Notes from the United Nations Environment Assembly 2016, by Staurt Warner

27 May 2016
UNEA 2016

Debbie and I are at UNEA-2 (the second United Nations Environment Assembly - ) in Nairobi representing GEMS/Water, UCC and Ireland.  It’s a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with delegates and stakeholders from each of the 193 UN member states.

We’re here to promote GEMS/Water, focussing on the capacity development aspect which is based in the ERI (  The initial focus of the project is scoping.  We must understand countries’ water quality monitoring needs.  It’s something we take for granted in Ireland with decades of reliable and robust water quality data which is freely available.  Many countries, especially in Africa have little or no water quality monitoring programme.  Once we understand the needs, we will be rolling out training material and running workshops enabling countries to collect and analyse their own water quality data.

The team in Cork (Aoife, Patrick and Susan) over the preceding weeks and months have created, brochures, posters, video material, questionnaires, as well as a trial version online water quality training module. Each item has been very well received.  All these are on show in our booth which we share with our German partners from the Data Centre and the Nairobi-based Global Programme Co-ordination Unit (GPCU).

GEMS/Water is part of a side event today (Global water challenges: pathways towards achieving the Agenda 2030) which focuses on establishing the collective contribution of different UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) elements in supporting countries to meet the Sustainable Development Goal targets.  Debbie will be presenting a summary of our work within the programme during the event.  There’ll be a live webcast at

The weather here is overcast, warmish, with intermittent showers.  Not too dissimilar to a gorgeous Irish summer! 

More to come


kila la kheri



UNEP GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre

UNEP GEMS/Ionad Forbartha Acmhainneachta Uisce

Environmental Research Institute, Ellen Hutchins Building, University College Cork