UNEP involvement in the near-term climate and cryosphere effort actually dates back to UNEP-Grid-Arendal’s participation in the Arctic Council/AMAP workshop of September 2008, as well as work on the Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) under its Bangkok regional office. In 2010 however, UNEP began a global effort to address the short-lived forcers black carbon and ozone through the production of two key reports, the UNEP/WMO Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone and its associated Action Plan, both published in 2011.
ICCI drafted and reviewed cyrosphere-related portions of the UNEP/WMO Assessment. It also served as a Lead Author and Reviewer of the Action Plan, and regularly participates in UNEP events such as the annual Governing Council. ICCI’s Director participated in the release of the Assessment in 2011 in Nairobi, as part of a panel including the Swedish and Bangladesh environment ministers. As part of its COP-17 activities in Durban, ICCI organized, on behalf of UNEP and Sweden, the launch of the Action Plan at a side event that included four environment ministers (Sweden, Ghana, Mexico and Canada) as well as the UNEP Executive Director. In 2012, ICCI also organized a cryosphere-focused side event at the Rio+20 meetings in Brazil.
ICCI’s UNEP work has also served as an effective vehicle for the creation of ICCI’s “pan-cryosphere” network. In 2011, UNEP and the sponsoring governments asked ICCI to assist in shaping two regional “near-term climate” conferences, one in Latin America (Mexico) and one in the Himalayas (Bangladesh), from a cryosphere perspective. This cooperation continued through a partnership with the Stockholm Environment Institute and UNEP for a series of new regional conferences in Latin America (Columbia), Africa and South East Asia in 2012-13.
UNEP remains in a key actor in protecting the cryosphere, and ICCI will continue its engagement and cooperation with UNEP at the both the regional and global level.