The second United Nations Environment Assembly was held in Nairobi

The second United Nations Environment Assembly was held in Nairobi

The second United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) gave Major Groups and Stakeholders the unique opportunity to come together prior to UNEA and to actively engage with the two-day Global Major Groups and Stakeholder Forum 2016 (GMGSF-2016). GMGSF 2016 took place on May 21 and 22 at the UN compound in Nairobi, Kenya and mobilized Major Groups and other Stakeholders to engage in a multi-stakeholders setting that included policymakers, learning from each other, developing partnerships and creating their input into UNEA-2.

CAREC was represented by Saltanat Zhakenova and took part in Session 2: Multi-stakeholder Interaction on Main UNEA Themes and the Role of MGS in Multi-stakeholder Partnerships, Policy making and the Application of the Rule of Law, in Implementing the SDGs, Parallel Panel Discussion: Healthy People, Healthy Environment

Six panellists contributed to a lively and thoughtful discussion on the links between environmental factors and public health on the first afternoon of the GMGSF before UNEA-2.

Fanny Demassieux (FD), Health and Environment Coordinator for UNEP, opened by summarising the findings and recommendations of the Global Thematic Report, whilst the Development Horizons Foundation’s Oyuna Oidov (OO) followed with a description of the problematic health challenges faced by nomadic herding communities in Mongolia due to minerals development in two sites. Sascha Gabizon (SG) of Women in Europe for a Common Future then offered an overview of the negative effects of materials such as pesticides, asbestos and microplastics in soil and waste on public health, and highlighted the costs and implications of such environmental impacts for future generations.

Daniel Reifsnyder (DR), Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment for the US Government, talked about the actions of the US government to combat harmful environmental consequences on public health such as lead in paint and infectious diseases conceived by humans from livestock, through approaches such as the Global Alliance. Saltanat Zhakenova (SZ) from the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asian followed by expressing her desire to cooperate on a health and environment project in Central Asia as she described the impacts of low air and water quality and extreme weather caused by climate change on individuals in her region. The director of the Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency, Helen Hakena (HH), ended the individual presentations by conveying the problems faced by the Bougainvillean community, including cancers and water contamination, after the arrival of extractive industries.

The recommendations of the session will be presented for UNEA-II participants and will be taken in account during the formulation of resolutions.

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