Environment Assembly concludes with new blueprint for sustainable future

NAIROBI (Xinhua) – The fourth session of United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) was wrapped up on Friday with delegates adopting a new blueprint to promote sustainable practices that will reverse harm to the planet and its resources.

Delegates from over 170 UN member states pledged support for greater and faster adoption of innovations and practices required to tackle environmental challenges like climate change, plastic waste and habitat loss, and to help societies leapfrog into a green and sustainable future.

“We reaffirm that poverty eradication, promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production, protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are the overarching objectives of, and essential requirements for sustainable development,” said the delegates in a final communique.

The delegates pledged to take bold actions to tackle plastic waste and poverty through efficient management of natural resources, and promote sharing of environmental data as well as adoption of climate resilient food systems.

They stressed the need to protect oceans and other fragile ecosystems while agreeing on the need to establish a multi-stakeholder platform to eliminate microplastics.

“We will address damage to our ecosystems caused by unsustainable use and disposal of plastic products, including by significantly reducing single-use plastic products by 2030,” said the delegates.

They also vowed to deal with knowledge and data gaps along with strengthening monitoring systems to boost environmental sustainability at local, regional and global levels.

Other resolutions adopted at the UNEA included sustainable public procurement to transform economies and adoption of innovative measures to address food waste.

“We have decided to do things differently, from reducing our dependence on single-use plastics to placing sustainability at the heart of all future development,” said President of the fourth session of UNEA and Estonia’s Minister for Environment Siim Kiisler.

“Our planet has reached its limits and we need to act now. We are delighted that the world has responded here in Nairobi with firm commitments to build(ing) a future where sustainability will be the overarching objective in everything we do,” said Acting Executive Director of UN Environment Joyce Msuya.

The fourth session of UN Environment Assembly, under the theme “Innovative Solutions for Environmental challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production,” was held on March 11-15 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Over 4,700 delegates, including world leaders, environment ministers, scientists, business leaders, scholars and campaigners, attended the five-day assembly.