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

8-10 June 2016 | Batumi, Georgia

Highlights for Friday, 10 June 2016

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

L-R: Nino Sharashidze, UNECE Secretariat; Angela Sochirca, UNECE Secretariat; Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UNECE; Chair Gigla Agulashvili, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, Georgia; Zaal Lomtadze, UNECE Secretariat; and Oksana Rott, UNECE Secretariat

In the morning, participants heard reports on the outcomes of the discussion on the thematic sessions.

On the green economy, Marc Chardonnens, State Secretary for the Environment, Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland, reported on key messages, including: the need for strong political will to overcome challenges; support for natural resource accounting, regular review and long term analysis; inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral integration into legal frameworks and mechanisms; deployment of ESD and increased public awareness to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation; provision of public funding to leverage and scale up market based instruments and removal of harmful subsidies; and identification of the significance of the water, food and energy nexus.

On air quality and human health, Maria Krautzberger, President, German Environment Agency, observed that participants recognized the significant economic impacts of air pollution, including on human health and agricultural productivity, and that, in spite of progress, serious challenges remain to be addressed. She highlighted particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, ground-level ozone, methane, black carbon, and greenhouse gases (GHGs) as the main pollutants. She identified transport, energy, residential wood burning and agriculture as the main sectors that are sources of pollutants.

Participants then adopted the Batumi Ministerial Declaration by acclamation. Many welcomed the Ministerial Declaration and praised pan-European cooperation. The Netherlands, on behalf of the EU and its Member States, called for implementation and action to achieve tangible results and underscored the role of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement to provide renewed momentum for action in the UNECE region. UNEP described the BIG-E as an unprecedented commitment and an example to the world. The US urged countries to prioritize efforts to address air quality and incorporate them into development planning.

During a closing session, UNECE Executive Secretary Bach described the Eighth EfE Conference as the culmination of five years of joint work since the Seventh EfE in Astana. He reflected that the EfE process has played a role in translating the SDGs into concrete policies, actions and plans and expressed hope that the process will also contribute to follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda. Bach concluded by thanking Georgia for its warm hospitality and all participants. Chair Agulashvili thanked participants and praised the Conference results, expressing hope that their implementation will contribute to achieving the SDGs and enabling future generations to live in a healthy environment.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage and daily reports from the 8th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference. In addition, IISD Reporting Services will produce a summary report of the conference on Monday, 13 June 2016.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Diego Noguera
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Reporting on the Outcomes of the Discussions Under the Thematic Sessions

A view of the room from the stage
Marc Chardonnens, State Secretary for the Environment, Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland, reported on the green economy segment
Maria Krautzberger, President, German Federal Environment Agency, reported on the air quality segment
Shamil Huseynov, Azerbaijan
John Matuszak, US
Maria Silina, European Eco Forum
Edwin Koning, the Netherlands
The youngest delegates at the 8th EfE Ministerial Conference
Nodirjon Yunusov, Uzbekistan
Elena Vasilyeva, European Eco Forum
Vladimir Ivlev, the Russian Federation
Srdan Matic, World Health Organization
Jan Dusík, Director, Regional Office for Europe, UNEP
UNECE Executive Secretary Bach signed a Joint Statement in support of Efforts on the Reforestation and Afforestation in the Aral Sea
Basin, part of the third Aral Sea Basin Programme (ASBP-3), between UNECE and the Executive Committee of the International Fund
for Saving the Aral Sea.
Delegates consulting informally
Delegates during a break
Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UNECE, delivered final remarks
Chair Gigla Agulashvili, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, Georgia, closed the meeting at 1:04 pm.
Members of the UNECE Secretariat and the Host Country Secretariat posed for a family photo after the conclusion of the meeting

Around the Venue

Teimuraz Murgulia, First Deputy Minister, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, Georgia, being interviewed by the media
Jozef Turok, Forest Europe, looking at the IISD Reporting Services website
L-R: Catherine Wahlén, ENB Writer; Tasha Goldberg, ENB Writer; Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UNECE; Diego Noguera,
ENB Digital Editor; and Laura Russo, ENB Writer
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