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UN highlights critical environmental issues, requiring great attention

Nairobi- Wildfires are burning more harshly, and on a daily basis, urban noise pollution is developing into a global public health menace and phenological mismatches – disturbances in the timing of life-cycle stages in natural systems – are pushing ecological effects.

These crucial environmental issues, demanding greater attention, are highlighted in the new Frontiers Report published today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

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This is the fourth edition of the Frontiers Report, which was first publicized in 2016 with an alert to the high risk of zoonotic diseases, four years before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the Frontiers report, which recognizes and provides solutions to the three major environmental related that merit attention and action from government and the public at a significant level, said ‘Inger Andresen’, Executive director of UNEP.

The three topics are Urban noise pollution, wildfires and phenological shifts reported and the issues that highlight the urgent need to address the tripartite planetary trouble of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.”

Noise pollution in cities is a growing threat to public health:

Undesirable, long and high-level sounds from road traffic, railways, or relaxation activities harm human health and well-being. This chronic pain and sleep disorders result in severe heart diseases and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hearing impairment, and poorer mental health.

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Noise pollution already guides to 12,000 premature deaths per year in the European Union and affects one in five EU citizens. Acceptable noise levels are reached in many cities worldwide, including Algiers, Bangkok, Damascus, Dhaka, Ho Chi Minh City, Ibadan, Islamabad and New York.

Particularly affected are the very young, the old and marginalized communities near high traffic roads, industrial areas and far from green spaces.

It is also a danger to animals, altering communications and the behaviour of various species, including birds, insects, and amphibians.

As per the data of 2002 and 2016, in which they recorded an average of about 423 million hectares of 4.23 million square km of the Earth’s land surface– this is the area with the size of the entire European Union burned, became the most common in mixed forest and savannah ecosystems. As per counting, 67 per cent of the annual global area burned by the fires, including wildfires, in the African region.

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