Sustainable Development Current Affairs - 2019
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International Day of Forests 2019 was observed on March 21st with the theme ‘Forests and Education’ to raise awareness on how sustainably managed forests provide a wide array of contributions.
International Day of Forests 2019 promotes education to Learn to Love Forests. The theme ‘Forests and Education’ underscores the importance of education at all levels in achieving sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. Healthy forests mean healthy, resilient communities and prosperous economies.
International Day of Forests
March 21st was established as International Day of Forests by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on November 28, 2012. International Day of Forests was observed for the first time on March 21, 2013.
International Forest Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On the occasion of International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.
The theme of the International Day of Forests provides an opportunity to highlight specific forest contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by considering topics of the annual sessions of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
Global Chemical Outlook II- From Legacies to Innovative Solutions: Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was mandated by the UN Environment Assembly in 2016. The outlook report seeks to alert policymakers and other stakeholders to the critical role of the sound management of chemicals and waste in sustainable development.
Key Findings of the Report
- The global goal to minimise adverse impacts of chemicals and waste set out in 2006 under the UN’s global non-binding chemicals programme, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (Saicm) will not be achieved by 2020
- The report notes that despite the international agreement, reached at the high-level UN conferences, and significant action already taken scientists continue to express concerns regarding the lack of progress made.
- Despite significant progress made major implementation gaps remain. In particular, developing countries, and economies in transition, still lack basic chemicals and waste management systems.
- The report notes that Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for classification and labelling has not been implemented in more than 120 countries, mostly developing nations and economies in transition.
- The report notes that the countries still lack pollutant release transfer registers (PRTRs), poison centres and capacities for hazard and risk assessment and risk management.
- The report highlights the example of regulations on lead in paint as a revealing indicator. The report notes that as of September 2018, only 37% of countries had confirmed the legally binding controls on lead in paint. Further, even if regulations on specific chemicals are in place, implementation and enforcement may pose challenges
- The report notes that chemical production and consumption is shifting to emerging economies, in particular, China. The Asia-Pacific region is projected to account for more than two-thirds of global sales by 2030 and cross-border e-commerce is growing 25% annually.
The report says that Progress remains insufficient and there is an urgent need to take concerted action to develop basic chemicals management systems in all countries.
Tags: Asia-Pacific • China • Global Chemical Outlook • Global Chemical Outlook II • Globally Harmonised System for classification and labelling • Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management • Sustainable Development • UN Environment Assembly • UN’s global non-binding chemicals programme