United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Programme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement (PNUE)
Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA)
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15 Dec 1972, by General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII), in response to the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 5-16 June 1972, Stockholm (Sweden). In operation by Jan 1973, working out of temporary headquarters first in Geneva (Switzerland) and then in Nairobi (Kenya). Restructured following approval by special session of Governing Council, May 1998. An organ of United Nations (UN) within the United Nations System.
Provide leadership and encourage partnership 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; act as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.Available with paid subscription only.
As a non-funding agency, UNEP uses resources to start up programmes which draw funds from other agencies, organizations and governments. Work encompasses: assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends; developing international and national environmental instruments; strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment; facilitating transfer of knowledge and technology for sustainable development; encouraging new partnerships and mind-sets within civil society and the private sector. Works with a wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society.
1. 'Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA)' - aims to provide the world community with improved access to meaningful environmental data and information and to help increase capacity of governments to use environmental information for decision-making and action planning for sustainable human development. It monitors, analyses and reports on the state of the global environment, assesses global and regional environmental trends and provides early warning of emerging environmental threats.
/Assessment activities/ - DEWA undertakes, supports and is partner of a number of environmental assessments with different thematic and geographic coverage. (1) GEO Process: UNEP Global Environment Outlook (4 reports up to 2007). (2) Ecosystems, subdivided into 3 focal areas: /Land/ - including assessment of the East African Montane Forests; /Water/ - containing 'Freshwater Assessment Activities', including GEMS/Water and River Basin Information System (RBIS), and 'Integrated Water Assessment Activities', including Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP); /Polar/ - including assessment of Antarctica. (3) Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), which finished in 2005. (4) International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development.
Establishes and maintains effective partnerships and networks, including Global Environmental Information Exchange Network (INFOTERRA). Also administers United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).
2. 'Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI)' - responsible for the implementation of environmental policy in order to foster sustainable development at global, regional and national levels; also functions as focal Division for capacity building.
• /Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA)/ - serves to tackle the deterioration of coastal and marine environments from land-based activities in order to preserve and broaden their existence. This is achieved through assisting countries in taking actions within their respective policies, priorities and resources, to implement National Programmes of Action (NPAs) for preventing, reducing and controlling the degradation of the marine environment. Further guidance for implementation, mainly through Regional Seas Programme - covers 18 regions, of which most function through action plans: 6 administered by UNEP; 7 non-UNEP administered; 5 independent programmes. Programmes administered by UNEP, with their Action Plans:
• -'Caribbean Region'. Action Plan: Caribbean Action Plan (CAR) (1981). Convention: Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention). Protocols: Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region; Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region; Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities.
• -'East Asian Sea'. Action Plan: Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas of the East Asian Region (EAS) (1981).
• -'Eastern Africa Region'. Action Plan: Eastern African Action Plan (EAF) (1985). Convention: Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region (Nairobi Convention). Protocols: Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region; Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Marine Pollution in Cases of Emergency in the Eastern African Region.
• -'Mediterranean Region'. Action Plan: Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) (1975). Convention: Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention).
• -'North-West Pacific Region'. Action Plan: Action Plan for Protection, Development and Management of the Marine Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP) (1994).
• -'Western African Region'. Action Plan: West and Central African Action Plan (WACAF) (1981). Convention: Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central African Region (Abidjan convention). Protocols: Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution in Cases of Emergency.
Non-UNEP administered programmes:
• -'Black Sea Region'. Action Plan: Black Sea Action Plan (BSAP) (1993). Convention: Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (Bucharest convention). Protocols: Protocol on Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the Black Sea Marine Environment by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Emergency Situations; Protocol on the Protection of the Black Sea Marine Environment Against Pollution by Dumping; Protocol on Protection of the Black Sea Marine Environment Against Pollution from Land-based Sources.
• -'North East Pacific Region'. Action Plan: Plan of Action for Cooperation in the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northeast Pacific (2001). Convention: Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northeast Pacific (NEP).
