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Some issues are too important to be hidden behind a mask. Poverty, air pollution and climate change are some of the defining issues of our times, having profound impact on our health and on the lives of billions of people across the globe. But those impacts are often gradual and unseen.
Climate change is already magnifying some threats to health, especially for poor and vulnerable people. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of deaths of children under five is much higher than in other regions (Source: WHO 2015). An estimated 800,000 out of the annual 2 million deaths among children under the age of five caused by respiratory infections is due to indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution is responsible for 600,000 premature deaths every year in Africa. The continent’s reliance on the use of biomass for cooking, lighting and heating means that 90 per cent of the region’s population is exposed to this health threat.
Ahead of the United Nations Environment Assembly, the United Nations Environment Programme together with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition have teamed up with Art of Change 21 and UP Nairobi to encourage reflections on the importance of addressing poverty, air pollution and climate change, which are essential to achieving sustainable global development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to “substantially reduce” air pollution-related deaths by 2030, by improving access to clean energy in homes and improving air quality in cities.
PUT YOUR MASK ON is a creative Maskbook Workshop that will encourage citizens to stand up against climate change, air pollution and poverty by creating their mask. The workshop will take place in Kangemi which is home to more than 100,000 of Nairobi’s poorest people and will raise awareness of issues and the solutions available to reduce dangerous air pollution.
People around the world can join this event by downloading the Maskbook app for both android and iOS devices:
“By cutting air pollutants from sources that also emit climate pollutants, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and turn the tide on the epidemic of non-communicable diseases. The solutions exist. We need to spread the word about their health and environment benefits, and catalyse political action. Fast action to tackle air pollution can’t come soon enough—for the health of our children and the planet.” Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization; Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway; and Amina Mohammed, Environment Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
WHEN: Saturday 21 May from 10.00 am to 12.00 am
WHERE: Kangemi Resource Centre (Click here for Google maps location)
Journalists wanting to participate in the event should contact:
Rose Shabaya, UP NAIROBI, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +254737603067.
Catherine Beltrandi, UNEP, E-mail:Catherine.Beltrandi@unep.org, Mob. +254 719867668
ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMMME
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Established in 1972, UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
ABOUT THE CLIMATE AND CLEAN AIR COALITION
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is a voluntary global partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, businesses, scientific institutions and civil society committed to catalyzing concrete, substantial action to reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants (including methane, black carbon and many hydrofluorocarbons). The Coalition has 11 initiatives working to raise awareness, mobilize resources and lead transformative actions in key emitting and cross cutting sectors.
ABOUT ART OF CHANGE 21
Art of Change 21 is the first international platform in favour of the environment and sustainable development which bases itself on creativity, interdisciplinarity and co-creation.
Maskbook was created for COP 21 during the “Conclave of 21” at the Gaité Lyrique in Paris in late 2014 combining 21 artists, entrepreneurs and young leaders from 12 countries. Maskbook is the first event aimed at the general public on the link between health, pollution and climate. A rising amount of heatwaves, worsening effects of pollution on health, movement of diseases. The interactions between these three issues continue to multiply.