June 23, 2014, Nairobi, Kenya - Launching today at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi is the "UNEP Year eBook 2014 update: Rapid Change in the Arctic”. The online publication, which is available as an online eBook and on the iBooks platform, presents the latest scientific knowledge and trends emerging from the Arctic, a region which is rapidly changing as a consequence of climate change and also a focus of rapid development. This book includes compelling photos, graphics and video interviews with experts from the region.
Prominent interviews and footage include:
Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden, announcing the new oil spill response agreement at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, in May 2013.
Terry Callaghan, from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, on “Why the Arctic matters for the rest of the world”; and other clips from the film Trends in Arctic Biodiversity, by the Arctic Council´s Working Group for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and GRID-Arendal
Lawson Brigham, an Arctic shipping expert, on the connections between natural resources in the Arctic and the rest of the world through shipping, produced by the University of the Arctic (UArctic) and GRID-Arendal for the Snowy Owl project.
A video on the decrease in extent of Arctic sea ice between 1979 and 2012, produced by the US Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Observatory.
Available formats for viewing:
The publication is available in two formats:
as an online eBook
as an iBook available for download through the iTunes store (suitable for Macs, iPads and iPhones)
About the production team:
The publication was compiled and edited by a joint team comprising from GRID-Arendal's Polar and Cryosphere Division and UNEP, with input and review from the wider Arctic research and policy community. This eBook update focussed on the rapidly evolving changes in the Arctic environment, since the publication last year of a chapter dedicated to Arctic change in the UNEP Year Book 2013: Emerging Issues in Our Global Environment.
About UN Environment Assembly 2014:
The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is a result of the call made by world leaders at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Brazil in June 2012, to strengthen and upgrade UNEP as the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, and by establishing universal membership in its Governing Council.
As the new governing body of UNEP, UNEA has the mandate to take strategic decisions, provide political guidance in the work of UNEP and promote a strong science-policy interface.
The First session of the UNEA will gather more than 1,200 participants, including Environment Ministers, Government delegates and representatives of major groups and stakeholders. The overarching theme of the first session is “Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, including sustainable consumption and production”, which is designed to inform ongoing discussions on the formulation of a set of targets and indicators that would succeed the MDGs. Ministers will also discuss the issue of illegal trade in wildlife, an issue that is generating increasing global attention due to its adverse impact on biodiversity. Other issues on the UNEA agenda range from environmental rule of law to UNEP programme of work and budget.