At UN office at Nairobi, President Iohannis mentions efforts to protect biodiversity in Romania
President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday was on a working visit to the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), the African headquarters of the United Nations Organisation and centre for the promotion of multilateralism and sustainable development, speaking about the national and global challenges related to protecting the environment.
The UNON complex also houses the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the leading global authority on the environment.
According to the Presidential Administration, Iohannis discussed with UNEP officials a series of stringent environmental problems, in the solution of which Romania intends to get more involved at a national and international level. A discussion on climate change focused on the importance of an orderly and fair green transition for all the states of the world, on green economic growth and the generation of jobs.
Iohannis also mentioned that Romania has a rich biodiversity that it wants to protect, but that faces challenges at the national and European level, such as reconciling the protection of biodiversity with the development of essential energy projects to achieve climate neutrality and energy security.
UNEP experts were invited to co-operate more closely with Romania in finding solutions to the interconnected crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The President of Romania signalled that these crises cannot be overcome in the absence of international co-operation and a robust environmental diplomacy.
During the discussions, Iohannis also mentioned an ongoing negotiation this week under the auspices of UNEP of a mandatory legal instrument on combatting plastic pollution that will mobilise the world community for firm action in this area. The treaty is supported by the High Ambition Coalition to Stop Plastic Pollution, which aims to end plastic pollution by 2040, where Romania is an active member. Approximately 20 million tonnes of plastic end up in lakes, rivers and seas around the world every year, affecting both nature and public health.
Romania has a solid track record in organising and supporting international negotiations under the tutelage of UNEP in the areas of chemicals, waste and nitrogen (in 2022 and 2023). It is also interested in continuing to back up multilateralism in support of environmental action, including through negotiating processes and events involving chiefs of state or government.
Romania has continuously supported the process of strengthening global environmental governance and the activity of UNEP. Since its inception in 1972, UNEP has worked closely with governments, the civil society, the private sector and other UN entities to address various environmental challenges, from restoring the ozone layer to promoting a green and inclusive economy.