Environmental Organizations on International Scale

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  • In couple of lines describe your understanding of the UN in general and UNEP in particular in protecting the environment.
  • In your views: What are the SDGs that relate directly to the environment and do they cover all aspects of the environment?
  • The report suggests 10 recommendations, according to earlier lectures and class material, which of those is more important and significant for the environment and why?
  • The report addresses several topics such as climate, ecosystem, urbanization,…etc. What is the most significant one that can be addressed globally via the international organizations (UNEP or other)? And Why?
  • The report connects the environment and health (our well-being), give an example from a case you know or from your daily life showing this relationship.
  • What are the suggested policies/ government strategies to maintain healthy environments, and what is your assessment of such policies.

7 thoughts on “Environmental Organizations on International Scale

  1. Michael Carver / Saya Matsuda / Guendalina Daneu / Krista Seitz
    Environmental Organizations on International Scale

    The role of the United Nations as a supranational organization, thus within the international political system, regards environmental protection, the enhancement of human living conditions, promote social and economic development, all balancing the sustainability of the planet’s resources. It is with no doubt that the intensive exploitation of the environment from men poses pressing problems to the survival of the human race itself: the erosion of global forests, the impoverishment of the subsoil, the consumption of world water reserves, the massive use of methods and technologies for cultivation, the fishing and non-sustainable farming as well as pollution. Given that the problem assumes, by its intrinsic nature, a cross-border and global character, the solutions and measures necessary to contrast this phenomenon can be sought almost exclusively at an international level. Therefore, a fundamental step towards achieving the goals that intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations select to fight against climate change and environmental degradation is the implementation of such common standards and rules derived from their proposals.
    The UNEP decision to establish the UNEA, the United Nations Environment Assembly, is an important sign of the reform of international governance, for a more effective and more efficient management of environmental policies. The Rio+20 Conference is thus fully implemented with the aim of defining the global environmental agenda and promoting a coherent realization of the UNEP goals. Another sign that exhibits progress towards more efficient policies is shown when in 2015, more than 150 international leaders met at the United Nations to contribute to global development, promote human well-being and protect the environment. The community of these states endorsed the 2030 Agenda for a sustainable development summarized in 17 essential goals, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to put an end to poverty, fight inequality, and promote social and economic development.
    From the 17 SDGs, actually only 12 are directly linked to the environment. Goal number one, two, three and six are all linked to each other since they insist on the well-being and living conditions of men: put an end to all forms of poverty in the world, end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, ensure good health and well-being for everyone, and finally ensuring the availability and sustainability of water and other sanitation facilities to everyone. Ending poverty would end world hunger and ensure food security and availability of water resources for all, thus improving nutrition, well-being and promoting sustainable agriculture. Goal number seven, eight, and nine are interrelated since they all promote economic development and the quality of infrastructures. The quality of infrastructures is related to the economic position of the country, and ensuring affordable, reliable and sustainable access to modern energy systems is given to countries with high-developed economies. Lastly, goals number eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen are all based on the concept of sustainability patterns, combating climate change, conserve natural resources and protect, restore, and promote a sustainable use of the Earth’s ecosystem. Consequently, to achieve the first two groups of goals it is first necessary to achieve the final five goals mentioned above. These final five goals are intrinsically linked to the environment and to the previous goals, since the conservation and a sustainable use of the Earth’s resources are vital for social and economic development as well as for the survival of humanity.
    All ten of the recommendations made in the UN report make a lot of sense, yet some are going to be more difficult to implement than others. Therefore, we picked five of the recommendations based on their ease of implementation and positive impacts on the environment. Out of the ten, we believe these five will have the best shot at being implemented and should be focused on first. In our opinion, Number 7 is the first action that should be taken out of the recommendations given. This recommendation calls for increasing evidence of environmental issues through more monitoring, collection of samples, and research, also looking at how environmental issues affect age, sex, and other aspects of humans differently. This recommendation is really important, because it gives us a better picture of what the environmental issues are and how they impact various groups differently. Furthermore, having more substantial evidence gives greater credence to the issues and helps to convince people and governments as to the severity of those issues. Therefore, increasing evidence is the best strategy to start with.
    Recommendation number 8 would be the next strategy to follow increasing evidence. This strategy calls for increased education and awareness on environmental issues and associated health risk. Once further evidence is collected, the next natural step is to educate and distribute the evidence to the public, business, and governments, so they can see how it affects them. In order to do this effectively, efforts will need to be placed on developing education and channels or networks for distribution of that information to the public. Once the world has been educated on environmental issues and their effects, recommendation number 5 is the next in line to work on. This recommendation calls for increasing involvement from the public and private sectors. If the public and private sectors are receiving good evidence and education on what the issues are, they should be more willing to work on solutions to environmental issues as they in many instances directly relate to them. Including all stakeholders, there will likely be more rapid improvements on issues as more people of different fields or industries will be combating the problem. Furthermore, strategies and successes can be shared through increased communication between groups.
    With more evidence, more education, and more stakeholders working on the problem, the next step is to shift from a reactive to a proactive strategy. Recommendation Number 4 calls for trying to get ahead of future environmental problems and effects, instead of simply responding to what has already happened. Many of the future environmental and health issues we are expecting can be avoided altogether or at least reduced if people begin to act on them now. Lastly, recommendation 10 calls for increased investment in programs that will help to reduce or eliminate environmental and health issues. This step will be much more achievable as the culmination of the previous recommendations we have listed. Following the dissemination of evidence, education, and increased communication between all stakeholders it should be an easy task of promoting investment into environmental programs that will reduce negative effects for the public.
    In this report, several environmental-related topics are brought to discussion. To name a few: clean water, biodiversity, clean air, hazardous waste management, and urbanization are considered to be issues that are deeply connected to the environmental quality and health nexus. Out of all of them, however, climate change is the most important topic to be investigated and solved. Climate change, from its essence, is acknowledged as a major health risk multiplier. This means that its negative effects on human health are expected to surge and increasingly intensify. In climate change, positive feedback loops accelerate temperatures in a vicious cycle. Climate change knows no borders; operating transnationally, it is felt by all who inhabit this planet, with some negative implications harming some more than others. Its effects, causes, and potential solutions need international cooperation and coordination. Achieving such cooperation remains difficult because several factors create incentives for states to avoid taking meaningful steps to control their greenhouse gas emissions.
    International institutions, like the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), are most appropriate for resolving global environmental crises, including climate change for many reasons. Formed following the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, the UNEP was intended to catalyze, facilitate, and coordinate environmental programs. First, because environmental issues are increasingly transboundary in scope and significance, and governance remains fragmented and territorial, international institutions should be delegated the capacity to effectively combat climate change. Climate change has tested the capacity of democratic nations to resolve highly technical, transboundary dilemmas, and have since been inefficient or politically unmotivated. Reliance on national boundaries, laws, and institutions for purposes of environmental management is likely to prove inadequate when so many threats arise from supranational events like climate change. Furthermore, climate change encompasses a plethora of environmental issues that are inextricably linked, such as: ocean acidification, desertification, water scarcity/stress, greater international migration, heat stress/droughts, extreme weather events, loss of arable land, and food insecurity. Climate change’s scope to reach nearly every aspect of human health renders it an issue that needs to be dealt with rapidly. Next, international institutions are valuable for their ability to address diverse stakeholders: nongovernmental organizations, advocacy groups, multinational corporations, governments, and economic institutions. This aspect of the international institution ensures a platform of cross-sectoral communication and understanding, furthering effective action is achieved.
    In order for UNEP to be truly effective, however, there needs to be some changes. To begin, more power should be granted to the environmental institution to ensure climate conventions are effective and result in grounded policies. Considering UNEP is a junior member of the UN system, has no executive powers, has little scope for carrying out projects, and receives a small amount of funding, it nonetheless has achieved the most when it fulfills its role as a facilitator and coordinator. Next, if countries fail to carry out their international obligations, trade restrictions and sanctions should be used as a way to limit free riding. Compliance is only a proxy for effectiveness- real change and targets should be met. To ensure compliance, a third party should monitor compliance through information systems sharing, and this should be available to the public.
    Environment and health are recognized in a number of the United Nations human rights treaties. Climate change will have a detrimental effect on the environmental and social determinants on health that causes the availability of clean air and water, to heat shocks, food security and shelter, and the potential for wide-ranging systemic impacts on food availability and large-scale disasters. Climate change is also an accelerator of land degradation and desertification for unsustainable land practices. This cause effects to human health in several ways, such as higher threats of malnutrition from reduced food and water supplies, more water and foodborne diseases that result from poor hygiene and a lack of clean water, and respiratory diseases caused by atmosphere dust from wind erosion and other air pollutants. WHO indicates that 250,000 additional deaths could potentially occur each year between 2030 and 2050 as a result of climate change. The relationship between environment and health also shows in our daily life indirectly. For instance, the price will rise when the supply reduces because of the natural disasters. Those damaged crops cannot be sold to prevent serious health damage.
    By 2050, more effective urban policies, especially relating to solid waste disposal, air quality, provision of safe water and sanitation, public transportation, and injury prevention combined with healthier lifestyles, will play an increasingly important role in public health and quality of life. The policies provide several opportunities for meeting the goals and targets in order to improve human health. One of the examples is to replace and reduce the utilization of hazardous chemicals and generation of toxic waste and ensure sound management of chemicals and wastes. This sounds like a possible solution, however, this merely leaves another environmental issue to the area that was placed the hazardous wastes. It might function for the short period but hardly works for the long period.

