Human Settlements & Population

International Mother Earth Day Celebrated around the World [viewed]

ban_ki_moon_concert22 April 2015: In celebration of Earth Day, multilateral institutions and organizations worldwide held public concerts and forums, revealed a 'forest pavilion,' and released special newsletters and statements, among many other commemorative activities. The UN kicked off its Earth Day events with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the Global Citizen Earth Day Concert on 18 April in Washington DC, US, where he told the crowd, "Take your passion and compassion and build a better, sustainable world."

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EU Environment, Energy Ministers Discuss Biodiversity, Climate, Energy Efficiency [viewed]

EU16 April 2015: Latvia hosted informal meetings of the EU's environment and energy ministers to discuss the Union's environmental and climate and energy policies. The two meetings, which took place back-to-back, from 14-16 April, in Riga, Latvia, focused on biodiversity, international climate change negotiations, energy efficiency in the heating and cooling sector, and the interaction between biodiversity and renewable energy development.

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Event: Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development [viewed]

This event is being organized by the Vatican and has the objective of raising awareness and building consensus around sustainable development values and ensuring they cohere with the values of religious traditions, with a special focus on the most vulnerable. The event will also aim to: increase the debate on the moral dimensions of protecting the environment in advance of the papal encyclical; and help build a global movement across all religions for sustainable development and climate change throughout 2015 and beyond.

 The event will result in a joint statement on the moral and religious imperative of sustainable development, emphasizing the connection between respect for the environment and respect for people, particularly the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children and future generations. Vatican officials plus 60 high-level invitees (20 science, business, diplomatic and development experts; 20 religious leaders; and 20 academics and scholars) are expected to attend, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  

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Event: Climate Change Innovation Camp [viewed]

Ten finalist teams that answered a call for innovative solutions to climate change under a UN Development Programme (UNDP) nationwide campaign in the former Yugoslav Republic (fYR) of Macedonia will participate in a three-day Climate Change Innovation Camp. The finalists were selected from 130 submissions to the campaign, which was launched in December 2014 by UNDP in fYR Macedonia. During the Camp, the finalists will receive expert technical advice to develop their proposals further and compete for a US$10,000 prize to develop their proposals into prototypes. Finalists have put forward ideas involving: bikes and shoes to charge electronics; 'Eco Taxis'; solar collectors and billboards; solar cooling devices; re-using shower water for flushing toilets; using smartphones to create reminders for shutting off lights and optimizing heating and cooling; a smart app for carpooling; promotion of alternative means of transport; 'climate cafés'; and green roofs and facades.  

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G7 Foreign Ministers Identify Climate Change, Fragility as Priority [viewed]

G7 Germany15 April 2015: The G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting convened within the framework of Germany's G7 Presidency to address pressing international issues that impact global peace and security. The meeting resulted in the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting Communiqué, in which the Ministers describe climate change as one of the most serious challenges the world faces, threatening the environment, global security and economic prosperity, and potentially reversing progress made in tackling poverty.

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India, France Express Support to Successful Paris Conference [viewed]

Agreement_India_France14 April 2015: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President François Hollande issued a joint statement affirming their support to ensuring a successful outcome at the UN Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015, and stressing the importance of timely submissions of intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) and raising pre-2020 ambition. In the statement, made during an official visit by Prime Minister Modi to Paris, France, the two leaders also announced cooperation on smart cities and sustainable energy.

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Mayors Commit to Climate Action Ahead of Paris Conference [viewed]

iclei11 April 2015: The ICLEI World Congress 2015, the triennial sustainability summit of local and subnational governments worldwide, led to a number of climate announcements intended to increase local climate action. The Congress brought together over 3000 participants, including over 100 mayors from around the world, and boasted the largest number of participants at a Congress to date, with many others attending virtually via a live stream.

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Pacific Forum Highlights Urban Challenges as Priority Development Issue [viewed]

UN-HABITAT7 April 2015: The Fourth Pacific Urban Forum (PUF 4) highlighted urban challenges as a priority issue for development, focusing on the areas of social equity, urban economy, environment and governance. Outcomes will feed into Asia-Pacific regional input to the Habitat III conference, which will convene in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016, as well as to ongoing discussions of the post-2015 development agenda. The Forum preceded the Sixth Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF 6), which will take place in May 2015.

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Event: International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA): Local Governments Driving Transformation [viewed]

ICCA will highlight the strategic role that municipalities play in combating climate change, recognizing that many have developed successful measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Conference will serve as a platform for exchanging the know-how that subnational governments have acquired through policy creation and implementation. The contributions local action has made to low-carbon, sustainable urban development will be on display through a variety of events, including high-level discussions, open market places, interactive workshops and an award ceremony. Expected participants are municipality representatives, regional and national governments, networks, foundations and researchers. Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the National Climate Initiative, the Ministry For Environment, Energy and Climate Protection, and the German Institute of Urban Affairs are sponsoring the Conference.  

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First Dresden Conference Discusses Nexus Approach to SDGs [viewed]

UNU27 March 2015: The UN University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) convened the inaugural Dresden Nexus Conference, with a focus on a “nexus approach” to climate change, urbanization and population growth, and how it could contribute to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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