World Environment Day Current Affairs - 2019
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The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) has adopted 2 resolutions piloted by India on single-use plastics and sustainable nitrogen management. The resolutions were passed at the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) which was held in Nairobi. The theme of the fourth session of UNEA was Innovative Solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable production and consumption.
Resolution on Single-use Plastics
- The resolution on Single-use Plastics rings the alarm about plastic waste since only nine per cent of the nine billion tonnes of plastics ever produced have been recycled and that most of it end in landfills, dumps and the environment.
- The resolution notes the important role of key sectors such as plastics producers, retailers and the consumer goods industry, as well as importers, packaging firms, transport firms, and recyclers to contribute to the reduction of plastic waste, arising from their products and activities, as well as to provide information on the impacts arising from their products and encourages innovative approaches such as the use of extended producer responsibility schemes, deposit refund schemes and other initiatives.
- The resolution also welcomes the global efforts to raise awareness about the negative impacts of plastic pollution and in that regard appreciating the 2018 World Environment Day held under the theme “beating plastic pollution” with India as its global host.
Resolution on Sustainable Nitrogen Management
- The resolution recognises the multiple pollution threats resulting from anthropogenic reactive nitrogen, with adverse effects on the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments, contributing to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while acknowledging the benefits of nitrogen.
- The resolution notes the initiatives like the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM), International Nitrogen Management System as a science support system for policy development across the nitrogen cycle and the initiatives taken by South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP).
- The resolution calls for options to facilitate better coordination of policies across the global nitrogen cycle at the national, regional and global levels, including consideration of the case to establish an intergovernmental coordination mechanism on nitrogen policies, based primarily on existing networks and platforms and consider the case for developing an integrated nitrogen policy, which could enhance the gravity of common cause between multiple policy domains.
United Nations Environment Assembly
United Nations Environment Assembly was created in June 2012 during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also referred to as RIO+20. The United Nations Environment Assembly aims to bring the environment to the centre of the international community’s focus and prominence as issues such as peace, poverty, health and security.
Tags: Global Partnership on Nutrient Management • International Nitrogen Management System • RIO+20 • single-use plastics • South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme • sustainable nitrogen management • UNEA • United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development • United Nations Environment Assembly • World Environment Day
The government of Puducherry has decided to ban the production, sale and use of single-use plastic products from March 1. To ensure the ban is effective on the ground both in letter and spirit, the government of Puducherry would be conducting a massive drive to create awareness among the merchants and the public on the necessity of the ban.
The government of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu had announced on World Environment Day 2018, that it would ban the use of plastic items including non-biodegradable carry bags from January 1, 2019.
Industrialists argue that it is not the plastics which have become a problem. It is the way in which human beings deal with disposable plastics is the real cause for concern. It is only the disposable kind that harms the environment. Hence it would be wise to regulate the use rather than ban so that it doesn’t harm the industry.
The government has said that the decision to ban single-use plastic was taken to gift a plastic-free Puducherry to the future generation and curb the plastic in the larger interest of the environment.