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  2. Tyler Hodges, Rory Lapham, Gabriel Pineda, Beatriz Smith
    Professor Gohar
    Global Environmental Crisis
    April 10, 2018
    Environmental Organizations on International Scale

    1) The United Nations is an international governmental organization established to provide international peace and order. The United Nations was established with the goal of preventing major international crises and conflicts such as World War II. The UN works with its member states to cooperate and collectively address global issues such as climate change, natural disasters, and political controversies. The United Nations Environment Programme, a smaller agency part of the UN, manages the organization’s environmental advocacy projects and policies. The agency, also known as the UNEP, is the authority that focuses on the UN’s agenda to develop a more sustainable environment and future.
    2) In the report “Healthy Environment, Healthy People”, the UNEP, in collaboration with other environmental advocates, summarizes the Sustainable Development Goals, a 17-point initiative meant to provide current and future generations with a cleaner and healthier environment. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are a range of targets meant to achieve a cleaner, more sustainable future by 2030. The 17 goals address issues such as poverty, gender inequality, education, and conservation, but all link back to the health and well-being of the global human population.
    Of the 17 goals, seven directly relate back to the environment. The sixth and seventh goals, pertaining to cleaner water, sanitation, and energy access, directly address environmental issues. Targeting cleaner water leads to improved water and sanitation quality, while reaching for cleaner energy promotes renewable sources and more affordable energy costs. The eleventh goal, focusing on developing sustainable communities, directly relates to improving living conditions. Cleaner and more affordable housing leads to improved living quality, increased sustainable development, and increased access to green spaces and safe transportation. SDG number twelve also relates to the environment by promising a more responsible management of chemicals and wastes. The goal after that, number thirteen, directly calls for improving climate change education and helping the population adapt to the changes already taking place. The last two sustainable goals relating to the environment, fourteen and fifteen, call for the conservation of life on land and water. More restored and protected natural habitats allow for more plant and animal species to thrive, while improvements in coastal and marine management does the same thing for aquatic species.
    While 7 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals seemingly directly address the environment, there are still a few other environmental issues left unaddressed. The aspect of food supply discrepancies and shortages in the environment needs to be explicitly targeted. The second goal aims for zero global hunger through improved food access. The goal needs to also involve improved food sources, food production quality, and the removal of chemicals and GMOs. Another issue that fails to be addressed is disaster relief. While it is highlighted in a few of the goals, it is not made a main goal as it is. Disaster prevention and response is extremely important to the environment, especially for Global South nations, as a means to develop more sustainable communities. Aside from that, the 17 SDGs provide a solid framework for how the UN should plan their environmental agendas.

