Media Update: United Nations Pakistan, 31 May 2021

This Media Update includes: 

  • UNEP - MEDIA ADVISORY : World Environment Day 2021 calls for urgent ecosystem restoration
  • UNOPS - PRESS RELEASE : UNOPS delivered critical medical equipment to protect from COVID-19 and treat 1,000,000 people in Pakistan





World Environment Day 2021 calls for urgent ecosystem restoration


5 June 2021 Where: Global

Date: 5 June 2021

More information:


Celebrated every year on June 5, World Environment Day is the United Nations’ biggest annual event for positive environmental action to encourage worldwide awareness of the need to protect our planet. Since the first World Environment Day in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for positive public outreach on the environment in over 100 countries. 

The 2021 World Environment Day is hosted by Pakistan on the theme of “Ecosystem Restoration” under the campaign “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.” This year, the Day will also serve as the formal launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. The official hashtags for the Day are #GenerationRestoration and #WorldEnvironmentDay. Celebrations around the world take place with a hybrid of digital and in-person events. 

Ecosystem Restoration This year, World Environment Day calls for urgent action to revive our damaged ecosystems.

Humans are losing and destroying the foundations of our survival at an alarming rate. Over 4.7 million hectares of forests – an area larger than Denmark – are lost every year.

As a result, ecosystem loss is depriving the world of carbon sinks such as forests and peatlands. Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown for three consecutive years and the planet is on track for potentially catastrophic climate change.

By shrinking the area of natural habitat for wildlife, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens – including coronaviruses – to spread, something that has been brought into sharp focus with the emergence of COVID-19.

Events to watch out for on UNEP’s website and social media platforms:

World Environment Day 2021 will see the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: A global rallying cry for everyone – from governments to corporations and citizens – to do their part in healing our ailing planet. 

  • The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) will be officially launched through a virtual event on June 4, 13:00 UCT. The event will bring together a colourful and dynamic program of high-level dignitaries announcing their commitments to restoration and the Decade, celebrities, restoration practitioners, indigenous community leaders, scientists, poets, musical performance and visual impressions of restoration success stories.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres
  • Pakistan’s Prime Minister and World Environment Day Host Imran Khan
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chairperson of the African Union Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi
  • Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley
  • A message by Pope Francis
  • Dr. Jane Goodall
  • UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bundchen
  • Musical performances by Reggae-singer Rocky Dawuni, DJ Don Diablo and many more.
  • Accompanying this is a global restoration report by UNEP: Becoming #GenerationRestoration: Ecosystem Restoration for People, Nature and Climate - to be released on 3 June 2021. The report documents how restoration meets multiple needs, the financial investment required for it in the coming decade, and the expected returns for people and nature.
  • As part of its celebrations as host country for World Environment Day 2021, Pakistan is celebrating the completion of a billion trees as part of its 10 billion Tree drive and also taking up a large voluntary pledge under the Bonn Challenge, also a new Marine Protected Area and innovative announcement around Nature financing including flotation of the country’s first Green bond. Also expected is the announcement to initiate a Global Alliance of Ecosystem Restoration together with other interested partner countries to be finalized later.

Pakistan will make the announcement as part of the main host-country event, taking place at the Jinnah Convention Center in Islamabad and officiated by Prime Minister Imran Khan with the participation from a host of dignitaries from around the world including, Inger Andersen, UNEP’s Executive Director, and senior officials from The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN-Habitat, UNDP among others as well as from the governments of Germany and Saudi Arabia. The event will also feature songs and videos on Pakistan’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme.

  • World Environment Day features a truly inspiring speaker this year. The young poet, Jordan Sanchez, has an interesting background: born and raised in the Bronx, New York City of Puerto Rican, Congolese, and Togolese descent and she has first gained prominence when she was a finalist at the 2019 Climate Speaks Program.

Her interests are predominantly around environmental justice and the disproportionate impacts of climate change and pollution on people of color, a theme more relevant than ever in 2021. While the topic is poignant, Jordan has a skill of framing it around solutions and with optimism, as you can see in her latest poem: Read more about Jordan here.

For more activities, browse through this extensive list of events hosted by UNEP and supporters, featuring high level speakers, expert panels, virtual tours of products and places, Goodwill Ambassadors, Young Champions of the Earth, film screenings, music sessions and other events taking place in Pakistan, the World Environment Day host country.

