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UNEP endorses Work Plan with Russian Federation to better protect the country’s environment

During the first United Nations Environment Assembly, held on 23-27 June in Nairobi, a comprehensive environmental Work Plan was endorsed between UNEP and the Russian Federation. The Work Plan supplements a cooperation Agreement signed in April 2013 by UNEP and Russia. It contains over 30 joint projects aimed at protecting the country’s environment. The projects include the application of "green standards" and ecologically safe technologies; water resources management; regulation of the use of chemicals; regulation of waste processing; sustainable production and consumption; and raising public awareness about the importance of environmental protection. The Work Plan also contains guidelines on implementing UN environmental agreements and programmes. It pays specific attention to implementing the Global Environment Facility's Arctic Agenda 2020 Programme, in which UNEP was appointed as the Coordinating Agency by the Russian Government. The Programme, launched in 2011, was set up to address the serious challenge of the Arctic region's melting ice.

Speaking at the signing event, UNEP’s Executive Secretary Achim Steiner said “the programmes and priorities we’ve endorsed today with the Russian Federation provide a sharper focus and stronger momentum for addressing most of the environmental problems that could impact Russia's further economic development”.

Gennadiy Gatilov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said “I am pleased to note that the preparatory work has been completed and the Work Plan agreed by the Russian Government and UNEP. In the Plan we set to ourselves ambitious objectives for practically entire range of environmental protection goals and will make every effort to implement them into life. I suggest that we now consider the work plan approved and to proceed to its implementation”.

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