    3. In the document titled “United Nation report on major environmental policies,” the authors share their top ten recommendations to have “a strong basis for an inclusive economy for the future that is linked to ecosystem resilience, healthy environment, good health and well-being.” Out of the 10 suggestions, I found 3 to be a bit more significant than others.
    The first one would being delivering a more effective and equitable agenda for sustainable development. I found this to be the foundation for improvement, for it will discuss the current issues as well as the ones that are to arise in our future due to the lack of global sustainability practices. The goals will be created so that all will know what to work towards and what projects will need to be commenced, it is a very broad subject, but a necessary one in order to be successful in achieving our environmental goals.
    The next significant recommendation after demising a plan would be to switch from a reactive government environmental policy, to proactive one on. What this is suggesting is rather than always having to deal with a crisis when it erupts its causing catastrophes, we should engage the issue in its potential stage, which will overall create a more efficient omit of the conflict with minimal damage. Having this system will allow us to carry out the new agenda stated in the previous paragraph more adequately.
    And with the proactive governmental policy in place now, it leads to the final significant recommendation, which is to detoxify environments from anthropocentric pollutions, decarbonate the economy, and make the natural environment more resilient. If we were able to successfully accomplish these tasks, it create be a large boost in the global moral with healthy air and water qualities for species, a significant drop in the dangers of global warming, more biodiversity in the in the ecosystem which will introduce new stronger life forms to regulate the natural habitat.
    4) Climate Change is the most significant topic in the report. The main Reason for its importance is the far reaching effects to human lives and the well being of the planet and its ecosystems. If Climate Change is not addressed on time and properly. Climate change will be attributed to the death of many human lives,the extinction of whole ecosystems and Species, sea level rise that will destroy and erase many coastal cities, Agricultural changes that will be attributed to crop failures and shorten the food supply of many countries, Wildfires and many more serious issues that affect the well being of human lives. Every single of these serious issues have been attributed to climate and environmental change. The report highlights its importance when it gives facts regarding human deaths attributed to climate change “Cautious estimates from WHO under a medium-high emissions scenario indicate that 250,000 additional deaths could potentially occur each year between 2030 and 2050 as a result of climate change.” The report highlights. The Importance of Climate and environmental change has to be addressed by a global international organization like the UNEP (United Nations). Organizations like the UNEP have resources to reach many nations, plan accords, create policy changes and push agendas that single nations will have a more difficult time addressing on their own. Many Nations developed and developing need a strong guidance, direction and support that the UNEP can provide in the topic of climate change.
    5) Across the world 7 million people die each year due to poor air quality, making it one of the world’s largest single environmental risk to health. With the Bay Area having a high concentration of vehicles, it increases the chance of people who live here of contracting cardiovascular and respiratory diseases from the smog. Living in the Bay Area we experienced 19 Spare the Air days in 2017 where particulate matter (PM) concentrations, largely from car exhaust, exceed the state and federal health-based air quality standards (sparetheair.org). This is especially concentrated around the highways and the Port of Oakland where large diesel trucks and cargo ships are pumping out large quantities of diesel fumes. Another huge contributor of pollution in California is from the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture. This can contaminate local water sources from rain runoff drainage into rivers and into the Bay. Without more sustainable and organic farming practices diseases associated with poor water quality from poor watershed management will continue to rise.
    6) With a shift towards a healthier environment we can produce significant benefits in terms of development and reduce the risk on human health. Just the elimination of lead from gasoline on a global scale has benefited an estimated $2.45 trillion per year and saved an estimated 1 million premature deaths per year. Major successful policies such as the Montreal Protocol have helped to phase-out nearly 100 ozone-depleting substances such as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and the phase-out from 1987-2060 is estimated to save $1.8 trillion in global health cost and almost $460 billion in avoided damages to agriculture and fisheries. Other major policies such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Act have not only brought significant attention to the importance of protecting these resources but hold and continue to regulate polluters from neglectful dumping of waste into these resources, saving huge cost expenses of cleaning up and saves our access to these clean resources.

