Hosted by the UN Environment Programme, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) brings together representatives of the 193 Member States of the UN, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders to agree on policies to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
The resumed Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) takes place online and in Nairobi on 28 February – 2 March 2022.
The overall theme for UNEA-5 is “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”. This highlights the pivotal role nature plays in our lives and in social, economic and environmental sustainable development. UNEA-5 is an opportunity for Member States to share best practices for sustainability. It will create momentum for governments build on and catalyze impact on multilateral environmental efforts to protect and restore the natural world on which our economies and societies depend.
Looking ahead to the resumed session of UNEA.5, the UNEA President has re-initiated the consultations process on a ministerial declaration. In his letter dated 6 October 2021, the President presents an updated version of the zero draft declaration that considers what has already been achieved during previous consultations. The letter also proposes a consultation timeline before final consideration and adoption of the draft at the upcoming resumed session of UNEA-5. The draft structure of UNEA-5.2 is available here.
Immediately after UNEA-5.2, the Assembly will hold a Special Session on 3 – 4 March 2022, which is devoted to the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the UN Environment Programme in 1972 (UNEP@50).
UNEA links the issues of nature and biodiversity to food systems. Food systems are at the cross-roads of human, animal, economic and environmental health. On land and at sea our food and freshwater systems depend on natural resources, but population growth, dietary changes due to growing wealth and agriculture-related pollution are degrading natural resources faster than they can reproduce. Our food system is also responsible for a quarter of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The global population is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050. To ensure there is enough safe, healthy and affordable food, we need to make significant changes to how we grow, produce and transport our food.
The world spends about 1 million dollars per minute on agricultural subsidies. Redirecting subsidies, investment and incentives into sustainable and regenerative land and ocean food production can meet the nutritional needs of existing and future generations.