped to cope with its devastating consequences. They are the most vulnerable to more extreme weather, drought, flooding, disruption and destruction of plant and animal species, and the spread of vector-borne diseases.

Indeed, for many of the world's poorest, climate change is a life-and-death matter. It is both a major environmental challenge and one of the greatest threats to human development.

How we as a global community adapt to it, mitigate its advance, and account for its risks in development strategies will be a critical factor in making development progress. Our actions are key to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Despite these challenges, there are some grounds for optimism. The worldwide realization that we cannot afford to wait any longer to respond to climate change sets the stage for coordinated action. In Berlin, UNDP is highlighting two areas where it is already taking steps to support developing countries in addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.

The first is in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Biodiversity is an essential resource not only in responding to climate change but also in reducing poverty. Environments that are richly diverse in plant and animal life provide communities with a range of options with which to sustain livelihoods. Sensitive and highly biodiverse ecosystems, such as forests, bogs and coral reefs, contain massive carbon reservoirs that contribute to regulating the global climate.

We honor the winners of this year's Equator Prize, which rewards local communities for their work in helping reduce poverty through the sound management of biodiversity.

We take this opportunity to remind leaders at the G8 Summit meeting in Helilgendamm, Germany that protecting biodiversity is vital in any response to the changes affecting our planet, especially for the poorest people.

The second area we are highlighting is the tremendous untapped resource carbon finance represents for developing countries. While the financial benefits of the rapidly expanding, billion-dollar international market for carbon credits has rewarded some, many more have missed out.

We are launching the UNDP MDG Carbon Facility's new partnership with a major financial institution. This facility aims to deliver more of the benefits of the carbon market to a larger share of the world's population through projects that promote long-term sustainable development.

Through these and others activities, UNDP reaffirms its commitment to working in partnership with others to help protect the global environment and promote sustainable human development for all.

The author is Statement Administrator of the UNDP.

(China Daily June 6, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Pollution Picture to Brighten
SEPA: Pollution Picture to Brighten This Year
Action Plan Aims to Cut Gas Emissions
Legal, Economic Measures to Cut Pollution
Joint Project Helps Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Earth Day Theme of Climate Change a Global Alert
New Program Will Take Climate Fight to Provinces
Carbon Finance: a New Weapon to Fight Poverty
> Korean Nuclear Talks
> Middle East Peace Process
> Iran Nuclear Issue
> Reconstruction of Iraq
> 6th SCO Summit Meeting
- China Development Gateway
- Foreign Ministry
- Network of East Asian Think-Tanks
- China-EU Association
- China-Africa Business Council
- China Foreign Affairs University
- University of International Relations
- Institute of World Economics & Politics
- Institute of Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
- Institute of West Asian & African Studies
- Institute of Latin American Studies
- Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
- Institute of Japanese Studies
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号