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Tackling Environmental Challenges Globally and Locally: A Conversation with the Director of the UNEP, North America


Manuel Molina

Event details

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CID Speaker Series presents Dr. Barbara Hendrie, Director, North America UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Dr. Hendrie will discuss the role the UNEP plays within the UN system to address global environmental challenges, with a particular focus on plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution is a growing threat and now widely recognized as a crisis on a par with climate change. Every year, approximately 11 million metric tons of plastic waste enter our oceans, destroying marine life and ecosystems, and reducing the ocean's capacity to generate between 60 to 80 percent of our atmospheric oxygen. Most of the plastic waste entering the oceans and our wider environment is ‘single use plastic’, which is used for several minutes and then discarded. This material doesn’t disappear, but breaks down into micro plastics, releasing toxins in the process. Microplastics have now been found in the food chain, in our water supplies and in human beings. Dr. Hendrie will discuss the scale of the problem and how it is beginning to be addressed at the local, regional, and global level.

This is a hybrid event open virtually to the public and in-person at the Harvard Kennedy School for members of the Harvard Communty. Lunch will be served.

Speakers and Presenters

Dr. Barbara Hendrie, Director, North America UN Environment Programme


Center for International Development

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