12 August 2011: The UN Universal Postal Union has announced the winners of this year's International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People. In keeping with the International Year of Forests 2011, this year's topic was a plea to save the world's forests. Youth were asked to imagine themselves as a tree, writing a letter to someone to explain the importance of protecting forests.
October 2010: The UN University (UNU) has published a report on local management approaches for enhancing marine biodiversity in the Pacific.
The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) held a conference on “Promoting Green Building Rating in Africa,” from 4-6 May 2010, at its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The event brought together experts, practitioners and decision makers from 20 African countries and concluded with the adoption of a declaration to promote and foster green building practices in Africa.
In the “Nairobi Declaration on Green Building for Africa,” participants underline the urgency to improve the environmental performance and energy efficiency of buildings in order to “reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help strengthen the ability of cities to adapt to climate change while improving the quality of the built environment.” They express their commitment to “being the promoters of green practices” to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction sector in Africa. Participants further emphasize the importance of, inter alia: sourcing building materials and appropriate technology that are locally available; taking into account climatic conditions when designing buildings and making use of naturally available energies; using renewable energy; and developing and using a green building rating system.
In relation to the latter, participants recommend the development of models of Green Building Councils and the associated green rating systems catering to the various needs and specificities of individual countries and/or sub-regions. The Declaration also calls for the establishment of an African Network of Green Building Councils.
Links to further information
UN-HABITAT News, 14 May 2010
Conference on Green Building in Africa
Nairobi Declaration on Green Building
The fifth World Urban Forum (WUF-5), which took place from 22-26 March 2010, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, under the theme “The Right to the City: Bridging the Urban Divide,” was hosted by the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the Government of Brazil.
The second Africa Carbon Forum, which was held from 3-5 March 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya, sought to help build on growing interest in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in Africa, and concluded with expectations for a boost in Africa's share of the global carbon market.
The eleventh Special Session of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GCSS-11/GMEF) convened from 24-26 February 2010, in Bali, Indonesia.