Science, Assessment & Monitoring

OAS, Guatemala Promote Ethanol Use [viewed]

guatemala-oas7 August 2014: The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Guatemala have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to implement a pilot project on the blending and use of ethanol, and to support the formation a Technical Unit on Biofuels. The project could result in savings of nearly US$104 million in oil imports for Guatemala.

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DESA Analyzes SIDS Sustainable Development Trends [viewed]

DESAAugust 2014: Despite advances toward sustainable development, small island developing States (SIDS) continue to face many challenges, according to ‘Trends in Sustainable Development: SIDS,' a publication issued by the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) as an input to the Third International Conference on SIDS. The report assesses SIDS' progress in key sustainable development areas: climate change; demographics; energy; finance and trade; health and non-communicable diseases (NCDs); natural disaster management; oceans and seas; social development, including education, food security, gender equality and access to water and sanitation; tourism; and waste management.

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UNEP, UN-REDD Support REDD+ University Programmes [viewed]

unep-unredd20 August 2014: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (UN-REDD) and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies released a guide to strengthen the integration of REDD+ into university curriculum. The publication is intended to build in-country capacity within UN-REDD partner countries in order to identify and address research gaps.

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UNEP and Norway Sign Agreement on GRID-Arendal's 25th Anniversary [viewed]

UNEP GRID Arendal14 August 2014: On the occasion of GRID-Arendal's 25th anniversary, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, Achim Steiner, and Olav Orheim, Chairman of the Board of Directors of GRID-Arendal, signed a Programme Cooperation Agreement in which Norway renewed its contribution to UNEP's Programme of Work for 2014. The Agreement includes a commitment of US$16 million to UNEP, including US$1 million to support action on marine plastic debris and microplastics and US$500,000 to improve fish food security in West Africa.

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UN Committee Discusses Geospatial Information for Sustainable Development [viewed]

United Nations12 August 2014: Ministers and senior leaders discussed how to ensure more consistent locational positioning and mapping across the globe at the fourth session of the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM). The Committee is mandated to assist in making accurate, authoritative and reliable geospatial information available to support global, regional and national development, including for the post-2015 development agenda, as well as to enhance collaboration among Member States.

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WMO Launches SIDS Website [viewed]

WMOAugust 2014: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has launched a small island developing States (SIDS) website to highlight its work with SIDS, given that they are low-lying and vulnerable to weather- and climate-related hazards, such as tropical cyclones, floods and droughts.

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EEA Updates Climate Change Indicators [viewed]

EEA6 August 2014: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published 13 climate change indicators, updating information included in its 2012 assessment 'Climate Change, Impacts and Vulnerability in Europe.' According to EEA, the period 2004-2013 was Europe's warmest decade on record, and many global trends, such as sea level rise, warming oceans, and shrinking snow cover, are having significant impacts on the continent.

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UN Secretary-General Releases Climate Summit 2014 Scenario [viewed]

climate-summit20144 August 2014: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has released the programme for the UN Climate Summit – Catalyzing Action, scheduled to take place at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 23 September 2014.

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Report Finds 'Coasts at Risk' in SIDS, Tropical States [viewed]

coastsatriskAugust 2014: Tropical and small island developing States (SIDS) are most at risk from exposure and vulnerability to coastal hazards, according to ‘Coasts at Risk: An Assessment of Coastal Risks and the Role of Environmental Solutions.' The report uses an indicator-based approach to assess risks from exposure and vulnerability to coastal hazards and identifies where environmental degradation increases these risks. The report then considers how environmental solutions, such as conservation and restoration, can contribute to risk reduction and conservation goals.

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UNEP, Japan Launch Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership [viewed]

unep.japan25 July 2014: The Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Japanese Ministry of Environment have launched the 'Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership,' aimed at bringing together existing regional initiatives to provide clear policy options, based on the best science, to support action on air pollution.

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