21 Feb 2022.
The Frontiers Report is released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The latest report is named “Noise, Blazes and Mismatches: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern.” This report which has been released before the UN Environment Assembly focuses on rising public health problems that are disrupting natural life cycles and causing environmental impacts around the world.
- The UNEP Frontiers reports raise awareness of growing environmental challenges. This report turns the attention towards various environmental challenges which are emerging with the potential of wreaking global or regional havoc.
- The issues raised in this report are now on a small scale, but they have the potential to grow into global concerns that have a significant influence on people’s livelihoods and the environment.
Highlights of the Report
- Noise pollution, deadly wildfires, and various environmental threats which are looming could cause environmental damage and thus it is of utmost priority to address these concerns.
- Urban noise pollution, phenological shifts, and wildfires are the three major subjects of this report that illustrate the urgent need to address the triple global problems of pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss.
- The report terms noise pollution as a “raucous killer”, and claims that prolonged, unwelcomed, and high-level sounds from railways, road traffic, or recreational activities harm people’s health and well-being. Chronic annoyance and sleep disruption caused by traffic can lead to serious heart disease and metabolic issues in teenagers and children, and it also affects the marginalized and elderly people living near major roadways.
- This report of the UNEP suggested city planners consider making noise reduction a priority by investing in urban infrastructure that produces positive soundscapes, such as green walls, tree belts, and additional green spaces in cities, all of which will provide various health advantages.
- Phenology is the study that deals with the timing of recurrent life cycle stages that are influenced by environmental factors, as well as how species living within an ecosystem react to changing conditions.
- Climate change upsets this natural phenomenon by pushing plants and animals out of sync with their normal cycles. Phenological changes in crops also pose a barrier to food production.
- Conservation aims such as maintaining suitable habitats and ecological connectivity, strengthening the stability of biological variety, and coordinating international efforts along migratory pathways are underlined in the report.
- It has been found that between the years 2002-2016 an average of 423 million hectares of land surface burnt, which implies that dangerous wildfires will become more intense, common, and long-lasting, even in those areas which were previously unaffected.
- The report states that black carbon and other pollutants released by wildfires, can pollute water sources, cause landslides, accelerate glacier melt, and turn rainforests into carbon sinks.
The report emphasizes putting more effort and increasing investments into establishing preventive measures to combat environmental hazards which are looming in the background and may soon turn into major environmental concerns.