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United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): Global Environmental Authority

Apr 14, 2016 17:36 IST

    United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment within the realm of United Nations System. It was founded in 1972 with the aim to create global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda.


    Working area of UNEP

    • Assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends
    • Developing international and national environmental instruments
    • Strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment

    UNEP’s work focuses on the following seven (7) cross-cutting thematic priorities:

    Climate Change: It has long-since ceased to be a scientific curiosity, and is no longer just one of many environmental and regulatory concerns. As the United Nations Secretary General has said, it is the major, overriding environmental issue of our time, and the single greatest challenge facing environmental regulators. It is a growing crisis with economic, health and safety, food production, security, and other dimensions. Hence, UNEP act as global leader to strengthen the ability of countries, in particular developing countries, to integrate climate change responses into national development processes.

    Disasters and Conflicts: UNEP's Disasters and Conflicts programme seeks to minimize environmental threats to human well-being from the environmental causes and consequences of conflicts and disasters. UNEP - through its Disasters & Conflicts sub-programme that was started in 1999 - has responded to crises in over 40 countries and territories including the Balkans, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Ukraine, Liberia, Japan, Iraq, China, Lebanon and Rwanda.

    Ecosystem Management: UNEP is working to articulate, facilitate and support appropriate responses in order to secure the environmental conditions for prosperity, stability and equity, timely responses that are proportionate to the scale of the environmental challenges will be required. In creating such responses, governments, the international community, the private sector, civil society and the general public all have an important role to play. It also provides opportunities for local communities, business and government to innovate for the benefit of communities, economies and the global environment.


    Environment Governance: It has a long history of contributing toward the development and implementation of environmental law. UNEP assists governments in obtaining environmental information for decision-making, enhancing global and regional environmental cooperation, developing and applying national and international environmental law, advancing national and regional implementation of environmental objectives, and bridging major groups and governments in policy development and implementation processes.

    UNEP through the environmental governance sub-programme works with governments and the relevant institutions in the UN system, as well as with MEAs, to promote more coherent, effective and efficient decision making and action on the environment, including through strengthening relevant synergies

    Chemicals & Waste: UNEP aims to mobilize support and commitment from governments, private sector, civil society, academia and scientific societies toward a comprehensive, coherent and complementary policy approach to chemicals.

    Resource Efficiency: UNEP works to promote resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in both developed and developing countries. The focus is on achieving increased understanding and implementation by public and private decision makers, as well as civil society, of policies and actions for resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production.

    Environment under Review: UNEP aims to contribute to sustainable development and improved well-being through empowering stakeholders at global, regional and national levels. It aims to do this by providing open web platforms, services and access to timely, substantiated knowledge about the environment and emerging issues and by strengthening capacities to make use of substantiated knowledge in decision-making. To do this, the work of the sub-programme will build on existing investments and efforts, successful activities, networks and partnerships, recognized good practices and comparative advantage of UNEP in the areas of data analysis and assessments.

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