Mass extinction, ocean acidification, deforestation, pollution, desertification, and climate change: the environmental issues facing the world are numerous and increasingly global in nature. To respond more effectively, the United Nations is considering forming a World Environmental Organization or WEO, similar to the World Trade Organization.
The idea was first seriously considered at Copenhagen in December, but has taken a step forward at an annual meeting of the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) in Nusa Dua, Indonesia.
Executive director of UNEP, Achim Steiner, said that governments were showing support for the idea.
“The status quo … is no longer an option. Within the broader reform options, the WEO concept is one of them,” Steiner said according to Reuters. “Governments established a high-level ministerial group to continue this process with greater focus and also urgency. That group will convene within a few months.”
Details as to whether or not the new organization would have the power to sanction nations for breaking international law—like the World Trade Organization—have not been decided.
Head of UN urges ‘a wake-up call’ to save biodiversity
(02/14/2010) Speaking at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that “business as usual is not an option” to protect the world’ s biodiversity. The failure of governments worldwide to meet their pledges to protect biodiversity by 2010 is “a wake up call” according to Ki-moon.
“Nature does not negotiate,” warns UN head on arrival in Copenhagen
(12/15/2009) With talks at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen ailing significantly—but by no means hopeless—the UN Secretary-General, Ban-Ki Moon, arrived today announcing: “We do not have another year to negotiate. Nature does not negotiate.”
Global campaign has planted 7 billion trees
(09/23/2009) The campaign to plant seven billion trees has achieved its goal, the United Nations announced Tuesday. 7.3 billion trees have been planted in 167 countries since the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the initiative in 2006. The effort aimed to sequester vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere while generating benefits for human populations and wildlife.