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  3. Layla Luna
    Angelique Wilcox
    Tina Adewunmi
    Pierre Sjogreen
    The United Nations was created to replace League of Nations which was unsuccessful at the time. It encompasses 193 sovereign members states. They work together in order to support international cooperation and generate international order. The headquarters is located in New York City, and other offices are in Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna. It’s key point is to maintain international security, peace while promoting human rights, encouraging social, economic development and protecting the environment.
    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment which was unsuccessful. Its mission is “to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.” It is currently the global environmental authority that promotes international cooperation in the field of the environment and recommends certain policies. In doing so it monitors the status of global environmental and gathers information from environmental advertisements. It also aids in developing regional programmers for environmental sustainability and other environmental authorities such as countries with economies in transition, to create and implement environmental policies.
    According to the Thematic report, the sustainable development goals and targets suggest a wide range of goals that relate directly to the environment. It illustrates 15 goals. One goal that resonates with me is the climate action, 13. It claims it needs resilience, adaptation, education in order for everyone to be on the same page. Another goal, is clean water and sanitation. This is an important goal. Everyone ought to have access to clean water no matter where they are in the world. It claims water management is optimal in order to use water efficiency, determine water quality and have access to drinking water.
    The report discusses many different ways in which the environment plays a part on our health. One huge way that the environment plays a role on my health is the air that I breathe. Air pollution, although a very general term, reminds me of the smoke being put into the air by a cigarette. When I walk by cigarette smoke, I refrain from inhaling and quickly move away from the area. If I have to smell cigarette smoke for a long time, I can get very annoyed because I know that the smoke is not good for my health. Air pollution from cars and factories and other sources is similar to cigarette smoke, only less detectable on a large scale. Living in the large city of San Francisco has a more detrimental effect on my health due to air pollution than when I was living in a much smaller town. When I first moved here I couldn’t stop coughing, and I was extremely congested. I took this as a sign that my body was having trouble adjusting to the new level of pollutants. This made me not as agile as usual, and made me upset with the whole city of San Francisco for being so polluted.
    In countries which may not have as strict standards on the air quality, the well-being of their communities might be at risk. People are more likely to have respiratory diseases, which can affect many aspects of one life such as work, school, leisure and family life. If there is poor air quality, people are less likely to get outside to enjoy nature unless they want to risk their health. This can lead to less community organizing, and an overall loss in a sense of community. Poor air quality has a ripple effect on the health and well-being of everyone that it encounters.
    Another aspect of health that comes from living in San Francisco related to well-being is the lack of open spaces in certain areas of the city. Downtown, there is a lot of pavement and tall buildings, which can make people stressed out and feel almost trapped. For me, as soon as I leave the city and drive north and see the huge expanse of green, rolling hills, I feel a sense of peace and calmness come over me. I think that everyone needs to be able to have more access to nature and less access to pavement so that they can enjoy the calm and quiet of the natural world.
    Some of the reports suggested strategies to maintain healthy environments are as follows: 1.) Invest in environmental sustainability and genetic diversity which can serve as an insurance policy for current and future health and human well-being. 2.) Move from a reactive to a proactive policy approach. 3.) Involve the public and private sector, researchers, relevant stakeholders and citizens to participate in partnerships which can foster innovation, clean technologies, innovative financing and disseminate good practices. 4.) Take action at all levels of governance to: detoxify the environment; decarbonize the economy; decouple economic activity from current levels of resource use and ecosystem degradation and change unhealthy lifestyles; and enhance ecosystem resilience. 5.) Raise awareness on major environmental and health risks and exposure, putting into place adequate communication adequate communication and education strategies and policies.
    My assessment of the first listed policy is that this is probably one of the most important factors to mitigate the effects of climate change. We must maintain environmental and genetic diversity to ensure that we have many different species evolve along with the human species. The second suggestion, moving from a reactive to proactive policy approach is also a must for all world governments. We must change our approach to focus on eliminating as many detrimental environmental factors before they happen, rather than waiting until after they happen to make a change. The third, fourth, and fifth suggestion all have to do with creating a community environment where all levels of industry work together to create a more environmentally sound government, economy, and education system. New fossil fuel free technologies must be created and practiced by all, which will help to decarbonize the economy while also boosting the economy by generating cheaper energy. Through these recommendations, people must talk and discuss major health and environmental risks, and then form communities and demand for change from their governments. The suggested policies are necessary for the continuation of life as we know it, and are necessary to mitigate major health and environmental disasters that are currently occuring and those that we will face in the future.
    UNEPs proposed strategies include some highly viable options in addressing climate change issues. Creating an ‘Environmental Health Nexus’ creates a network of access and shared services between countries. Such a strategy is important to ensuring that sovereign nations remain committed to the global cause as a whole, and fosters the international cooperation necessary for complex climate change issues. ‘Decarbonizing’ our economy is a crucial strategy, because our global economy relies on fuel carbon sources heavily. Carbon fuel sources heavily degrade our ecology, thus reducing our reliance on them is necessary to mitigating, and potentially reversing climate change trends. Promoting educational efforts surrounding the way rely on our environment is another suggested strategy that is highly viable, and ties in with a wider availability of academic sources required to move from a reactive to proactive stance on climate change policies.
    Infrastructure improvements push cities toward green developments. Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, especially from farmland heavily degrade soil conditions. In developing nations, such damage is especially problematic because their populations rely heavily on favorable land conditions. This is why it is important that developed nations work to repair the injustices and damages they have caused in developing nations. Enacting policies to reduce the emissions of these chemicals compliment the infrastructure improvements necessary to ensure that they are recycled properly. Such infrastructure improvements will only occur if there is a good network in place ensuring that funds are available to take care of the issue. Ensuring that proper safety measures are in place for citizens and workers will reduce the populations overall exposure to toxic chemicals. There must be policies in place which require decontamination and proper deposition of these chemicals, backed by information campaigns that adequately warn the public about potential contamination sites and high exposure zones.
    Populations must be heavily involved in the democratic and educational process to ensure that these measures are met. Citizens should be involved in waste treatment and management decisions, to ensure that hazardous materials are disposed of in such a manner that no community is unfairly targeted based on race or income disparity. Such measures exist to minimize risks to public health and our ecology. Access to green technologies should not be reserved for the affluent and very wealthy members of a population. Instead, governments should provide subsidies to manufacturers of green technologies, and encourage the formation of organizations which fairly distribute and replace old, polluting technologies with newer environmentally friendly technologies. As such, governments have the responsibility of ensuring that fuels, cooking, heating, transportation, and lighting equipment is up to date, and in compliance with environmental safety standards.
    International organizations hold more influence over preventing climate change and ecosystem damages than they might over green urbanization strategies. Local municipalities tend to hold more influence over development projects in their region, and therefore UNEPs goals and strategies could be obfuscated by whatever vision local developers hold. Addressing climate change and ecosystem degradation requires global cooperation. An international organization such as UNEP has the ability to put pressure on countries to enact federal laws which safeguard ecosystems, but sovereign nations still hold the responsibility of ensuring that their local municipalities adhere to the regulations put in place. It is for this reason that UNEPs influence may diminish at the local level. Instead, the responsibility is shifted to the state and local authorities.
    UNEP will see the most success in tackling environmental injustices. Often global organizations like UNEP struggle to hold ‘teeth’ in policy matters, due to national sovereign interests outweighing those of the global community as a whole. If UNEP enacts a campaign which focuses heavily on addressing climate issues through the lense of human rights, they may see great successes in their strategies. If a global organization declares something as a basic human right, then that facet is applicable to all humans on this planet. For example, declaring basic access to clean water as a human right puts immense pressure on sovereign countries to invest in water infrastructure systems. Ideally, in the long run this should lead to not only better access to clean water, but improved ecological conditions as well. Providing basic clean water access is much more inexpensive if the surrounding water sources are clean. The idea is that a sovereign nation would seek to improve water quality through environmental policies; to meet the demands of the international organizations demands. Countries are often hesitant to go against standards set by international organizations if they are widely supported by most developed countries, because they risk falling out of favor with the international community. Becoming stigmatized by the international community can hurt a sovereign nation as it may sour trade and policy regulations.

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  4. By:
    Maddison Stinson
    Shelby Bustria
    Jacqueline Mister
    Jenny Crofton
    Carolyn Hernandez

