The Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today opened the UNEP 2011 Governing Council meeting in Nairobi and commited to make it a green meeting.
The delegates at the meeting inclulde Mwai Kibaki (President of the Republic of Kenya), Henry Djombo (Minister of Forests, Environment and Sustainable Development, Republic of Congo), George Saitoti (Kenyan Minister of Internal Security and acting Minister of Foreign Affair), John Michuki (Kenyan Minister of the Environment), Sha Zukang (UN Under-Secretary General and Head of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs), Joan Clos (UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Joan Clos) and Edward Norton (award-winning actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity).
In his opening remarks, Achim Steiner said:
"UNEP, along with other agencies in the UN system, are acting in this direction in its back yard as it were. As part of the UN Secretary General's Greening the Blue initiative, UNEP became the first UN body to publish a climate neutral strategy in September 2010...
...Another first is the way we will conduct this meeting - paperless, or paper lean to perhaps be more precise.I would like to thank the Government of Qatar for making this possible and pioneering the concept at a meeting of the Montreal Protocol in 2008.
The aim is to reduce the amount of paper used during the meeting by 90% from 2009 levels, when over 2.5 million sheets of paper were printed for and by meeting participants.
We have therefore made all conference documents available electronically and encourage you to access them from your laptops and avoid printing where possible. I hope you will also notice other green measures here this week.
We are avoiding the unnecessary use of bottled water by providing water dispensers.
We would also encourage delegates to use the recycling bins which we have made available for paper, glass and plastic waste.
Lastly, we invite you to discover more about the green elements of our new building through our green quiz."
Inspitation for many of the green elements of the meeting are said to have come from UN's Green Meeting Guide.