Energy and Environment

Today, World Environment Day, is a reminder to us all to treat our planet better and lighten our carbon footprint. Climate change is a threat to everyone. But without action, the brunt of the impact would be felt by poor and vulnerable people in developing countries. With little capacity to cope, many more would become malnourished and in some circumstances struggle to find water, and even be displaced. This highlights just how intertwined the tasks of addressing climate change, reducing global poverty, and reaching the Millennium Development Goals are. More

A sound energy and environmental policy is fundamental for sustainable development. Since 1979, more than one third of UNDP/PAPP resources have been invested in supporting environmental preservation and development programmes particularly in the water and sanitation sectors. Assistance has been extended to a wide range of capacity building, institutional strengthening and infrastructure development activities aimed at sound environmental management and sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Considerable support in this has been provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which helps developing countries fund projects and programmes that protect the global environment.

Water availability is scarce in the region and present supplies barely meet the needs of the Palestinian people. 13% of the population do not have access to a supply of running water and many of the existing water facilities are dilapidated. Water quality particularly in the Gaza Strip is very poor to the extent that only 7% of the water supplied for domestic use meets international and World Health Organization standards. Similarly, wastewater collection is insufficient and even non-existent in some rural areas and treatment facilities are limited and often do not function properly. The waste water situation can lead to serious contamination of precious water resources and can have a negative impact on public health, marine and coastal biodiversity. Other major environmental problems include land erosion, declining bio-diversity due to continuing urban development, and increasing air pollution in urban centres.

UNDP/PAPP's Activities
Over the past 25 years, UNDP/PAPP has been addressing these problems as a matter of priority in partnership with local authorities and civil society. Since the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), the partnership has been extended to several national institutions, mainly the Environmental Quality Authority (EQA) and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA). To date, more than US$130 million has been invested by and/or through UNDPPAPP in this field, focusing on rehabilitation, upgrading and extension of water supply systems, wastewater and storm water collection and treatment throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

UNDP/PAPP has worked to enhance institutional capacity at the national, regional and local levels to deal with environmental issues. This has included providing support to the National Palestinian Water Sector Strategy and Investment Programme, the foundation of the national water database and the establishment of effective integrated water resources management tools within the PWA.

Over 200 water supply and sanitation projects have been initiated by UNDP/PAPP in the West Bank and Gaza. These projects have included the construction of water supply and distribution networks, storage reservoirs and house connections. Community awareness of environmental issues and participation in preservation of natural resources has significantly increased and professional water engineers, planners, as well as technicians have been trained in integrated water resources management, leakage detection and operation and maintenance of water supply systems.

IMPACT
These programmes have had a significant impact not only on the health of residents of the beneficiary communities, but on their environment and overall quality of life as well. Pollution of scarce ground water aquifers has been reduced and the quality of water improved with lower levels of nitrate and chloride. Daily household access to water has increased, as has per capita water consumption in the West Bank and Gaza.

 

Press Releases

22.03.2012 - Urgent international action needed to combat social inequalities and environmental risks, UN Secretary-General tells Istanbul Forum:Social justice and environmental protection are equally urgent and intrinsically linked universal goals, with coordinated global action needed on both fronts at the UN’s ‘Rio+20’ Conference on Sustainable Development in June, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to an audience of development experts, civil society leaders and government officials at the first Global Human Development Forum here today. More

 

06.06.2011 - UNDP Deputy Special Representative, Yasmine Sherif and Naofumi Hashimoto, Representative of Japan to the occupied Palestinian territory visited wastewater treatment projects in the northern Governorates of Jenin and Tulkarem. The projects will improve the living conditions of approximately 17,000 residents, who will have access to sanitation services.  The sites visited are part of USD5.5 million fund from the Government of Japan to promote cross boundary cooperation in waste management. The projects are implemented by UNDP, in partnership with the Palestinian Water Authority. It is worth noting that only 35 percent of the West Bank population has access to wastewater collection systems.

 

 

27.05.2011 - The Government of Japan and UNDP Sign an agreement to extend water networks to the Jericho Agro-industrial Park: The agreement constitutes the third component UNDP will be implementing through the Jericho Agro-industrial Park project funded by the Government of Japan through its “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative for the amount of USD3.1 million. The extension of the water networks and construction of the water tank will ensure continuous water supply to the park and provide quality water to the area.