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Press releases

Message from Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the occasion of The International Day for Biological Diversity 29 December 1999
Nairobi, 27 December 1999 - "Conservation of biological diversity constitutes one of today's greatest challenges. It is now widely realized that the genes, species, ecosystems and traditional knowledge and wisdom are being lost at an accelerated pace. This will increasingly limit our options for adapting to local and global change. UNEP's Global Biodiversity Assessment estimates that about 13 to 14 million species may exist on our planet. Of these, less than 2 million species have so far been scientifically described.
Monday 27 Dec 1999
Habitat and UNEP offer support to Venezuelan Government
Nairobi, 22 December 1999 - The devastation caused by two weeks of torrential rain in Venezuela is a painful reminder of the vulnerability of human settlements in the face of natural disasters. In Venezuela alone, it is estimated that up to 50,000 people have died in floods and landslides; a further 200,000 people have been left homeless as whole towns along the Caribbean coast have been washed away.
Thursday 23 Dec 1999
UNEP welcomes EU Ministers? decisions on environment
Nairobi, 15 December 1999 - The agreement late yesterday by European Union Environment Ministers to adopt a more comprehensive approach to protecting the environment is a promising development for the global environment, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer, said here today.
Thursday 16 Dec 1999
UNEP promotes compliance and enforcement for multilateral environmental agreements and action against environmental crime
Geneva, 16 December 1999 - Over 100 Experts from 60 countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations participated in a three-day preparatory session of the Working Group of Experts on Enforcement and Implementation of Environmental Conventions, which ended here yesterday. The meeting was held under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme.
Thursday 16 Dec 1999
Ministers Call for Cleaner Production Methods as they Set Priorities for Next Decade of Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes
Nairobi/Basel, 14 December 1999 - Last week on 10 December, the 10th Anniversary of the Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes, government ministers assembled in Basel, Switzerland, adopted a declaration on the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes.
Tuesday 14 Dec 1999
Compensation and Liability Protocol Adopted by Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes
Nairobi/Basel, 14 December 1999 - The Protocol on Liability and Compensation for Damage Resulting from the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal has been adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention. Officials from the 125 governments, including 26 government ministers, met last week in Basel, Switzerland, to consider the Protocol, among other issues regarding hazardous wastes.
Tuesday 14 Dec 1999
International activities on chemicals surveyed in UNEP report issued to boost efficiency
Geneva/Nairobi, December 1999 - As part of the drive to bring about greater coherence and efficiency in international activities on chemicals, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a report surveying - for the first time - the roles and responsibilities of chemicals-related legal instruments and international organizations.
Wednesday 08 Dec 1999
UNEP highlights five key environmental considerations in the trade-environment debate
Seattle/Nairobi, 3 December 1999 - At the 3rd World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today, stressed the importance of considering five key environmental issues in the trade-environment debate.
Sunday 05 Dec 1999
$440 million agreed for phasing out developing country CFCs
Beijing/Nairobi, 3 December 1999 - Officials from 129 governments agreed here today on a multi-million-dollar funding package that will enable developing countries to maintain the momentum of their efforts to phase out CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals, as required under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Friday 03 Dec 1999
Taking action on trade-related environmental degradation
Seattle/Nairobi, 2 December 1999 - At the 3rd World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in Seattle, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is releasing six new reports that demonstrate how countries can take action to address trade-related environmental degradation.
Friday 03 Dec 1999
UNEP condemns violence at Seattle trade talks
Seattle/Nairobi, 1 December 1999 - The head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Klaus Toepfer, yesterday condemned the incidences of violence, carried out by a small minority, which have marred the largely peaceful environmental protests.
Wednesday 01 Dec 1999
Elements of cooperation between the WTO and UNEP
Seattle/Nairobi, 1 December 1999 - A global arrangement between the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations as a whole was agreed between the two Secretariats in an exchange of letters between the Director-General of the WTO and the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 29 September 1995. In accordance with the mandate given to the Secretariat of the WTO and the mandate given to the Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), recognition is given to the importance of cooperation and collaboration between the two Secretariats with respect to their work on issues of mutual interest.
Wednesday 01 Dec 1999
UNEP issues streamlined inventory of sources of information on persistent organic pollutants
Geneva/Nairobi, November 1999 - Countries will have better access to data on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) worldwide, as a result of the streamlined inventory of information sources now available from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Tuesday 30 Nov 1999
Promoting the linkages between environment and trade policy
Nairobi, 25 November 1999 - Ahead of the 3rd World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting, to be held in Seattle from 30 November to 3 December 1999, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is calling for a more coherent and integrated approach to trade and environment policy-making. According to UNEP Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer, such an approach, which should maximise the environmental benefits of trade, is a necessary step towards achieving the goal of sustainable development world-wide.
Thursday 25 Nov 1999
Alarming decline of migratory animals
Cape Town/Nairobi, 19 November 1999 - Elephant populations in western and central Africa are still in decline. Sturgeons, important for their caviar production, are in dramatic decline because of over-exploitation, pollution of rivers and coastal marine areas and other man-made impacts.
Thursday 18 Nov 1999
Antarctic ozone hole as big as ever
Nairobi/New York, 17 November 1999 - The ozone "hole" in the Antarctic is as big as ever, cautioned the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today. The hole covers an area of 22 million quare kilometres - an expanse more than twice the size of mainland China.
Wednesday 17 Nov 1999
Expert group meeting of financial engineering instruments to promote cleaner production investments
Kaunas/Paris /Nairobi, November 1999 - How to prepare creditworthy investment proposals to financial institutions for small- and medium-scale industrial projects that would be good and efficient business without depleting resources and burdening the environment.
Thursday 11 Nov 1999
2000 will be a critical year for reversing greenhouse gas emissions trends
Nairobi, 8 November 1999 - The fate of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized countries will be determined over the next twelve months, Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said here today.
Monday 08 Nov 1999
Towards the global use of life cycle assessment
Nairobi, November 1999 - The new publication Towards the Global Use of Life Cycle Assessment describes recent initiatives taken by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to determine the level of acceptance and adoption of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) world-wide.
Wednesday 03 Nov 1999
United Nations premier environmental prize awarded to Nobel laureate, Mario J. Molina
Nairobi/New York, 3 November 1999 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today that the 1999 UNEP Sasakawa Environment Prize has been awarded to scientist and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Mario J. Molina for his outstanding global contributions in the field of atmospheric chemistry.
Wednesday 03 Nov 1999
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