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topic and prompt
the first-ever united nations environmental assembly opened in kenya on monday, as more than 150 high-level delegations began a weeklong examination of the intersection between global economic progress and the environment. The environment is no longer a niche topic backed by a passionate minority, achim steiner, the head of the u.N. Environmental program told the associated press, but is clearly linked to economic and societal issues.
The changing environment including climate change, pollution, land degradation and access to water shows that the world's economy needs to be reinvented or progress will suffer, steiner said. The u.N. Recently upgraded unep's standing and the weeklong assembly is the highest-level u.N. Body ever convened on the environment. Wherever you live on the planet these phenomena are going to change the lives and economies of people, whether it's in ohio, somewhere in siberia or western china, steiner said.
Sanjaasuren oyun, minister of environment and green development in mongolia, told the opening session that a shift toward more environmentally sound policies is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Oyun on monday was elected the president of the newly constituted u.N. Environmental assembly. The conference will discuss ways to increase the progress of what is known as the green economy, including alternative energies, smart grids and new transportation options. Delegates will also look at the illegal wildlife trade, including rhino and elephant poaching. U.N. Secretary-general ban ki-moon is expected to attend later in the week.
Unep, steiner said, argues that the world is on the verge of a technology revolution that in the coming decades will allow humans to tap into endless sources of energy. That will fundamentally change a continent like africa, where 70 percent of residents today don't have access to electricity.
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