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UNEP’s ‘OurPlanet’ Magazine Features UN Environment Assembly

UNEPJune 2014: The theme of the June 2014 edition of the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) 'OurPlanet' magazine is 'The First United Nations Environment Assembly' (UNEA), which is taking place from 23-27 June 2014. Touching on many of the key items of discussion at UNEA, the edition explores issues such as the role of cities in combating climate change, environmental planning in China and renewable energy opportunities in Africa.

Prominent decision makers contributed articles to the edition, with Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, stressing the importance of foresight, rethinking how we work and live, and choosing a path of sustainable development that benefits everyone in her article 'The Future We Want - And the Decisions We Need.' Articles by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, and Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, are also featured. Ban emphasizes the timeliness of UNEA given the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline, the negotiation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the expected 2015 climate agreement. Bachelet focuses on the interconnections between sustainable development and peace and security.

The issue also features articles by Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unilever, Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice-President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, and the three co-chairs of the Global Ocean Commission: David Miliband, Trevor Manuel and José María Figueres. The bulletin also presents a number of "sustainable development innovations," including using bacteria in soil to produce energy, the largest rooftop solar array, and turning trash into homes for the homeless.

In reflecting on the June issue, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, noted that UNEA "embodies the notion that challenges are best addressed and opportunities realized when the community of nations and citizens of the world join forces to promote economic prosperity, social equity and environmental sustainability in a holistic manner." [UNEP Publication Webpage] [Publication: OurPlanet: The First United Nations Environment Assembly]