For more information, interviews and details, contact:




UNOPS delivered critical medical equipment to protect from COVID-19 and treat 1,000,000 people in Pakistan

UNOPS procured $4 million worth of critical medical equipment and supplies funded by Japan for 75 health facilities in partnership with the Health Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and for regions and provinces across Pakistan, including Balochistan, in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority.

●     The medical equipment will potentially save 900,000 COVID-19 patients, including in 75 health facilities in 35 districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as well as across Pakistan by helping provincial disaster management authorities test people for COVID-19.  

●     The gender-specific personal protective equipment (PPE) will enable 100,000 male and female frontline medical staff to work safely, effectively, and comfortably.  

Over the last year with the generous funding of $4 million from the Government of Japan, UNOPS procured and delivered the most critically needed medical supplies for Pakistan’s COVID-19 response, working closely with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Health Department of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (HD-KP) province. As a result, 1,000,000 people, including 900,000 COVID-19 patients and 100,000 doctors, nurses, and medical staff, will benefit from the project.

The procured items include protective dangris, disposable masks, latex gloves, portable ultrasound machines with video printers, electrical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, pulse oximeters, BiPAP machines for non-invasive oxygen support, PCR testing machines and kits, automated extraction kits, Viral Transport Mediums (VTMs), and swabs.

Gender-responsive procurement of PPE included consideration of sizing requirements for men and women and allocation of PPE based on gender requirements of the hospitals. Therefore, both men and women can easily use the PPE when treating COVID-19 patients.

For a quick and efficient delivery of these items, UNOPS used Emergency Procurement Procedures which have been used by UNOPS to effectively support countries across the globe in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNOPS coordinated the timely identification and distribution of equipment and supplies with the government partners, ensuring maximum transparency in the process.

The project is part of an agreement between the Government of Japan and UNOPS to support countries in Asia, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak through efficient emergency procurement of medical equipment and supplies.

Ms. Marysia Zapasnik, UNOPS Country Manager for Pakistan, said: “During these difficult times of a COVID-19 pandemic, supporting each other and working together in strong partnership is especially important. Thanks to generous and timely funding from the Government and People of Japan, UNOPS has been able to provide critical medical equipment to the NDMA and HD-KP. This enabled them to do their job to respond to and curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan.

The equipment has increased their capacity to test and act quickly when COVID-19 is detected, to effectively fight the spread of the virus, to protect the lives of female and male frontline medical workers, and ultimately, to save the lives of girls, boys, men, and women in communities across Pakistan. UNOPS remains committed to working together with our government counterparts, key players in the health sector, and the donor community, in pursuit of better health outcomes for all the people of Pakistan.”

Mr. Muhammad Idrees Mahsud, Member of Disaster Risk Reduction unit, NDMA said:

“This project will play a key role in our response to COVID-19 in Pakistan. Through the provision of VTMs and swabs, PCR testing kits, extraction kits, and the PCR machine, the project will help us enhance our diagnostic capacity and will enable us to protect our medical personnel with the medical supplies to tackle this pandemic in Pakistan. We are proud to work with UNOPS Pakistan to help the people in our country."

Mr. Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah, Secretary to Government of Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa said:

“The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa highly appreciates UNOPS and the Government of Japan for their support through the provision of medical supplies and equipment, including electrical ICU beds, portable ultrasound and BiPAP machines, pulse oximeters, PPE and COVID-19 testing kits for the most critically ill COVID-19 patients. The support during this challenging time has contributed to the effective response to COVID-19 in our province. We look forward to continued cooperation with UNOPS to build a better future for all people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

Dr. Amena Hasan, UNOPS Project Manager, said,

“Thanks to UNOPS's efficient and transparent Emergency Procurement Procedures, this project successfully addressed the critical needs of medical supplies and equipment in order to fight COVID-19 in Pakistan. The project has helped to protect the healthcare professionals as well as to extend life saving medical care to COVID-19 patients.

We are pleased that the project’s benefits have also reached some of the most distant and disadvantaged communities in the country. This was made possible through working in close coordination with the Government of Japan, NDMA and HD-KP to identify and provide the essential supplies and equipment. We would like to thank all our partners for their continued support in this project."



Notes to the editors:

Press contact details:

Georgii Nikolaenko

Communications Officer, UNOPS Pakistan


UNOPS mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development. We help the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, and deliver sustainable infrastructure and procurement in an efficient way. Read more:

UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Office for Project Services