    The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization with 150 states as members. Nearly all states are members, except for those who are not recognized as their own state, such as North Korea. The UN works to be the lawmaker for the international stage and help cooperation between states. The UN consist of many bodies and sections, including the security council which has permanent members who are allowed to veto any measures that they do not agree with. The permanent members are the victors of World War II, which was when the UN was created. The United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom.
    The UN has many subsidiaries. United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) is the environmental arm of the United Nations. This group works to set precedent and goals for environmental changes and trends. They work on areas such as climate change, sustainable development and environmental degradation. UNEP works to be the global leader on these issues and hosts conferences every year in order to create new resolutions for states to follow. The UNEP was established from one of these resolutions, during the Stockholm Conference in 1972. More recently, UNEP has been working off of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) and more recently the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
    The SDG’s were developed in 2015, at the conference that re-assessed the progress made on the MDG’s. These goals spread over a multitude of subjects that relate to how, we as a global community, can better the world for us and for future generations. Some of the SDG’s relate to the environment. The first SDG that applies is access to clean water and sanitation. This will mean having to clean up waterways and changing the way we dispose of things. This could range from trash to sewage. The second SDG that relates is affordable and clean energy. By putting an emphasis on clean energy, we are looking to create a future with less pollution and a cleaner environment. The third that applies is sustainable communities and this can mean that we are using and reusing buildings and other materials instead of building new. The next is responsible consumption, which falls in the same category of reusing and recycling when needed. The next is climate action, which is fighting against climate change and being more conscious of how we treat our environment. The last two are land and sea. This means taking accountability for how we, as humans affect these things and how we can make it better.
    By utilizing our resources differently and more sustainably, we can change the way in which the environment is used. We do not think that the goals cover all aspects of the environment. When issues such as the use of fossil fuels are left out, we allow for pollution to continue at an alarming rate. In order to recover land and sea, which is mentioned over and over again in the SDG’s, we need to stop the pollution that we use every day and look for alternative methods.
    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development discusses environmental inequalities present in different regions of the world. Most countries are suffering from environmental depletion, however some countries are more vulnerable than others. Low income countries such as Thailand, Egypt, Kenya, Zimbabwe, etc. have the most affected residents and highest rates of death, due to the lack of clean resources and exposure to environments with depleting substances. These countries are heavy dependent on the environment for their food, water, clothes, medicine and shelter. What we Americans use and consume is regulated and sanitized before making it available to us, but residents from low income countries hunt for their food, rely on gardening and other subsistence activities for food and other resources that will allow them to survive another day. When the natural environment is contaminated with toxins, it pollutes the resources of the people and disrupts their lifestyle.
    Poor air quality, exposure to chemicals, and no access to safe and clean water is causing worldwide deaths. Food contamination, water pollution, and air pollution are causing 23% of the total worldwide deaths, mostly from diseases basic formed because of poor sanitation. Once a disease is born it immediately has rapid growth development, usually affecting children first because they are in schools, playground etc that are poorly sanitized. These environmental inequalities are very significant as they are crossing over the basic needs of people.
    Environmental injustices have been an ongoing issue, today, we continue to find communities suffering. In Ontario, Canada there is a community of indigenous members suffering from chemical exposures at Chemical Valley. Chemical Valley is Canada’s chemical manufacturing area where sixty two power plants function. These plants release chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide, benzene and sulphur dioxide which if not managed properly could cause explosions. Therefore, to prepare the residents there is a weekly explosion siren just incase of an emergency. As you can see these indigenous members are in a frontline community suffering from air pollution, chemical exposure and sound pollution. Since October of 2016 this area begun to appear as a displaced island.
    To improve our collective situation, the report makes recommendations in five main areas of environmental harm: air quality, chemicals management, water and sanitation access, waste management, natural disaster management. Each of these areas of human activity are strong contributors to the global environmental crisis, and from a policy perspective, they each offer significant opportunities for environmental impact reduction and improvement of both human and environmental wellbeing. The general recommendations that the UNEP makes are to strengthen governance, integrate environmental management at the national level, communicate and educate about environmental harms, partner with communities and stakeholders, and measure and monitor environmental health and degradation.
    Specific recommendations vary. Some involve signing on to, ratifying, and implementing international laws and agreements. One example of this is the recommendation to adopt international climate change legislation, e.g. the Paris Climate Agreement; another is to sign on to the UNEP’s International Water Quality Guidelines for Ecosystems. Other recommendations involve creating comprehensive and accessible education programs and other forms of community outreach in order to better serve and involve the public in environmental management and decision-making. Furthermore, there are also suggestions for various practical measures and infrastructure changes that should be implemented as needed: decontaminating pollution hotspots, recycling nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater, create and improve early warning systems for natural disasters, and so on.
    These policy recommendations are good as far as being commonsense, fairly efficient, and broadly achievable. However, they take a fairly shallow view of sustainability, and fall short of addressing the root causes of global environmental crisis such as overconsumption, economic unsustainability, over-extraction, and social inequity. Individually, each of the suggested policy changes, if implemented, would bring needed improvements and benefit human and environmental wellbeing. But these efforts alone cannot produce the type of drastic changes needed to avoid global environmental collapse on the timeline that is available. For instance, signing on to the Paris Climate Agreement does little to guarantee a reduction in environmental harms as the agreement is non-binding. The recommendations of the UNEP are reasonable, but they do not go deep enough.
    We believe the most significant recommendation for the environment is to raise awareness about major environmental health risks and exposure through the use of communication, education strategies and policies. The ways in which communities can be educated on environmental and health risks is through educational institutions, vocational and industrial training, and broad public awareness campaigns. When the public is educated on environmental problems, local communities can engage in sustainable practices and advocate for progressive policies pertaining to the environment.
    For example, by educating urban areas about deforestation and consumption habits, this can facilitate social and behavioural change, along with incentivizing more sustainable lifestyles. A person who receives information about the environmental risks of packaged food could potentially alter their diet. Their dietary choices can have a direct impact on global deforestation. In addition to educating people about environmental risks, this promote citizens taking a political stance and demanding for better environmental policies from a local to global level.
    The most significant topic that was addressed throughout the report was biodiversity within the ecosystem. Biodiversity controls all of the main functions of the ecosystem which include the diversity of species, and the management of biota. Biodiversity is essential in providing goods and services to society that have derived from the ecosystem. As species continue to grow, so does the lowest level of any ecosystem function.
    Climate change, however, also has major impacts on environmental health, which affects food availability, clean air and water, and much more. The increased frequency and extreme weather events can result in health system losses and damages within the ecosystem. Developing countries have it worse; These countries suffer from disease outbreaks like cholera, malaria, and diarrheal diseases because of the vast changes in temperature that attract mosquitos, and other insects that create tropical diseases.
    As the global environmental crisis intensifies, the UN has developed Sustainable Development Goals in order to mitigate its effects. How these goals will play out is still a mystery, but we can only hope that sustainable changes can be achieved. With international cooperation and major changes, these goals will be able to change the face of development for the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lily Harmon, Jennifer Watkins, Vincent Huynh, Raymond Avila
    Environmental problems often expand beyond national borders and in the last few decades, countries have turned to the United Nations (UN) for help in confronting issues regarding but not limited to global environmental threats. When social tensions arise between countries, the UN has the ability to seek solutions regarding such international matters. From a global perspective, some of these issues include: climate change, water pollution, biodiversity loss, and ozone depletion. These issues directly impact countries and according to the World Bank, cost them a significant amount of their national income every year. Reversing global ecological decline is a concept that has gained international attention, but even with the help of the UN is increasing on a global scale.
    In 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created at a UN conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden. This became an effective way to deal with environmental issues and environmental policies within the UN system. Since its inception, it has contributed to multiple environmental conventions involving action on significant environmental issues and sustainable development. The UNEP is based in Nairobi, Kenya and is fully aware of issues facing developing countries. Furthermore, they are the leading global environmental authority responsible for facilitating leadership and partnership concerning the global environmental agenda. In relation to the global environmental agenda, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to address issues directly related to the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. All seventeen goals are related to the environment and promote concerns toward the essential needs for people, the planet, and a healthy environment.
    In this UN report, several recommendations have been referred, each of which places a different emphasis in how to proactively address the wellbeing of the environment and the population. While each of these serve their own purpose to the bigger picture of general environmental wellness, there are some points which are more effective and represent an important and imperative factor of wellbeing. Of these ten recommendations as presented in the report, previous lectures and class material prove to indicate that the sixth point featured in the UN report is the precedent among all the recommendations given. The sixth recommendation proposes to negotiate better governances at several levels such as detoxing the environment, decarbonizing of the economy, and improving unhealthy lifestyles and ecosystem resilience. The reasons as to why this recommendation has apex importance resides in the fact that every step taken towards global environmental health relies on regulation and scrutiny as dictated by the government. Action can only be taken if it is approved and sanctioned through governance, and as such approved changes on a governmental level is the only way for the other recommendations to even be implemented. Therefore, it is inferred all other environmental actions greatly rely on governmental approval and lawmaking before any changes and operations can even begin.
    Of the several topics addressed in the report, it is reasonable to believe that urbanization is the most significant subject matter which can be addressed globally via international organizations. Unlike other aspects which are out of human control such as climate and ecosystem regulation, urbanization is a situation which the government and human communities have complete control over. With big government influencing organizations such as UNEP and others, it is easier to coordinate and decide where urbanization is appropriate and how it should be allowed and implemented. As compared to the more abstract regulation of theoretical climate change and ecosystem improvement, urbanization has real and predictable effects and benefits of which can be evaluated, debated, and executed through these global organizations. Environmental protection can also be factored into urbanization as well. Since urbanization requires planning and development, environmental and communally beneficial aspects can be worked in such as solar panels in parking lots to shade cars while generating energy and saving space or creating public parks full of nature and greenery to improve public health. In conclusion, urbanization has the most reasonable means to be tackled and worked out by international organizations and is not limited to specific territories or countries. Due to the nature of urbanization, work in the urban sector also carries over to developing environmental protection and human health improvement which can be discussed and made into a worldwide standard as approved by global organizations.
