Chapters and Articles, Yearbooks and Frontiers
Synthetic Biology: Re-engineering the environment - Frontiers 2018/19: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern Chapter 1
United Nations Environment Programme

The world is facing unprecedented challenges to a healthy and sustainable future. Habitat destruction, invasive species, and overexploitation are contributing to immense biodiversity loss. Unsustainable, extractive industry practices further burden the environment, and by extension, human welfare. Vector-borne infectious diseases pose a major threat to global health. Rapid climate change is likely to expand the geographical range of tropical diseases and further stress already taxed species and ecosystems. A number of approaches devised to meet these challenges – some proposed and others already implemented – share a common strategy. That is, they depend upon the genetic manipulation of living organisms to acquire new functions that otherwise do not exist in nature, in order to serve human needs.


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2019
Chapters and Articles, Yearbooks and Frontiers
Ecological Connectivity: A Bridge to Preserving Biodiversity - Frontiers 2018/19: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern Chapter 2
United Nations Environment Programme

Nature was once vast and boundless, but in an industrialized, 21st century world, this is no longer the case. Across the globe,
landscapes and seascapes are becoming more fragmented. Fragmentation is typically a symptom of landscape transformation and destruction. Maintaining or restoring connectivity between fragmented habitats or landscape patches has been identified as the key to counteracting many of the negative impacts of
fragmentation. Connectivity can be defined as the degree to
which landscapes and seascapes allow species to move freely
and ecological processes to function unimpeded.


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2019
Chapters and Articles, Yearbooks and Frontiers
Permafrost Peatlands: Losing Ground in a Warming World - Frontiers 2018/19: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern Chapter 3
United Nations Environment Programme

Permafrost thaw is seen as one of the most important “tipping elements” that could precipitate a runaway greenhouse effect, or an uncontrollable “Hothouse Earth”. To avoid such a destructive scenario, it is critical that the world’s permafrost and its peatlands stay frozen and retain their carbon deposits.


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2019
Chapters and Articles, Yearbooks and Frontiers
The Nitrogen Fix: From Nitrogen Cycle Pollution to Nitrogen Circular Economy - Frontiers 2018/19: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern Chapter 4
United Nations Environment Programme

Nitrogen is an extremely abundant element in the Earth’s atmosphere. In the form of the N2 molecule, nitrogen is harmless, making up 78 per cent of every breath we take. The two nitrogen atoms are held together by a strong triple bond (N N), making it extremely stable and chemically unreactive. The planet benefits because N2 allows a safe atmosphere in which life can flourish, while avoiding the flammable consequences of too much oxygen. The environmental interest in nitrogen focuses on the conversion of N2 into other
chemically reactive forms. For simplicity, scientists refer to all other nitrogen forms as “fixed” or “reactive nitrogen” (Nr).


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2019
Chapters and Articles, Yearbooks and Frontiers
Maladaptation to Climate Change: Avoiding Pitfalls on the Evolvability Pathway - Frontiers 2018/19: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern Chapter 5
United Nations Environment Programme

As climate change negotiations progressed, researchers examined how and why some adaptation actions go awry, particularly those actions that waste substantial amounts of human, natural, or financial resources. Maladaptation thinking continues to advance, and one influential study considered the problem according to the outcomes, identifying five categories of maladaptation when compared to
alternative choices. According to this analysis, maladaptations are actions that increase greenhouse gas emissions, burden the most vulnerable disproportionately, incur high opportunity costs, reduce incentives to adapt, or set paths that limit the choices available to future generations.


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2019
Other
We Are Past Pledging and Politicking: The Way forward in 2019 - A letter from Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of UN Environment
Msuya, Joyce

This letter from the Acting Executive Director of UN Environment is structured around four main points: i) Where we Stand; ii) Opportunities; iii) Pathways; and iv) A Call to Action. The letter concludes with a challenge: "In Nairobi next month, and in New York in September, let us all prove that we are ready to hold ourselves to account. Our scientists have calculated that we need to increase five-fold, our ambition on climate change.
So, I challenge you, as our window of opportunity gets smaller by the hour:
What does ambitious climate action look like for you?
For climate, for nature, for consumers? For people, for planet, for posterity? What are you ready to bring to the table?"


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2019
Reports and Books
Invest in a Healthy Planet - Invest in UN Environment
United Nations Environment Programme

Since 1972, the UN Environment Programme has served as a powerful advocate for the environment. This publication further illustrates who we are and what we do. It also makes the case for the importance of flexible core financial resources; how they are the bedrock of our work and enable us to invest in essential capacity and expertise to deliver the work that our 193 Member States mandate us to do.


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2019
Reports and Books
Measuring Progress: Towards Achieving the Environmental Dimension of the SDGs
United Nations Environment Programme

Did you know that only 23% of the environment-related SDG indicators are on track to meet the target if current trends continue? For 68%, there is not enough data to assess progress and for 9% there is not progress toward achieving the target. Specifically, progress has been made on all 11 environment-related SDGs indicators related to policy, financial and institutional processes with available data; there has been mixed progress in improving access to environmental resources and reducing the impacts of environmental degradation on human health and food security; and there is either no data or no progress towards all 12 of the SDGs targets related to the state of the environment. In order to achieve the environmental dimension of sustainable development, there is a need to scale up environmental action and also to improve environmental monitoring and analysis.


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2019
Global environment outlook (GEO), Summaries
Global Environment Outlook: GEO-6 - Summary for Policymakers
United Nations Environment Programme

This Summary for Policymakers highlights the findings of the sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) report.


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2019
Global environment outlook (GEO), Chapters and Articles
Introduction and Context - Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6): Healthy Planet, Healthy People Chapter 1
United Nations Environment Programme

Under the theme of ‘Healthy Planet, Healthy People,’ the sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) is an integrated assessment which considers various scienti c perspectives and inputs from across the world in a holistic manner. The assessment urges the world’s decision makers and all citizens to apply the principles of sustainable development to help ensure that Earth’s environment remains the foundation of society and of people’s well-being and resilience.


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2019