In response to the growing environmental pollution dilemma, the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) presented the diverse effects of pollution on our ecosystem, as well as upcoming environmental literacy events to build momentum for tackling this global challenge.
Mr. Harris began the open-ended meeting by introducing a variety of global pollutant factors that harm human health. These include: poor air quality, exposure to lead, exposure to asbestos, polluted water and inadequate sanitation, and exposure to pesticides. Mr. Harris also revealed how pollution harms ecosystems, listing contaminated crops, the disruption of pollinating insects, marine pollution and the 500 “dead zone” regions as examples.
In addition, Mr. Harris referenced to multiple upcoming open-ended sessions hosted by the UNEP regarding its pollution-free goal, including “Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum”, “Science, Policy and Business Forum”, and “Sustainable Innovation Expo”.
Mr. Harris explained that throughout these various sessions, the UNEP will identify and promote opportunities for green investments, explain connection between science and environmental solutions and facilitate partnerships with investors.
A question was asked regarding the number of current prime ministers registered to participate in the listed upcoming sessions. Mr. Harris revealed that 69 ministers have currently registered, and that he anticipates many more by November. A suggestion was made to include an African storyteller in the upcoming sessions. I questioned the initiatives taken to include youth in these open-ended sessions and educate them regarding the current environmental issues. Mr. Harris alluded to the recent social media initiatives taken by his organization.
Meeting: Open-Ended Meeting on — “Towards a Pollution Free Planet”
Date/Location: Thursday, November 16, 2017; 10:00-11:30; Conference Room #12, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers: Mr. Elliott C. Harris, Moderator, UN Assistant Secretary-General Director
Written By: WIT Representative Timothy Stephens