United Nations Environment Programme

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) coordinates United Nations environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. It was founded as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in June 1972 and has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP also has six regional offices and various country offices.

UNEP is the designated authority of the United Nations system in 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 bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. The mandate and objectives of UNEP emanate from United Nations General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 and subsequent amendments adopted at UNCED in 1992, the Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of UNEP, adopted at the Nineteenth Session of the UNEP Governing Council, and the Malmö Ministerial Declaration of 31 May 2000.

Its activities cover a wide range of issues regarding the atmosphere, marine and terrestrial ecosystems. It has played a significant role in developing international environmental conventions, promoting environmental science and information and illustrating the way those can work in conjunction with policy, working on the development and implementation of policy with national governments and regional institution and working in conjunction with environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). UNEP has also been active in funding and implementing environmentally related development projects.

UNEP has aided in the development of guidelines and treaties on issues such as the international trade in potentially harmful chemicals, transboundary air pollution, and contamination of international waterways.

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

Contents

Executive Director

UNEP's current Executive Director is Achim Steiner, who succeeded previous director Klaus Töpfer in 2006. Dr Töpfer served two consecutive terms, beginning in February 1998.

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