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post2015The role of extractive industries in promoting sustainable economic growth and employment generation, through synergies with governments and civil society, is being discussed this week in Brasilia.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is facilitating this dialogue to help identify new or more inclusive approaches to reduce poverty, hunger and inequalities, to promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

national_parkMountainous regions are the birthplace of the globe’s largest rivers. Their reputation as global water towers is well deserved, as 40% of the world’s population rely indirectly on mountain resources for drinking water, irrigation, and hydroelectricity.

Their ecosystems are among the most sensitive to climate change and are being affected at a faster rate than other terrestrial habitats, which could have severe consequences for water provision and livelihoods in downstream regions.

christiana_figueresAs Governments prepare to meet for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, starting on Monday, a top UN official has highlighted the session as an opportunity to raise immediate awareness on climate change and lay the foundation for a new universal agreement to be adopted in 2015.

“Never before have the risks of climate change been so obvious and the impacts so visible. Never before have we seen such a desire at all levels of society to take climate action. Never before has society had all the smart policy and technology resources to curb greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in a press release today.

limaThe international community “must write history” on climate action and build momentum towards a new universal agreement to be adopted in 2015, a senior United Nations official declared today as she opened a two-week UN climate conference held in Lima, Peru.

“2014 is likely to be the hottest year on record and emissions continue to rise. We must act with urgency,” Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), warned in her opening address earlier this morning to the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the landmark treaty.

fe2wA new network focused on achieving food, water and energy security was launched today at UNESCO Headquarters by the International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP) and the Australian National University (ANU)-UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance.

The Food, Energy, Environment and Water (FE²W) Network is ‘bridging the silos’ across the fields of food, energy, environment and water, which are essential to human wellbeing and to environmental health, to improve living conditions worldwide.

arctic3Next December, 196 nations will meet in Paris to agree a course of action to respond to climate change. They will do so under the auspices of the UN framework convention on climate change. This is an international treaty negotiated at the Earth summit in Rio in 1992 with the objective to “stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system”.

The discussions in Paris in 2015 will be informed by the latest climate science. In our play 2071, which recently completed its inaugural run at the Royal Court theatre in London, directed by Katie Mitchell, we explore the science, its implications and the options before us. A key aim is to leave the audience better placed to participate in the public discourse, in which we all need to play a part.

bokova_domingoThe Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will appoint world-famous tenor and conductor Placido Domingo as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on 21 November.

The ceremony at the Organization’s Headquarters (7.30 pm) will be followed by a fundraising gala for the Education for All Programme.

green_energy2United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the pledges of more than $9.3 billion made by Governments towards the initial capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at the first pledging conference for the mechanism, being held in Berlin, Germany.

In a statement, the Secretary-General's Spokesperson said that these pledges “will go far to kick-start” the operationalization of the Fund.

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