    The report discusses four lines of action that can be taken to improve both environmental and human health; detoxify, decarbonize, enhance ecosystem resilience, and decouple & change lifestyles. An example that connects the environment and health is GRID Alternatives’ work. Solar energy is typically not affordable, especially to lower-income people/families. We are heavily reliant on fossil fuels, which are bad for a few reasons. First, it is a non-renewable energy, second it is a “dirty” energy that emits a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change, third, there are environmental and human health risks associated with attaining fossil fuels. Globally, there needs to be a more rapid shift towards living more sustainable lives.
    GRID provides solar energy to disadvantaged communities that otherwise may never be able to afford it. In doing so, they are not only contributing to improving environmental health, but human health as well. The report states that solar, wind, and hydropower are “3 to 10 times lower than fossil fuel plants” in regards to impacts on environmental and human health. Converting to solar energy not only contributes to decarbonizing, but detoxifying as well. A lot of time and risks are involved in fossil fuel extraction and usage. It would also reduce air pollution which, according to the report, “some 7 million people across the world die each year because of exposure to poor air quality.” There are many diseases and illnesses associated with poor air quality, e.g. asthma, lung cancer, and lower respiratory infections. The reduction in air pollution through converting to a renewable energy means a reduction in the number of cases/deaths from these diseases and illnesses. So, by providing solar to these communities, not only is air quality being improved, but people’s lives are also improved as well.
    This organization is not only having positive impacts on environmental and human health, but is economically improving people’s lives. By providing solar to disadvantaged people, these people are getting a little bit of financial burden taken from them. Financial burdens can have negative effects on people’s health and happiness, therefore alleviating some of this burden reduces some negative effects. It also allows people to get a foot in the door in the renewable energy sector. An opportunity that might otherwise not be available to them. More people in the workforce means an increase in GDP and increased productivity.
    The UNEP outlines five approaches to maintaining healthy environments: governmental regulation, integrated policies, education, global partnerships, and continued environmental monitoring. All five are crucial to the improvement of environmental health around the world. The first, governmental regulation, is considered most important for dealing with waste management and the use of toxic chemicals. It has proven to be an extremely effective way to reduce lead, sulphur, and carbon dioxide pollution in the U.S. Second, integrated policies are described slightly more vaguely in the UN report, likely because they are the most difficult to design. They involve incentivizing environmental health, and are a way to rearrange businesses to thrive sustainably, without poisoning the environment. Third, education and communication serve an environmental justice goal as well as increasing the overall sustainability of societies, by improving the environmental health of the most vulnerable communities. Education across the board could be improved, but especially education of agricultural workers concerning toxic pesticides, and concerning the hazards of polluted air for people living in cities. Fourth, partnerships between the many and varied groups that hold an active interest in environmental health have been extremely useful in conducting research, establishing guidelines for policy-makers, and spreading information. Finally, continued monitoring of environmental health is an obvious necessity, especially as the UN attempts to move from reactive policy-making into proactive environmental management. To have the greatest impact on world health, accurate, precise information on future environmental threats and the effectiveness of current environmental policies is a necessity. The combination and application of these five strategies will change on every governmental level and for each issue, but throughout all environmental health projects coordination between the community, environmental groups, businesses, and governments will be essential.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. United Nations Environment Programme
    Yolanda Angel-Moreno, Abdou Diaw, Anna Cissoko, Justin Nicholas
    What are the UN and the UNEP?
    The United Nations is the largest international organization, or better, universal organization, which leads the common efforts by the international community in dealing with global conflicts and goals since its creation in 1945. Today, it is comprised of 193 sovereign states, and it has ongoing actions in every different field and all over the world. One of its multiple ramifications is destined at improving the Earth’s environmental conditions, for which it was created the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). In terms of environmental protection, this organization mostly sets the broadest or most general framework within which all projects aimed to change environmental problems across the world will be found. In this sense, it also acts as the greatest guarantor of legality behind them.
    What are the SDGs and how will they deal with environmental problems?
    Inside the Sustainable Development Goals Programme’s agenda, many of the specific goals fall into the department of environmental action. Indeed, Goal 3 is thought as being the result of all other goals together: “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.” There are 7 goals directly affecting the environment, being those the following: life below water (14); climate action (13); life on land (15); clean water and sanitation (6); responsible consumption and production (12); affordable and clean energy (7); and sustainable cities and communities (11). Theoretically, the projects under all these goals address most of the current global problems, although in a very superficial way. For these goals to be actually effective and fair, they should be addressed regionally, taking into account the framework of the country or the region where they are taking place in. It is true that the SDG initiative is about global problems, but the way to fight them needs to be local, and this should be considered, especially when evaluating the costs of these ambitious goals.
    Recommendations and Significance
    There is a clear correlation between the overall health of people on a global scale and the current environmental quality. Some of the recommendations seem to be repetitive of promoting the notion that awareness is going to be the action to make the change. Making the verbal notion to deliver in a stronger message to hold international governments accountable hoping to encourage investment in the environment is nowhere near a guarantee for a much more sustainable future.
    With these recommendations, they all point to two sides of the spectrum, whether to worry about making a change in present time blindsided, tackling whichever event comes or invest in solutions to outweigh the devastating effects of the future with no immediate change. It is agreed upon government creating environmental policy it would be wise that they also be the one to enforce it but they are the ones that are benefiting from the destruction of the environment itself through exploitation and employment of its people. There are all kinds of health hazards that come out of the mistreatment of the environment but in reality if there are enough benefits that come out of exploitation and there is not a strong enough consequence unless it becomes an international issue.
    The only way to really find a way to make a change is not through the government regulation through international politics. Organizations need to come together to create an initiative that controls who pays for the infrastructure, who decides on the improvements, as well who are the ones that will enforce and what consequences will follow. On the different political planes, there will need to be a base plan where everyone is affected, helping to hold each other accountable. This will hopefully create some sort of self awareness and reciprocity that hopefully in the aspect of the environment is the balance the world needs to take care of environment to see immediate solutions and make for better planning for the future developments.
    Recommended Strategies/policies and Assessment
    Overall, the UNEP report suggest four main solutions that can be achieved through multitude strategies. The four main solution and a brief description of each are the following:
    Detoxify: the removal of harmful substances from and/or reduce their impact on the environment in which people live and work.
    Decarbonize: reduce the use of carbon fuels, which result in lower emission of carbon dioxide, through substitution of non-carbon energy such as solar or wind power.
    Decouple Resource use and change in lifestyle: generate the needed economic activity and value to sustain the world population with less resource use, less waste, and less environmental destruction. In simpler terms, not going beyond human needs.
    Enhance ecosystem resilience and protection of the planets natural system: building capacities of the environment to anticipate, respond to and cover from disturbances and shocks through reducing the pressure on livestock and pressure on logging for exemple.
    In order to achieve those, the UNEP provided couple of important strategies. However, we will mention the ones we deemed critical and provide an assessment of each. First is to strengthen multi-level governance at the nexus of health and environment. This strategy is fundamental in achieving the goals that the UNEP sets because environmental issues–which affect health, are at a global level, thus requiring governance at every level: from international to local. At the international level, however, it is necessary that actors put the general interest over state’s interest, even though it is hard to achieve. On the national level, government need to strengthen civil society and provide them with more room and leverage as they perform mostly on the ground, and see the consequences of poor environment on the health of the population.
    The second strategy is to integrate evidence-based policies and instruments that translate policies into action across sectors and industries. Again, this is a good strategy to increase the accuracy and adequacy of certain policies regarding the environment and health. However, one of the challenges is that most of the industries–privately-owned, conduct their own research which tends to provide evidence in their favor, therefore affecting the public opinion on these matters. It is then necessary that governments require research to be conducted by independent entities, rather than the corporate themselves.
    The third strategy provided by the UNEP is to improve individual, household, and societal knowledge, attitudes and behavior through systematic communication, raising awareness and education interventions. This is a prime example of effective strategy that shifts the attention from the international actors, to individual and national actors to a certain extent, because they are partially in charge of setting the environment for such education to take place. One of the issue when it comes to international cooperation on issues such as the environment, whose solution represent a threat to state and corporate interests, is that it reaches a gridlock, a point at which no states is no longer willing to give up on their national interest. In instances like such, individual behavior becomes even more important because they can engage into practices that reduce, in this instance, health issues related to the degradation of the environment and even further, to the causes of such degradation. That is the reason why then educating people holds its importance because they become drivers of change. it will also be important to take countries, and societies specities into consideration to take the proper channel to educate them on these matters.
    The fourth strategy is to enhance the quality of life of local populations across borders through urban planning. This strategy is indeed important as half of the world population is already living in urban areas, and this number is expected to grow to 66% by 2050 according to the United Nations. If poorly planned, some of the cities will become hub for diseases related to air or water pollution, lack of green areas etc. Thus, the importance of this strategy. One of the ways to achieve this is by enforcing the creation of green spaces, and providing incentives for that even though states should already be moving towards that direction. As the report mentions, this will increase physical activity among communities, which we know is important for better health outcomes.
    The final and last strategy that we deem important is to restore and protect degraded ecosystems and mitigate stresses to the Earth’s natural systems in order to enhance . . . improvement of nutritional diet quality (page 10). One of the main issue with this strategy is that it is not applicable to all parts of the world. Unfortunately, due to historical events and the constant exploitation of certain third world countries, they do not have the necessary means to restore or protect some parts of their ecosystems. In addition to that, some of them survives on activities that degrade the environment. Therefore, it is important to provide funding to government that are unable to restore and protect their environment, and alternatives activities for people to survive in those.

