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8th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference - Greener, Cleaner, Smarter!

8-10 June 2016 | Batumi, Georgia

Highlights for Thursday, 9 June 2016

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Daily Web CoverageAbout | 8 Jun | 9 Jun | 10 Jun | Summary

Group photo of children and heads of delegation celebrating the launch of the
Batumi Initiative on Clean Air (BACA) to remind all of the commitment to the future
generations so that they can breathe fresh air and live in a healthy environmen.

The Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference reconvened on Thursday, 9 June 2016, in Batumi, Georgia.

In the morning, a plenary session took place on greening the economy in the pan-European region. Bertrand Piccard, Aviation Pioneer and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, via live video-link, described his round-the-world flight on the airplane Solar Impulse, demonstrating the potential of solar energy. In a keynote address, Graeme Maxton, Secretary General, the Club of Rome, and author, explained how the current economic system ignores externalities and increases unemployment, inequalities and negative impacts on the Earth and atmosphere. Participants then endorsed the Pan-European Strategic Framework for Greening the Economy and adopted the Batumi Initiative on Green Economy (BIG-E). A total of 36 countries and organizations submitted voluntary commitments to the BIG-E.

Participants then convened in two parallel sessions of a multi-stakeholder roundtable on greening the economy in the pan-European region. The roundtables focused on green economy opportunities and challenges; paths to sustainability; green incentives; and cooperation.

In the afternoon, plenary addressed air quality and human health. Participants heard three keynote addresses, which focused on national actions to address air pollution, the burden air pollution places on both health and national economies and an example of an integrated management framework to address air pollution. Participants then endorsed the Batumi Action for Cleaner Air (BACA).

Delegates then participated in two parallel sessions of a multi-stakeholder roundtable on air quality and human health. The roundtables addressed pollutants and policies; sectors and funding; public awareness and participation; and cooperation.

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Greening the Economy in the Pan-European Region

L-R: Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UNECE, and Chair Marc Chardonnens, State Secretary for the Environment, Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland
Graeme Maxton, Secretary General, the Club of Rome, and author, delivered a keynote address
Bertrand Piccard, Aviation Pioneer and Solar Energy Champion, and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, addressed participants during
a stopover in New York. He is flying around the Earth to demonstrate the potential of solar renewable energy.
Participants watched a video about green economy
Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests, Romania, delivered a keynote address on greening the economy
Andrei Kovkhuto, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Belarus, delivered a keynote address on greening the economy
Alexandra Carvalho, Secretary-General of Environment, Portugal, presented the Pan-European Strategic Framework for Greening the Economy on behalf of the Chair of the Committee on Environmental Policy
A slide from Alexandra Carvalho’s presentation

Participants signing their commitments to the BIG-E
Group photo of the BIG-E stakeholders at the end of the morning session
UNECE, UNEP and GGKP members of the BIG-E Team. L-R: Ben Simmons, GGKP, Nina Schneider, UNEP ROE, Maria Teresa Pisani,
UNECE, Ivonne Higuero, UNECE, Rie Tsutsumi, UNEP ROE, and Fulai Sheng, UNEP.
Participants watched a video about greening of the economy by the European Eco Forum

Multi-stakeholder Roundtable on Greening the Economy

Delegates during parallel session 1
Anna Golubovskaya-Onissimova, European ECO Forum
Moderator Slaven Dobrović, Minister of Environment and Nature Protection, Croatia
L-R: Parallel Session 2 Moderators Jan Dusík, Director, Regional Office for Europe, UNEP, and Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Minister
of Environment, Waters and Forests, Romania
Maria Krautzberger, President, the Federal Environment Agency, Germany
Jan Olssen, Environment Ambassador, Sweden
Participants during parallel session

Improving Air Quality for a Better Environment and Human Health

The session was moderated by Kestutis Treciokas, Minister of Environment, Lithuania
Participants watched a video about improving air quality for a better environment and human health
Zsuzsanna Jakab, Regional Director for Europe, World Health Organization (WHO), delivered a keynote address
Nino Khatiskatsi, Deputy Mayor, Tbilisi, delivered a keynote address
Jan Olssen, Environment Ambassador, Sweden, presenting the Batumi Action for Cleaner Air (BACA)
Local youth representatives delivered gifts and balloons to countries that
committed to actions on clean air during a BACA launching ceremony

Multi-stakeholder Roundtable on Improving Air Quality

Delegates during parallel session 1
Marc Chardonnens, State Secretary for the Environment, Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland
Uroš Vajgl, Deputy Director of Directorate for the Environment, Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Slovenia
L-R: Bo Libert and Marco Keiner, UNECE Secretariat, sharing a laugh during the session
Delegates during parallel session 2
Participants during informal consultations

Around the Venue

Delegates from Central Asia during a break
Support Staff
Daily Web CoverageAbout | 8 Jun | 9 Jun | 10 Jun | Summary
Specific funding for coverage of the 8th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference,
has been provided by Environment for Europe