United Nations Environment Programme


Emblem of UNEPThe United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm 1972 recommended to the General Assembly that a special UN Programme should be founded to deal with global environmental issues. On 15 December 1972 the General Assembly adopted resolution 27/2997, creating the United Nations Environment Programme.


UNEP is housed in the UN Office in Nairobi and became the first organization in the UN system to have its headquarters in a developing country.


Its activities cover a wide range of issues, from atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems, the promotion of environmental science and information, to an early warning and emergency response capacity to deal with environmental disasters and emergencies.

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


UNEP initiated a number of treaties such as the Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol. Important environmental conferences were the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992) and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002).


Cover of the Global Environment Outlook 2000The foremost project is the UNEP Global Environment Outlook (GEO). This project was initiated in response to the environmental reporting requirements of Agenda 21 and to a UNEP Governing Council decision of May 1995 which requested the production of a new comprehensive global state of the environment report.


The GEO reports are produced using a participatory and consultative approach. Input is solicited from a wide range of sources throughout the world, including the collaborating centre network, United Nations organizations and independent experts. Working together with the GEO Coordinating Team in Nairobi and the regions, the CCs research, write and review major parts of the report. During the preparation of the report, UNEP organizes consultations inviting policy makers and other stakeholders to review and comment on draft materials. Drafts also undergo extensive peer review. This iterative process is designed to ensure that the contents are scientifically accurate and policy relevant to users in different parts of the world and with different environmental information needs.


In 1987, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the Global 500 Roll of Honour for Environmental Achievement. The award is a tribute to successes on the front lines of global environmental action. It is granted to individuals and organizations for outstanding achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment.





The official UNEP website.

The United Nations Office in Nairobi.



Related subjects


United Nations Conference on the Human Environment

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development


UNEP 10th anniversary

UNEP 20th anniversary


World Environment Day



Related person - winner Pahlavi Prize / Sasakawa Prize


1977          Cousteau, Jacques-Yves



Related persons - winners Global 500 Roll of Honour Award


1988          Cousteau, Jacques-Yves

1991          Bernhard, prince of the Netherlands



Stamp catalogue - 20th anniversary


Bangladesh                  5 June 1992









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last revised: 26 June 2009