Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference

On June 8-10 2016 the Eighth Ministerial Conference Environment for Europe (EfE) will be held in Batumi (Georgia).  UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) serves as the secretariat to the Conference.

EfE process as a political framework presents a unique partnership format of member States within the ECE region, organizations of the United Nations system represented in the region, other intergovernmental organizations, Regional Environment Centers, non-governmental organizations, the business sector and other representatives of civil society.

EfE process and the Ministerial meetings in this framework, take place every three -five years, provide a high-level platform for stakeholders to discuss, decide and join in efforts addressing environmental priorities across the 56 countries of the ECE region, and serve as a regional pillar of sustainable development.

At the same time, the mentioned process takes steps focused on helping countries to get a real benefit in terms of strengthening environmental cooperation and increasing the capacity building, which will bring concrete activities in environmental sector of the Pan-European region.

The first Ministerial conference Environment for Europe, initiated by the Ministry of Environment Protection of Czechoslovakia, was held in 1991 in Dobris. Since then, six ministerial conferences have been held in Lucerne (Switzerland, 1993), Sofia (Bulgaria, 1995), Aarhus (Denmark, 1998), Kiev (Ukraine, 2003), Belgrade (Serbia, 2007) and Astana (Kazakhstan, 2011).

Greening the economy and improving air quality will top agenda of Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference: Greening the economy, an approach to foster a healthy economy while ensuring environmental sustainability and social equity, is considered as one of the most promising ways to achieve sustainable development. Air pollution, which causes 7 million deaths per year worldwide and 600,000 premature deaths in Europe, has become the world’s single largest environmental health risk. Improving air quality is thus an urgent imperative. These will be the main themes of the Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference that will gather high-level representatives of UNECE’s 56 member countries in Batumi, Georgia, on June 8-10 2016.

The Ministerial Conference is expected to include up to approximately 800 official delegates, fostering a unique partnership between member States of the UNECE, organizations of the United Nations system represented in the region, other intergovernmental organizations, Regional Environment Centres, non-governmental organizations, the business sector and other representatives of civil society.

Preparatory documents are available on the webpage of the special session of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy, to be held from 23-25 February 2016.