The Report identifies and offers solutions to three environmental issues that requires attention and action from governments and the public at large
The latest Frontiers report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was recently released. It is the fourth edition of the Frontiers Report, which was first published in 2016 with a warning about the growing risk of zoonotic diseases, four years before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Highlights of the Report:
The three topics of this Frontiers report – urban noise pollution, wildfires, and phenological (study of seasonal changes in plants and animals) shifts – highlight the urgent need to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss.
1. Wildfires are expected to become more severe in the coming years and decades.
Vulnerable areas: Cities have rapidly expanded towards forest areas in many regions. This wildland-urban interface is where wildfire risks are most pronounced—for example, rising fires in California, United States.
Lightning and pollution: As forest fires spread, the world is very likely to see more frequent incidences of lightning.
Rising wildfires have also created a new threat: fire-induced thunderstorms.
2. City noise pollution is a growing threat to public health: Unwanted, prolonged, and high-level sounds from road traffic, railways, or recreational activities harm human health and well-being.
3. Phenological shifts occur when species alter the timing of life cycle stages in response to changing environmental conditions. The problem is that interacting species in an ecosystem don’t always shift timing in the same direction or at the same rate.
Climate change disrupts these phenological shifts, throwing plants and animals out of sync with their natural rhythms and causing mismatches, such as when plants shift life cycle stages faster than herbivores. It has the potential to disrupt the functioning of entire ecosystems.
- Increase vegetation in urban environments.
- Provide soundscape planning
- Noise barriers along highways or railways.
- Preventive approach by engaging vulnerable groups.
- Appreciating and adopting indigenous fire management techniques.
- Focus on long-range weather forecasting and remote-sensing capabilities such as satellites.
- Increasing ecological connectivity through habitat corridors.
- Promoting genetic diversity and increasing the chances of successful adaptation.
@ The report titled Noise, Blazes and Mismatches’ identifies and draws attention to emerging issues of environmental concern.