UNEP and UAE Agree to Cooperate on Environmental Issues

Dubai, 4 March 2014 - United Nations Under-Secretary-General Achim Steiner and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Environment and Water, Dr Rashid Ahmed Mohammed Bin Fahad,  signed a wide-ranging agreement to cooperate on urgent environmental issues.

Signed during the first international Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) conference, held in Dubai, the agreement enhances collaboration between UNEP and a nation that has already shown its commitment to environmental issues.

The deal is expected to assist the UAE in implementing its Vision 2021 and Green Growth Strategy.

The agreement covers UNEP's priority areas of Climate Change, Disasters and Conflicts, Ecosystem Management, Governance, Harmful Substances and Hazardous Waste, Resource Efficiency and Environment under Review.

It also brings in other cross-cutting areas such as environmental education, communication and outreach, the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, and environment and sports.

UNEP will, among other actions, provide consultations on the UAE's environmental reports related to the environment, cooperate on capacity building of institutions and local communities, and assist in implementation of collaborative projects and programmes. UNEP's Regional Office for West Asia, headed by Iyad Abumoghli, will manage the cooperation.

Mr. Steiner also signed a funding agreement with the Republic of Korea Deputy Minister of Environment, Mr. Lee Jae-Hyun, on behalf of PAGE. The country was one of the first supporters of PAGE, which aims to assist countries interested in transitioning to a green economy.

At the conference, donors including Finland, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sweden and Switzerland pledged over $11 million in support of PAGE activities.

The event attracted more than 30 ministers of finance, environment, labour and trade from around the world in addition to high-level UN officials, international experts, representatives from the business community and civil society.

PAGE is currently supporting five countries to shift investment and policies towards a new generation of assets that include clean technologies and resource-efficient infrastructure, green jobs and healthy ecosystems. PAGE aims to extend its support to a total of 30 countries by 2020.