unep: Annual Report 2016
Once again, the past year was the hottest ever. Sixteen of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred during this young century. This trend not only threatens the world’s ecosystems and biodiversity but poses a serious risk for peace, security and sustainable development.
Many conflicts are triggered, exacerbated or prolonged by competition over scarce natural resources; climate change will only make the situation worse. That is why protecting our environment is critical to the founding goals of the United Nations to prevent war and sustain peace.
Nations and the international community spend far more time and resources responding to crises than avoiding them. We need a new common-sense approach that emphasizes prevention. Environmental care must be at its heart.
By helping countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change, we can lower the risk of floods, droughts, famine and instability. By ending the illegal trade in wildlife, we can cut off a critical source of funding for organized crime and non-state armed groups. And by promoting a shift to a green economy, we can create jobs, spur inclusive economic growth and make societies more resilient. These are all critical to sustainable development and a peaceful future.
As the leading environmental authority, UN Environment is promoting the changes the world needs. This Annual Report profiles how the organization is working with a multitude of partners, including governments, United Nations entities, civil society, the private sector and communities on the ground. I commend it to all who are committed to working for a healthy planet and a safer, more peaceful world.