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  7. United Nations Environment Programme
    Yolanda Angel-Moreno, Abdou Diaw, Anna Cissoko, Justin Nicholas, Krystal Okeke
    What are the UN and the UNEP?
    The United Nations is the largest international organization, or better, universal organization, which leads the common efforts by the international community in dealing with global conflicts and goals since its creation in 1945. Today, it is comprised of 193 sovereign states, and it has ongoing actions in every different field and all over the world. One of its multiple ramifications is destined at improving the Earth’s environmental conditions, for which it was created the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). In terms of environmental protection, this organization mostly sets the broadest or most general framework within which all projects aimed to change environmental problems across the world will be found. In this sense, it also acts as the greatest guarantor of legality behind them.
    What are the SDGs and how will they deal with environmental problems?
    Inside the Sustainable Development Goals Programme’s agenda, many of the specific goals fall into the department of environmental action. Indeed, Goal 3 is thought as being the result of all other goals together: “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.” There are 7 goals directly affecting the environment, being those the following: life below water (14); climate action (13); life on land (15); clean water and sanitation (6); responsible consumption and production (12); affordable and clean energy (7); and sustainable cities and communities (11). Theoretically, the projects under all these goals address most of the current global problems, although in a very superficial way. For these goals to be actually effective and fair, they should be addressed regionally, taking into account the framework of the country or the region where they are taking place in. It is true that the SDG initiative is about global problems, but the way to fight them needs to be local, and this should be considered, especially when evaluating the costs of these ambitious goals.
    Recommendations and Significance
    There is a clear correlation between the overall health of people on a global scale and the current environmental quality. Some of the recommendations seem to be repetitive of promoting the notion that awareness is going to be the action to make the change. Making the verbal notion to deliver in a stronger message to hold international governments accountable hoping to encourage investment in the environment is nowhere near a guarantee for a much more sustainable future.
    With these recommendations, they all point to two sides of the spectrum, whether to worry about making a change in present time blindsided, tackling whichever event comes or invest in solutions to outweigh the devastating effects of the future with no immediate change. It is agreed upon government creating environmental policy it would be wise that they also be the one to enforce it but they are the ones that are benefiting from the destruction of the environment itself through exploitation and employment of its people. There are all kinds of health hazards that come out of the mistreatment of the environment but in reality if there are enough benefits that come out of exploitation and there is not a strong enough consequence unless it becomes an international issue.
    The only way to really find a way to make a change is not through the government regulation through international politics. Organizations need to come together to create an initiative that controls who pays for the infrastructure, who decides on the improvements, as well who are the ones that will enforce and what consequences will follow. On the different political planes, there will need to be a base plan where everyone is affected, helping to hold each other accountable. This will hopefully create some sort of self awareness and reciprocity that hopefully in the aspect of the environment is the balance the world needs to take care of environment to see immediate solutions and make for better planning for the future developments.
    Case Analysis
    The removal of cigarettes from any given society is impossible. According to the American Lung association “Secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year.” Cigaret smoke is also a major contributor to air pollution, about 30% of air pollution in the U.S is due to smokers. Keep in mind the number of smokers in developing nations is much higher than the U.S. Not to mention the effects cigaret buds of on water and land. So why are they not banned, why aren’t governments put in place laws to remove, ban cigarettes from countries? Tobacco companies are notoriously known to suie and put countries through a legal nightmare the minute they feel as though their products are threatened. Threatened meaning, packaging with warning labels and or horrific imaging on the side effects of cigarette smokes. Philip Morris International inc has sued Australia, Uruguay, Norway,and Togo to name a few. PMI has done this all through investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). According to the ISDS website its original intent was and still is “ a neutral, international arbitration procedure”. Therefore, as much as some international organizations such as the UNEP are attempting to remove harmful and toxic materials for the benefit of the population in general, there are other international organization such as the WTO that protect the interest of some corporates. That is the reality. The following section will provide our assessment of the strategies provided by the UNEP, and that touches upon the criticism given in this section.