• -'Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Region'. Action Plan: Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment Programme (PERSGA) (1976), replaced by Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) (1995). Convention: Convention for the Conservation of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment (Jeddah convention). Protocol: Protocol Concerning Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Case of Emergency.
• -'ROPME Sea Area'. Action Plan: Kuwait Action Plan (KAP) (1981). Convention: Kuwait Regional Convention for Cooperation on the Protection on the Marine Environment from Pollution. Protocols: Protocol Concerning Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency; Protocol Concerning Marine Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf; Protocol Amending the Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Land-based Sources, Kuwait; Protocol on the Control of Marine Transboundary Movements and Disposal of Hazardous Wastes.
• -'South Asian Region'. Action Plan: Action Plan for the Protection and Management of the South Asia Seas Region (SASP) (1995).
• -'South East Pacific Region'. Action Plan: Action Plan for the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas in the South East Pacific (SE/PCF) (1981). Convention: Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Area of the Southeast Pacific (Lima Convention). Protocols: Protocol for the Protection of the Southeast Pacific Against Pollution from Land-based Sources; Complementary Protocol to the Agreement on Regional Cooperation in Combating Pollution of the Southeast Pacific by Hydrocarbons and other Harmful Substances; Protocol for the Protection of the South East Pacific Against Radioactive Contamination; Protocol for the Conservation and Management of Protected Marine and Coastal Areas of the Southeast Pacific.
• -'Pacific Region'. Action Plan: Pacific Regional Environment Programme Strategic Plan (2011-2015). Conventions: Convention on Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific; Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region (SPREP convention); Convention to Ban the Importation into Forum Island Countries of Hazardous Wastes and Radioactive Wastes and to Control the Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within the South Pacific (Waigani convention).
• -'Arctic Region';
• -'Antarctic Region';
• -'Baltic Sea Region';
• -'Caspian Sea Region';
• -'North-East Atlantic Region'.
Regional Seas Programme Coordinating Unit (RSPCU) also handles marine mammal related activities within UNEP, which includes: Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Management and Utilization of Marine Mammals (Marine Mammal Action Plan).
• /Capacity Building Branch/ - aims to support developing countries to develop and enhance institutional and individual capabilities to effectively address environmental challenges. It develops and nurtures global, regional and national capacities so that regional and national specific environmental programmes can be successfully implemented and sustained. Environmental Education and Technical Training Unit (EETU) develops and strengthens environmental education and training initiatives that target institutions, government and all age groups of civil society. The branch also hosts the 'Capacity Building and Technology Support Database'. It also assists the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) to implement the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development in SIDS.
• /Environmental Emergencies - Disaster Management Branch/ - seeks to address the immediate and long-term human, social, health, economic and environmental impacts of natural and human-induced disasters, and aims to minimize the resulting environmental emergencies that they cause. Activities focus on: prevention; preparedness; assessment, response and mitigation; risk reduction; mobilizing resources. It operates in collaboration with numerous agencies and comprises 2 units: Environment Coordination Unit (ECU); Joint UNEP/Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Environment Unit. The 'Disaster Management Information System for Africa' contains a compilation of institutions working on disaster and environmental risk reduction in Africa. Aims to run the 'Indigenous Knowledge Helps in Disaster Management' programme.
• /Post Conflict Branch (PCoB)/ - seeks to address the environmental consequences and their related economic and social implications in post-conflict regions in order to reduce environmental degradation, improve public health and impart sustainable development practices in the post-conflict restoration period.
• /Implementation of Environmental Law Branch/ - comprises 2 units:
• -'Compliance and Enforcement Unit' supports implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, including multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), through the development and application of tools, such as guidelines, legislation, institutional approaches and cooperation. Also develops and strengthens the capacities of officials and institutions in the national and regional implementation of MEAs.
• -'Partnership for the Development of Environmental Law and Institutions in Africa (PADELIA)' seeks to assist African governments in building capacities for the development, strengthening, implementation and harmonization of environmental legislation as well as related institutions for sustainable development and poverty reduction.
