Showing posts from June, 2018


This is what was agreed at the G7 - see Annex for Ocean Plastics Charter The health of our oceans and seas is critical to the economic, social and environmental well-being of the planet. Oceans and seas play a fundamental role in the global climate system and in supporting communities, jobs and livelihoods, food security, human health, biodiversity, economic prosperity and way of life. Oceans and seas; however, are facing many challenges. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and overexploitation of fish stocks threaten entire species and food security. Marine pollution, including from plastic litter, is compounding the threats facing already degraded marine ecosystems. As set out in The Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique, ocean warming, acidification and sea-level rise, together with extreme weather events, are affecting communities globally. Arctic and low-lying coastal communities, particularly Small Island Developing States (SIDS), are among the most vulnerable. We, the …

Guest Blog: UNEA Progress on Plastics Update Issue 5 (6 June 2018)

The following text is part of the Plastics Update Issue 5 from the negotiations in Nairobi.
Editor: Contact: Jane Patton, No Waste Louisiana (  Full newsletter  downloaded here.
The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and several global environmental agreements have taken an interest in plastic pollution, especially marine plastic litter, recognising it as a serious and rapidly growing issue of global concern which requires an urgent and global response. Following the UNEA3 meeting in December 2017, UN Environment formed an Ad-Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group (AHOEEG) to present options to combat marine plastic litter and microplastics for global consideration of member states, experts, and civil society.
Several representatives of the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement are in attendance for the first of two AHOEEG meetings in support of a joint call for an international legally bindingagreement on plastics and plastic pollution. Commonly referred to as “Option 3” in the …

UN DESA All Change

The first set of reforms of UNDESA have now gone through as I had reported earlier. What we now have is an explanation of the new divisions which readers of this blog may find useful. I have taken this from the UN web site here:

Under Secretary General for UN DESA is Mr. Liu Zhenmin  whassumed office on 26 July 2017. He brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service, with a strong focus on the promotion of bilateral, regional and global issues. There are two ASGs for UNDESA but so far only one appointed and that is the Chief Economist Elliott Harris.

Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development

The Office supports the work of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). It works with Member States, other UNDESA divisions, the UN system entities, NGOs and other major groups and other stakeholders of society to support the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda by …

Guest Blog: A First Attempt at Crowdfunding for Climate Action in Kenya

Susy Wandera holds a B.A in Economics from the University of California, Irvine, an a M.A in International Studies from the Claremont Graduate University and written, published and edited several articles on climate change.

I tend to look at everything in the world through climate change eyes. At a recent meeting on examining the learned lessons from various adaptation actions, a new legislator made a comment that indicated misunderstanding of the body responsible for coordinating Kenya’s climate change activities.

I could not let that go answered and strove to correct the person, referring to Kenya’s Climate Change Act which stipulated whom and how said body is directed to carry out their mandate.

However it was clear to me that more was needed. I thought about a project to design a climate change communications strategy and toolkit that could be spearheaded by my organisation, Sustainable Environmental Development Watch (SUSWATCH). The primary aim for this project being to address t…

Conversation with Elliott Harris, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Chief Economist

Originally published on UNDESA website here
No trade-off between economic growth and environmental protection Responding to the challenges facing the global economy; ensuring enough financial means to fund the Sustainable Development Goals; exploring the digital economy and other frontier issues of sustainable development; and a moment of epiphany. The topics were many as cameras were rolling for the first UN DESA Voice interview with the UN’s Chief Economist Elliott Harris in a sun-drenched Rose Garden at UN Headquarters. UN DESA’s new Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Elliott Harris, is a veteran when it comes to the international economy and sustainable development. His extensive portfolio spanning 25 years, also reveals a focus on macroeconomic policies, which align well with the three pillars that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Since Mr. Harris took office on 2 April 2018, his schedule has been quite busy with many back-to-back events or…
Addressing Solutions to the 

Cities as Test-Beds for SDG Implementation Tools and Solutions
Conference Room 2  UN Wednesday 6th of June 615pm
SDG 11 recognises the central role of cities in sustainable development and calls for making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, and resilient. Advances in science and technology - especially in transportation, communication systems, public health, and agricultural and industrial production – push the evolution of cities. To harness the synergy between cities and the food-energy-water nexus, a community of researchers, technologists, and practitioners is needed to share knowledge, form global partnerships, and bridge worldviews of city stakeholders (e.g. researchers, policy actors, industry, entrepreneurs) through practice-oriented dialogue.
This event will highlight currently available technology solutions that are not yet being fully utilized for the SDGs. It will focus on existing technology for basic life suppo…