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G8 ENVIRONMENT MEETING

Syracuse Environment Ministerial Meeting, 22-24 April 2009, which dealt mainly with four topics of importance, namely: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Children’s Health, and Low-Carbon technologies, with emphasis on the first two topics. Mr. Yumkella intervened in the discussion of biodiversity and made some points in relation to the fact that Biodiversity is seen differently in  developing and advanced countries. The Siracusa Charter on Biodiversity was approved at this Meeting. The G-8 website also shows a link to UNIDO’s website and contents.

In Syracuse the Director General. Mr. Yumkella, was assisted by a delegation from UNIDO ITPO Italy ( Ms. Diana Battaggia , Ms. Elena Sera and Mr. Stefano Gatti).

Press release

The G8 Environment Ministers Meeting concluded with the adoption of the Syracuse Charter after three days of discussions in Syracuse, Italy, between the ministers of 20 countries. The charter represents a fundamental reference point from which to revive the commitment to define new and joint strategies for the period after 2010.

The essential principals at the heart of the charter are that biodiversity and ecosystem services are essential for life on Earth, the wellbeing of humanity and the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals; that biodiversity and ecosystems are of great economic value and can make an important contribution to the resolution of the current global economic and financial crisis; that it is urgent to identify a common path that can direct us towards new post‐2010 objectives. “We have reached important results that will assist in the debate on environmental issues during a particularly important year for choices on climate change and biodiversity, in order to get to the UN conference in Copenhagen in December,” said Italian Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea, Stefania Prestigiacomo at the end of the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting.

The Italian Presidency of the G8 has produced a Chair Summary with all participants, showing how the indications that emerged from the Kobe meeting have been successfully taken up. In view of the G8 summit that will be held by the Italian Presidency in July, Minister Prestigiacomo also announced that she would forward the Syracuse Charter to the Prime Minister’s office in order to send a strong message about the urgency with which a correct relationship between the environment and children’s health needs to be confronted. “The session on children’s health, which opened with the contribution of Japan and the United States,” the minister continued, “highlighted that all countries are confronting with concrete measures the relationship between the environment and children’s health, particularly developing countries.” Monday morning Minister Prestigiacomo will be in Washington to participate in the Major Economies Forum (MEF) to which “I will bring the rich debate that took place in Syracuse and the results of our meeting, with the contributions on the development of technologies and financing methods that emerged from the World Bank and the International Energy Agency,” Prestigiacomo concluded.