Special Projects (3):
• /Coral Reef Unit and International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN)/ - spearheads the international effort to save the planet's threatened coral reefs, guiding and mobilizing policies and actions to reverse coral reef degradation. Unit collaborates closely with Regional Seas programmes and other international partners such as ICRI and ICRI's operational networks.
• / Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP)/ - as an UNEP/UNESCO project, aims to lift the threat of imminent extinction faced by gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans.
• /Dams and Development Project/ - aims to promote a dialogue on improving decision-making, planning and management of dams and their alternatives based on the 'World Commission on Dams' core values and strategic priorities.
3. 'Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE)' encourages decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and implement policies, strategies and practices that are cleaner and safer, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure environmentally sound management of chemicals, reduce pollution and risks for humans and the environment, enable implementation of conventions and international agreements and incorporate environmental costs. Coordinated in Paris, by Director. Consists of 1 centre and 5 branches.
• /Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Branch/ aims to promote more sustainable forms of industrial development. Consists of 3 units: Integrated Resource Management; Goods and Services; Business and Industry. Strategies and Tools (4): Sustainable Development (SC); Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL); Environmental Management Tools; Waste Management. Sector Applications (7): Tourism; Building and Construction; Retail; Mining; Agri-Food; Oil and Gas; Industrial Estates.
• /Energy Branch/ promotes energy and transport policies for sustainable development, and encourages investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Activities: African Rural Energy Enterprise Development (AREED); Brazil Rural Energy Enterprise Development (B-REED); China Rural Energy Enterprise Development (CREED); Greener Driving; Energy Management and Performance Related Energy Saving Scheme (EMPRESS); Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI); 'Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative (SEFI)'; Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD).
• /OzonAction Branch/ supports the phase out of ozone-depleting substances in developing countries and countries with economies in transition to ensure implementation of the Montréal Protocol. Activities: HalonTrader; Green Customs.
• /Economics and Trade Branch (ETB)/ enhances the capacities of countries to integrate environmental considerations into economic and trade policies and promotes the greening of the finance sector. Activities: Finance Initiative (FI).
• / UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch Branch/ promotes sustainable development by catalyzing global actions and building national capacities for the sound management of chemicals and the improvement of chemical safety worldwide. Activities: Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). Risks of specific chemicals are assessed by International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), a joint programme with WHO and ILO. Houses: Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).
• / UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC)/ promotes and implements environmentally sound technologies (ESTs), including management systems, for disaster prevention, production and consumption and water and sanitation. Tools: ESTIS (Environmentally Sound Technologies Information System); PAMOLARE (Planning And Management Of Lakes and Reservoirs focusing on Eutrophication).
4. 'Regional Cooperation (DRC)' - based in Nairobi (Kenya), aims to strengthen regionalization while ensuring a central coordinating role of headquarters. It consists of the Coordination Office (Kenya, Nairobi) and 6 regional offices: Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; North America; West Asia. Focuses on:
• /Civil Society/ - includes the 'Global Civil Society Forum (GCSF)';
• /Labour and Environment/;
• /Poverty and Environment/ - includes the UNDP-UNEP Poverty and Environment Initiative (PEI).
5. 'Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC)' - aims to: promote the progressive development and implementation of environmental law to respond to environmental challenges, in particular by supporting States and the international community in strengthening their capacity to develop and implement legal frameworks; support the implementation of MEAs by parties, and facilitate interlinkages and synergies, while respecting the legal autonomy of MEAs and the decisions taken by their respective governing bodies. Provides the following services:
• /Environmental Law/ - Under the overall framework of the Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law (Montevideo Programme);
• /Environmental Conventions/ - subdivided into 4 thematic areas:
• -'Cross-Cutting': Training on MEAs; Support on MEAs; Public Participation; Compliance and Enforcement; Synergies and Inter-Linkages;
Environmental/Ecological Economics; Integration of MEAs and MDGs;
• -'Atmosphere': Education, Training and Public Awareness on Climate Change, which includes active support to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC);
• -'Biodiversity': activities supporting biodiversity related MEAs;
• -'Chemicals and Waste': Development of a Frame Harmonized Legislation to Implement Chemicals-related MEAs.
