UN Environment Programme

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The United Nations Environment Programme is the United Nations system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bring emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.[1]

Their mission is: "To 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." [2]

In 1988, the World Meteorological Organization and the UNEP established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). UNEP is also one of several Implementing Agencies for the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

  • Achim Steiner is the current UNEP Executive Director.
  • Angela Cropper - UNEP Deputy Executive Director and United Nations Assistant Secretary General Officer-in-Charge


UNEP was established after the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm, Sweden, proposed the creation of a global body to act as the environmental conscience of the UN system. In response, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2997 on December 15, 1972 creating:

  • The UNEP Governing Council, composed of 58 nations elected for four-year terms by the UN General Assembly, responsible for assessing the state of teh global environment, establishing UNEP's priorities and approving the budget
  • The UNEP Secretariat, with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, to provide a focal point for environmental action and coordination within the UN system, headed by an Executive Director, with the rank of UN Under-Secretary-General; and
  • A voluntary Environment Fund to finance UNEP's environmental initiatives, to be supplemented by trust funds and funds allocated by the UN regular budget.[1]

UNEP Awards [3]

  • The Champions of the Earth Award "recognizes outstanding environmental leaders, whether individuals or organizations, that have exemplified inspiration, vision, innovation, leadership and action for the environment. This international award was established by UNEP in 2004."
  • The UNEP Sasakawa Prize "recognizes laureates with a proven record of achievement, as well as the potential to make outstanding contributions to the environment consistent with UNEP's policy and objectives. This international award is a partnership between UNEP and The Nippon Foundation."
  • The UNEP International Photographic Competition "recognizes artists who use photographs to reflect the diversity of the planet and its people. Started in 1991, the competition aims to showcase participants' talent as well as their concern for our environment."
  • The SEED Award "recognizes innovation in local, environmentally-responsible and sustainable entrepreneurship. This international award is the flagship programme of the SEED Initiative, a partnership founded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNEP, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)."
  • The Green Star Awards "recognize those who have made remarkable efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to environmental disasters around the world. This international award is a joint initiative between UNEP, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Green Cross International."

Senior Staff

Accessed November 2009: [4]

  • Maryam Niamir-Fuller - Director, Division of Global Environment Facility Coordination (DGEF)
  • Bakary Kante - Director, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC)
  • Sylvie Lemmet - Director, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE)
  • Satinder Bindra - Director, Division of Communications & Public Information (DCPI)
  • Peter Gilruth - Director, Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA)
  • Ibrahim Thiaw - Director, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI)
  • John Scanlon - Principal Advisor, Policy and Programme Executive Office (EO)
  • Paul Akiwumi - Chief, Executive Office (EO)
  • Ivar A. Baste - Director, Environment Management Group (EMG)

Permanent Missions to UNEP

Accessed July 2008: [5]

Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum

Accessed July 2008: [6]

Former Executive Directors

Accessed July 2008: [7]


Web: http://www.unep.org

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 "United Nations Environment Programme Organization Profile - English," accessed September 30, 2008.
  2. About, UN Environment Programme, accessed July 23, 2008.
  3. UNEP Awards, UNEP, accessed November 16, 2009.
  4. People, UN Environment Programme, accessed November 16, 2009.
  5. Permanent Missions, UNEP, accessed July 23, 2008.
  6. Members, UNEP, accessed July 23, 2008.
  7. Former Executive Directors, UNEP, accessed July 23, 2008.