The second UN Environment Assembly – UNEA-2

23-27 May 2016

With the theme 'Healthy Environment - Healthy People', the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) will be held at the United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

At the UNEA, you'll get to see the multilateral process in action as the global community considers how to implement the environmental elements of the new Sustainable Development Goals, with official negotiating meetings and plenaries focusing on topics from the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States, to children's rights and toxic chemicals, and resilience of communities reliant on coral reefs.   


Read about our UNEA delegation's experiences in their blog posts and on Twitter!

Head Delegate


Eleanor has a background in human rights and development in Asia and the Pacific. She completed her MA in Development Studies focusing on disaster mitigation and recovery in Pacific Island communities. Eleanor works at Amnesty International as the Frontline Campaigns Coordinator. She is an advocate for the rights of refugees, has a passion for environmental sustainability and is involved with a number of not-for-profit organisations that work on environmental management at a local level.


Piet Ubels

PIET UBELS | @pietubelsnz

Piet is an upstanding individual who is passionate about social change. With a background in architecture, engineering and project management, he aspires to successfully facilitate the realisation of local communities visions towards sustainability and wellbeing. Through his life he has stood strong in being proactive and creative to resolve any problems.

Robin Singh

ROBIN SINGH | @selfish_mind007

Robin is a dreamer with a burning desire to leave a positive lasting impression on this planet by driving initiatives for the good of wider mankind. He is optimistic, courageous and believes in leaving no one behind in the face of adversity. Robin has been an entrepreneur all his life, and believes in leading by example; his hobbies include flying, fitness and a constant desire to learn. 

EMILY RUSHTON | @emilyjoyrushton

Emily is a nurse, highly motivated by climate injustice she saw while travelling. She is currently self-funding talks around New Zealand to educate the public and health professionals on the relationship between food, health and climate change. She linked up with and talks on behalf of OraTaiao: NZ's Climate and Health Council. Emily is very interested in a plan to help transition animal farmers over to more sustainable industries.

Rachel Cooper

RACHEL COOPER | @rachelcoopernz

Rachel loves the outdoors and tries to live every day to the fullest. Her adventurous nature sparked her passion for environmental issues. She is driven to instigate environmental change - which she has begun by working for Sustainable Coastlines, The Sustainability Network and Landcare Research. Rachel loves to learn, and her degree and her involvement in the Science Scholars programme inspires her. After traveling in Nepal, Rachel has raised $14,000 which has rebuilt two schools after the earthquake.   

VIRAAJ AKUTHOTA | @viraajiverson

Viraaj has an avid interest in engaging with different cultures, he believes due to his family’s migration to New Zealand.  Viraaj has so far travelled to 33 countries - and he would like to see every country in the world in his lifetime.  He would like to travel the world in a manner that he can engage with people around him, and would like to offer the skills he has gained through his education (BCOM/LLB) and private practice (financial services auditor at Ernst & Young) to help issues that local societies face.

Debbie Tan

DEBBIE TAN | @deborahtanz

First of all. Food is the love of Debbie's life. Equal to that, she cares about making the world better. Through social enterprise, Debbie is keen to make the world a more sustainable and equitable place. She especially enjoys talking to awesome young people and making positive social impact together.  Debbie also enjoys making sweet music through acapella, sharing stories and hearing them, perfecting her chocolate chip cookie recipe... and she dreams of seeing the world!