6. 'Communications and Public Information (DCPI)' - communicates UNEP's core messages to all stakeholders and partners, raising environmental awareness and enhancing the profile of UNEP worldwide. Main activities include: creating public awareness of environmental issues in the media; raising UNEP's profile (and with it concern about the global environment) by organizing specific activities and events and facilitating cooperation with and among selected sectors of society and actors involved in implementation of the international environmental agenda; influencing the attitudes, behaviour and decisions of those who have or can have an impact on the environment by producing and disseminating printed an audio-visual information; maintaining UNEP library and documentation center and responding to public enquiries.
7. 'Global Environment Facility Coordination (DGEF)' - Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established by a World Bank resolution on 14 Mar 1991, and formally established Oct 1991 as a joint programme between United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) (World Bank) and UNEP in an effort to help solve global environmental problems. It provides new and additional grant and concessional funding to meet incremental costs of measures to achieve global environmental benefits in 7 focal areas, namely: protection of biological diversity; propagation of biosafety implementation; reduction of greenhouse gases; protection of international waters; prevention and reduction of releases of persistent organic pollutants (POPs); reduction of land degradation, primarily desertification and deforestation; protection of the ozone layer.
UNEP's role is to catalyze the development of scientific and technical analysis and advance environmental management in GEF-financed activities. UNEP provides guidance on relating the GEF-financed activities to global, regional and national environmental assessments, policy frameworks and plans and to international environmental agreements. UNEP-DGEF participates in GEF corporate-level monitoring and evaluation activities, supports the establishment of MandE systems in projects, and carries out project-specific evaluations and reviews.
A major strategic priority for GEF's 3rd phase (GEF3) is capacity building, which is approached through: National Capacity Self-Assessments (NCSA); in Africa - New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
'Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP)' provides strategic scientific and technical advice to the GEF on its strategy and programmes.
UNEP Administers the following Convention Secretariats:
• Interim Secretariat of Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian convention); Secretariat for the Basel Convention (SBC); Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD); Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS); Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES Secretariat); Secretariat for the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Ozone Secretariat); Secretariat of Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol; Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention; Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants; United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - Secretariat (UNFCCC Climate Change Secretariat); Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (Secretariat of the UNCCD).
'UN Inter-Agency Cooperation':
• -'United Nations Development Group'.
UNEP acts as convenor to the following 'Scientific Advisory Groups':
UNEP cooperates: with FAO, ICSU, UNESCO and WMO in the design and planning phase of Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS); with ICSU, IOC and WMO in Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), expected to be fully operational by 2010; with UN-Habitat in implementing Sustainable Urban Development Network (SUD-Net); with UNDP and IBRD (World Bank) in jointly managing Global Environment Facility - UNEP Coordinated Plan for Europe includes strengthening UNEP and GEF operations in countries with economies in transition; in the Joint WHO/FAO/UNEP/UNCHS Panel of Experts on Environmental Management for Vector Control (PEEM); with International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) through Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE).
Maintains numerous trust funds, including the following linked to international conventions, not mentioned before, or organizations:
• East Asian Seas Trust Fund;
• Trust Fund for the Environmental Training Network for Latin America and the Caribbean;
• Technical Cooperation Trust Fund in Support of the Network for Environmental Training at Tertiary-Level in Asia and the Pacific (NETTLAP);
• Technical Cooperation Trust Fund for UNEP's Implementation of Activities funded by UNFIP;
• General Trust Fund for Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS);
• Trust Fund for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora;
Agreements concluded under UNEP auspices and not mentioned above:
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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations
Relations with 156 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations
Relations with 198 non-governmental organizations.
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