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UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5)

  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 04, Mar 2022
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Why in  News?

  • Recently, 175 nations endorsed a historic resolution at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in Nairobi to End Plastic Pollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024.
    • The historic resolution, entitled “End Plastic Pollution: Towards an internationally legally binding instrument”.

United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)

  • It was created in June 2012, when world leaders called for the UN Environment to be strengthened and upgraded during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also referred to as RIO+20.
  • It is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment.
  • It addresses the critical environmental challenges facing the world today.
  • It meets biennially to set priorities for global environmental policies and develop international environmental law.
  • Through its resolutions and calls to action, the Assembly provides leadership and catalyses intergovernmental action on the environment.

Major Highlights 

  • The resolution, based on three initial draft resolutions from various nations, establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) which will begin its work this year, aiming to complete a draft legally binding agreement by the end of 2024.
  • It is expected to present a legally binding instrument, which would reflect diverse alternatives to address the full lifecycle of plastics, the design of reusable and recyclable products and materials, and the need for enhanced international collaboration to facilitate access to technology, capacity building and scientific and technical cooperation.
  • UNEP would convene a forum by the end of 2022 in conjunction with the first session of the INC, to share knowledge and best practices in different parts of the world.
  •  It is the most important international multilateral environmental deal since the Paris climate


  • Plastic production soared from 2 million tonnes in 1950 to 348 million tonnes in 2017, becoming a global industry valued at US$522.6 billion, and it is expected to double in capacity by 2040. 


  • The impacts of plastic production and pollution on the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss and pollution are a catastrophe in the making:
    • Exposure to plastics can harm human health, potentially affecting fertility, hormonal, metabolic and neurological activity, and open burning of plastics contributes to air pollution.
    • By 2050 greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic production, use and disposal would account for 15 percent of allowed emissions, under the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C (34.7°F) in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
    • More than 800 marine and coastal species are affected by this pollution through ingestion, entanglement, and other dangers.
    • Some 11 million tonnes of plastic waste flow annually into the oceans.

This may triple by 2040.


  • The draft resolution recommended the treaty promote the sustainable design of plastic packaging so it can be reused and recycled, which would be significant for big consumer goods companies that sell their goods in single-use packaging.
  • The mandate also recommends addressing the toxic burden of plastic, following hundreds of studies showing the impact of plastic in the environment and its presence in air, agricultural lands, and drinking water.
  • A shift to a circular economy can reduce the volume of plastics entering oceans by over 80 per cent by 2040.
  • Reduce virgin plastic production by 55 per cent
  • Save governments US$70 billion by 2040;
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent; and create 700,000 additional jobs – mainly in the global south.

Facts for Prelims :

Sagar Parikrama” Program

  • The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying is organizing the “Sagar Parikrama” program on the occasion of the 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava.

Sagar Parikrama


  • As a mark of gratitude to our seas, Sagar Parikrama Program is saluting our great freedom fighters, sailors and fishers.
  • The first leg of ‘Sagar Parikrama’ shall begin from Gujarat on 5th Feb 2022.
  • Sagar Parikrama program is proposed to be celebrated in all coastal states/UTs.


  • Sustainable balance between the utilisation of marine fisheries resources for food security of the nation and livelihoods of coastal fisher communities
  • Protection of marine ecosystems.

States included:

  • It is proposed to be conducted in all coastal states/UTs through a pre-decided sea route to demonstrate solidarity with all fisher folk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholders as a spirit of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

States includes:

  • Gujarat,
  • Diu,
  • Maharashtra,
  • Goa,