Biodiversity and Nature’s Contributions Continue Dangerous Decline, Scientists Warn
Five landmark assessment reports launched at the 6th plenary of The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services last week find that biodiversity continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to contribute to people’s well-being.
More than 100 countries incorporate constitutional rights to a healthy environment. When states fail to recognize these environmental obligations, the ensuing environmental degradation impacts on the enjoyment of human rights across the world. UN Environment is supporting efforts to assist countries to implement these rights and to address their violations. UN Environment is also contributing to research and analyses on legal definitions to make environmental rights real for the people they are designed to protect, including environmental defenders.
Pollution is the cause of 16 percent of all deaths and costs over a trillion dollars yearly. UN Environment assists countries in reducing pollution by adopting cleaner policies, technologies and standards. We provide countries with the opportunity to commit to global environmental policies that will help eliminate pollution and its threats.
For effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, climate law-making is essential. UN Environment supports the review and reform of existing laws to enable countries to consider climate change proactively and address climate risks. We help ensure that this work involves all stakeholders, as all sectors of the economy and society are at risk from climate change.
Courts in at least 44 nations have issued decisions enforcing the constitutional right to a healthy environment. UN Environment works in partnership with human rights bodies, including The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, to identify and promote good practices and policies that make a positive impact upon human rights and health.
Environmental crime has become the world's fourth largest crime sector, growing at 2-3 times the rate of the global economy. INTERPOL and UN Environment estimate that natural resources worth up to US$258 billion are being stolen by criminal syndicates, depriving countries of their resources, revenues and development opportunities. UN Environment is working with judges, prosecutors, and enforcement agencies to strengthen national capacities to respond to environmental crimes.
THE GLOBAL GOALS
UN Environment is uniquely positioned to help countries establish and strengthen policy, legal and institutional measures, to achieve the Sustainable Development and other global environmental goals. We provide governments with guidance, expertise and tools on environmental laws, policy and regulation, as well as assist them to meet their environmental commitments to people and planet.