United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Established as a result of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

UNEP is the first UN agency to be based in a developing country with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It also has offices and UNEP-administered convention secretariats in Bangkok, Bonn, Geneva, Manama (Bahrain), Mexico City, Nairobi, New York, Osaka, Paris, Montreal and Vienna.

UNEP's Governing bodies include:

  • The Governing Council composed of 58 Governments, from five geographical regions, elected by the General Assembly for four-year terms
  • The Committee of Permanent Representatives
  • The High-Level Committee of Ministers and Officials
UNEP works closely with United Nations agencies, international scientific and professional communities, non-governmental organizations, civil society and, in particular, governments to ensure that important environmental issues facing the world are properly addressed.

UNEP's activities cover a wide range of environmental issues and environmental related problems and sustainable development. Its present programme of work focuses on five areas:

  • Environmental information, assessment and research, including environmental emergency response capacity and strengthening of early warning and assessment functions
  • Enhanced co-ordination of environmental conventions and development of environmental policy instruments
  • Fresh water
  • Industry and technology transfer
  • Support to Africa

UNEP's functional programmes are:

Environmental Information Assessment and Early Warning
Environmental Policy Development and Law
Environmental Policy Implementation
Technology, Industry and Economics
Regional Co-operation and Representation
Co-operation with Environmental Conventions
Communications and Public Information

The resources available to UNEP for the administration and implementation of its programme come from four distinct sources:

  • The regular budget of the United Nations
  • The Environment Fund - standing at US$120 million for the 2000-2001 biennium
  • Trust Funds, and
  • Counterpart Contributions

Read on: Press release | City of Dreams | Water, water, everywhere | Think global, act sustainable | Life's a gas | Looking on the bright side | Issues | Indicators | UNEP's profile | Overview
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