United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) | IAS Target IAS Target

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is a programme of the United Nations that coordinates the organization's environmental activities and succors to developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. It is a UN agency. It is dedicated to environmental cause however international talks on specialized issues, such as addressing climate change or combating desertification, are overseen by other UN organizations, like the Bonn-based Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. It was established as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference) in June 1972. The World Meteorological Organization and UN Environment established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.

Members 193 members and meets every two years
HQ Nairobi, Kenya
Parent organization United Nations
  • Action on air quality
  • Global Environment outlook
UNEP also has six regional offices and various country offices.


Executive Director

Environment Assembly

The United Nations Environment Assembly is UNEP's governing body. Created in June 2012 to replace the Governing Council


UNEP's structure includes eight substantive Divisions
  • Science Division
  • Policy and Programme Division
  • Ecosystems Division
  • Economy Division
  • Governance Affairs Office
  • Law Division
  • Communication Division


  • It has overall responsibility for environmental problems among United Nations agencies;
  • It covers a wide range of issues regarding the atmosphere, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, environmental governance, and green economy
  • It has played a significant role in developing international environmental conventions, promoting environmental science and information, and illustrating the way those can be implemented in conjunction with policy. It works on the development and implementation of policy with national governments, regional institutions in conjunction with environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
  • The International Cyanide Management Code, a programme of best practice for the chemical's use at gold mining operations, was developed under UN Environment's aegis.
  • UNEP has also been active in funding and implementing environment related development projects. UNEP has supported in the formulation of guidelines and treaties on issues such as the international trade in potentially harmful chemicals, transboundary air pollution, and contamination of international waterways.
  • UN Environment Relevant documents, including scientific papers, are available via the UNEP Document Repository.
  • UN Environment is also one of several Implementing Agencies for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, and it is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.