    Recommended Strategies/policies and Assessment
    Overall, the UNEP report suggest four main solutions that can be achieved through multitude strategies. The four main solution and a brief description of each are the following:
    Detoxify: the removal of harmful substances from and/or reduce their impact on the environment in which people live and work.
    Decarbonize: reduce the use of carbon fuels, which result in lower emission of carbon dioxide, through substitution of non-carbon energy such as solar or wind power.
    Decouple Resource use and change in lifestyle: generate the needed economic activity and value to sustain the world population with less resource use, less waste, and less environmental destruction. In simpler terms, not going beyond human needs.
    Enhance ecosystem resilience and protection of the planets natural system: building capacities of the environment to anticipate, respond to and cover from disturbances and shocks through reducing the pressure on livestock and pressure on logging for exemple.
    In order to achieve those, the UNEP provided couple of important strategies. However, we will mention the ones we deemed critical and provide an assessment of each. First is to strengthen multi-level governance at the nexus of health and environment. This strategy is fundamental in achieving the goals that the UNEP sets because environmental issues–which affect health, are at a global level, thus requiring governance at every level: from international to local. At the international level, however, it is necessary that actors put the general interest over state’s interest, even though it is hard to achieve. On the national level, government need to strengthen civil society and provide them with more room and leverage as they perform mostly on the ground, and see the consequences of poor environment on the health of the population.
    The second strategy is to integrate evidence-based policies and instruments that translate policies into action across sectors and industries. Again, this is a good strategy to increase the accuracy and adequacy of certain policies regarding the environment and health. However, one of the challenges is that most of the industries–privately-owned, conduct their own research which tends to provide evidence in their favor, therefore affecting the public opinion on these matters. It is then necessary that governments require research to be conducted by independent entities, rather than the corporate themselves.
    The third strategy provided by the UNEP is to improve individual, household, and societal knowledge, attitudes and behavior through systematic communication, raising awareness and education interventions. This is a prime example of effective strategy that shifts the attention from the international actors, to individual and national actors to a certain extent, because they are partially in charge of setting the environment for such education to take place. One of the issue when it comes to international cooperation on issues such as the environment, whose solution represent a threat to state and corporate interests, is that it reaches a gridlock, a point at which no states is no longer willing to give up on their national interest. In instances like such, individual behavior becomes even more important because they can engage into practices that reduce, in this instance, health issues related to the degradation of the environment and even further, to the causes of such degradation. That is the reason why then educating people holds its importance because they become drivers of change. it will also be important to take countries, and societies specities into consideration to take the proper channel to educate them on these matters.
    The fourth strategy is to enhance the quality of life of local populations across borders through urban planning. This strategy is indeed important as half of the world population is already living in urban areas, and this number is expected to grow to 66% by 2050 according to the United Nations. If poorly planned, some of the cities will become hub for diseases related to air or water pollution, lack of green areas etc. Thus, the importance of this strategy. One of the ways to achieve this is by enforcing the creation of green spaces, and providing incentives for that even though states should already be moving towards that direction. As the report mentions, this will increase physical activity among communities, which we know is important for better health outcomes.
    The final and last strategy that we deem important is to restore and protect degraded ecosystems and mitigate stresses to the Earth’s natural systems in order to enhance . . . improvement of nutritional diet quality (page 10). One of the main issue with this strategy is that it is not applicable to all parts of the world. Unfortunately, due to historical events and the constant exploitation of certain third world countries, they do not have the necessary means to restore or protect some parts of their ecosystems. In addition to that, some of them survives on activities that degrade the environment. Therefore, it is important to provide funding to government that are unable to restore and protect their environment, and alternatives activities for people to survive in those.

    Case Analysis
    The removal of cigarettes from any given society is impossible. According to the American Lung association “Secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year.” Cigaret smoke is also a major contributor to air pollution, about 30% of air pollution in the U.S is due to smokers. Keep in mind the number of smokers in developing nations is much higher than the U.S. Not to mention the effects cigaret buds of on water and land. So why are they not banned, why aren’t governments put in place laws to remove, ban cigarettes from countries? Tobacco companies are notoriously known to suie and put countries through a legal nightmare the minute they feel as though their products are threatened. Threatened meaning, packaging with warning labels and or horrific imaging on the side effects of cigarette smokes. Philip Morris International inc has sued Australia, Uruguay, Norway,and Togo to name a few. PMI has done this all through investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). According to the ISDS website its original intent was and still is “ a neutral, international arbitration procedure”. Therefore, as much as some international organizations such as the UNEP are attempting to remove harmful and toxic materials for the benefit of the population in general, there are other international organization such as the WTO that protect the interest of some corporates. That is the reality.

    Liked by 1 person

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