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About the United Nations Environment Programme

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United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)26 August 2014



United Nations Environment Programme

Environment for Development

UN Environment, established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UN Environment acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. To accomplish this, UN Environment works with a wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society. 

UN Environment 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 the transfer of knowledge and technology for sustainable development
  • Encouraging new partnerships and mind-sets within civil society and the private sector.

UN Environment’s work focuses on the following 7 cross-cutting thematic priorities: 

Strengthen the ability of countries, in particular developing countries, to integrate climate change responses into national development processes.


Minimize threats to human well-being from the environmental causes and consequences of existing and potential natural and man-made disasters.


Ensure that countries use the ecosystem approach: the holistic management of land, water and living resources to promote conservation and sustainable use to enhance human well-being.


Ensure that environmental governance and interactions at the country, regional and global levels are strengthened to address environmental priorities.


Minimize the impact of harmful substances and hazardous waste on the environment and people.


Fostering sustainable consumption and production by leading global efforts to ensure natural resources are produced, processed and consumed in a more sustainable way.


Providing open web platforms, services and access to timely, substantiated knowledge about the environment and emerging issues to allow for informed decision-making.


UN Environment's Strategy UN Environment's medium-term strategy for the period 2014-2017 provides the direction UN Environment will take. It lays out UN Environment's vision, strategic objectives and the results which UN Environment aims to achieve by 2017. In addition, you can find the link to our medium-term strategy for the period 2018-2021 here.

UN Environment's global and cross-sectoral outlook is reflected in its organizational structure, its activities and its personnel. Being based in Africa gives UN Environment a clear advantage in understanding the environmental issues facing the world's developing countries.

To ensure its global effectiveness UN Environment supports six regional offices, plus a growing network of centres of excellence such as the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) centres and the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). UN Environment also has major offices in Geneva and Paris, where its Division of Technology, Industry and Economics is situated. >> More on our Regional Presence here

UN Environment also hosts several environmental convention secretariats including the Ozone Secretariat and the Montreal Protocol's Multilateral Fund, CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Migratory Species, and a growing family of chemicals-related agreements, including the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).



UN Environment's Liaison Office to the EU is based in Brussels

> Click here for more info on the Brussels office

If you would like to receive updates from UN Environment related to the EU, 

> Click here to join our mailing list

> or follow us on Twitter @UNEnvironmentEu

Our regional presence



> Click here to enlarge the map

UN Environment's six regional offices bring regional perspectives to the development of UN Environment policies and programmes. By clicking on the links below you can see factsheets highlighting regional forums, projects, partnerships, and links with the Post 2015 development agenda