World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Marking World Environment Day

Marking World Environment Day, UN Officials Urge Creation Of 'Green Cities'

New York, Jun 5 2005

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan heralded the celebration of World Environment Day as an opportunity for individuals, businesses and local and national governments to meet the challenges facing cities.

"Let us tap the great knowledge and natural dynamism of urban areas?and create 'green cities' where people can raise their children and pursue their dreams in a well-planned, clean and healthy environment," Mr. Annan said in a message to those attending World Environment Day celebrations in San Francisco, California, and around the world.

In San Francisco, mayors and urban planning experts from around the globe plan to exchange ideas and sign a slate of UN-backed accords on environmental actions for cities. The signing of the ground-breaking actions collectively referred to as the Urban Environmental Accords -- Green Cities Declaration, will be the highlight of the UN Environmental Programme's (UNEP) commemoration of the Day.

In his message, Mr. Annan said that this year's theme, "Green Cities: Plan for the Planet!" highlights the challenges raised by one of the major trends of our times: the rapidly increasing proportion of people who are living in urban areas -- more than 60 per cent by 2030.

"Such rapid urbanization presents profound challenges, from poverty and unemployment to crime and drug addiction," he said. "And in too many of the world's expanding towns and cities, environmental safeguards are few and planning is haphazard."

The world will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he said, unless environmental planning is incorporated into all aspects of urban management. While acknowledging that this poses a big challenge, he pointed out that the needed technologies and expertise already exist.

Echoing this theme, Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director said that with careful planning, cities can be "flagships of sustainable development." In his message marking th "humanity's home?and its future." The UNEP chief offered a vision of cities "where buildings use solar power to help generate their own energy, and waste less because they use power-saving lighting and are well-insulated, where public transport is affordable and efficient, where vehicles pollute less because they are powered by electricity or hydrogen."

Such a city would become part of the solution, not the problem, he said. This city of the future with the support of communities, businesses and, above all, governments, could also be the city of today.

Mr. Toepfer also said cities in the developed world must set an example in areas such as the efficient use of energy and water, and must partner with developing world cities so they don't take a short-term 'dirty' development path, but a long-term sustainable one.

World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. This year's main celebration from 1 to 5 June in San Francisco coincides with the sixtieth anniversary of the UN's founding in that city.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news