UNEP Releases 2014 Year Book on Emerging Environmental Issues

UNEPJuly 2014: UNEP has made available an e-book edition of its year book, titled ‘UNEP Year Book 2014: Emerging Issues in Our Global Environment,' which illustrates, across ten chapters, the emergence of current environmental challenges and explores innovative solutions to address them.

The 2014 Year Book shows how science and policy actions have led to innovative solutions to environmental issues, reconfirming the critical role of the environment in maintaining and improving people's and ecosystems' health. Its chapters address: excess nitrogen in the environment; combating (re)emerging infectious diseases; marine fish and shellfish farming; illegal wildlife trade; methane hydrates; realizing the potential of citizen science; air pollution; plastic debris in the ocean; securing soil carbon benefits; and rapid change in the Arctic.

In the chapter 'Rapid Change in the Arctic,' which was also released as an 'eBook 2014 Update,' UNEP presents science on and emerging trends in the Arctic. The update features photos, graphics and video interviews regarding: the oil spill response agreement at the 2013 Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting; clips from the film 'Trends in Arctic Biodiversity,' by the Arctic Council´s Working Group for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and GRID-Arendal; shipping and natural resource connections; and a video documenting sea ice melt between 1979 and 2012.

In a press release on the Year Book, Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, highlighted clear connections between the issues presented in the report such as: a warmer and wetter climate causing shifts in the spread of infectious diseases; rapid Arctic glacier melt having implications for sea-level rise and the potential release of methane; and strong action on air pollutants having multiple benefits, such as slowing polar ice melt and significantly improving human health. Steiner also noted the need for access to timely and reliable environmental information from around the world so that issues could be identified as they emerge, and effective actions and policies to respond to them could be developed.

Both the Year Book and the Update were released during the first UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in June, and are available in various formats on-line. [Publication: UNEP Year Book 2014: Emerging Issues in Our Global Environment] [Publication: UNEP eBook 2014 Update: Rapid Change in the Arctic] [UNEP Press Release] [UNEP Publications]