In environmental milestone, Sub-Saharan Africa free of leaded fuel – UN agency

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced that sub-Saharan African vehicle fuels will be lead-free as of 1 January 2006, meeting a promise made at the World Summit of Sustainable Development (WSSD) three years ago.

World must hurry to save environment or face global poverty, UN official warns

With some 60 per cent of the planet's ecosystem currently being degraded by human activities, the global community must take speedy action or else face a future of 6 billion people “scratching around trying to survive,” the head of the United Nations environmental agency said today.

UN environmental agency scores ‘green goal’ ahead of 2006 football World Cup

The United Nations environmental agency scored a ‘green goal’ today ahead of next year’s football World Cup, signing an agreement with Germany for an eco-friendly, climate-neutral contest that will include compensating for increased greenhouse gas emissions by aiding an Indian region struck by last year’s tsunami.

UN environmental agency launches 11th hour bid to save great apes

In a bid to mobilize global support for an 11th-hour effort to save humankind's closest living relatives from extinction, the United Nations environmental agency today launched the most comprehensive compendium of information about great apes ever compiled.

UN effort to help restore Iraq’s ‘Garden of Eden’ marshes bears fruit

After a decade of decline and near destruction during the rule of Saddam Hussein, new satellite images show that Iraq’s fabled marshlands of Mesopotamia, considered by some to be the original “Garden of Eden,” are recovering at phenomenal speed, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) said today.

Annan calls for greater efforts to ensure access by poor to renewable energy

With some 1.6 billion people in developing countries still lacking access to electricity, and about 2.4 billion still relying on fuelwood and crop and animal residues for cooking and heating, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for intensified efforts to promote access to new and renewable energy sources for the poor.

Swedish schoolchildren to plant 'diversity' trees as gift for Annan

As a gift to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, schoolchildren from a small Swedish village have raised money to purchase multi-variety apple trees that can be seen to represent harmony among the diverse global community.

Mediterranean countries must cooperate against over-fishing, says UN agency

Just months after publishing a report showing the Mediterranean as one of the regions where fish stocks are in greatest need of recovery, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called on countries in the region to continue working together to strengthen fisheries management so as to rebuild stocks.

Train local communities to prevent forest fires, UN tells Mediterranean countries

Mediterranean countries could save lives and billions of euros every year if they better trained and mobilized communities in preventing and controlling forest fires, which destroy up to 700,000 hectares annually in the region, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.

UN-backed treaty on endangered species marks 30th birthday with pride, warning

The United Nations-backed treaty regulating trade in endangered animals and plants celebrated its 30th birthday today, voicing pride in past successes but warning of the “severe challenge” ahead in competing more effectively for the necessary funding as it fights to protect various species from extinction at the hands of organized crime.